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Making a Research Infrastructure: Conditions and Strategies to Transform a Service into an Infrastructure

Author: Fecher, B., Khan, R., Sokolovska, N., Völker, T., & Nebe, P.
Published in: Science And Public Policy, 48(4), 499–507
Year: 2021
Type: Academic articles
DOI: 10.1093/scipol/scab026

In this article, we examine the making of research infrastructures for digital research. In line with many scholars in this field, we understand research infrastructures as deeply relational and adaptive systems that are embedded in research practice. Our aim was to identify the relevant context factors, actor constellations, organizational settings, and strategies which contribute to the evolution of a basic service into an actual infrastructure. To this end, we conducted thirty-three case studies of non-commercial and commercial research services along the research life cycle. By examining how these services emerge, we hope to gain a better understanding of the conditions and strategies to transform a service into an infrastructure. We are able to identify competitive disadvantages for publicly financed infrastructure projects with regard to the mode of implementation and the resources invested in development and marketing. We suggest that the results of this study are of practical relevance, especially for individuals, communities, and organizations wanting to create research infrastructures, as well as for funders and policy makers wanting to support innovative and sustainable infrastructures.

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Connected HIIG researchers

Philip Nebe

Student Assistant: Knowledge & Society

Teresa Völker

Former Associated Researcher: Knowledge & Society

Nataliia Sokolovska

Head of Research Programme: Knowledge & Society

Benedikt Fecher, Dr.

Associate Researcher & Former Head of Research Programme: Knowledge & Society

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