Reflections on the potential of virtual citizen science platforms to address collective action challenges : Lessons and implications for future research
Leeuwis, Cees ; Cieslik, K.J. ; Aarts, M.N.C. ; Dewulf, A.R.P.J. ; Ludwig, F. ; Werners, S.E. ; Struik, P.C. - \ 2018
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences (2018). - ISSN 1573-5214
Action research - Agricultural development - Citizen science - Collective action - Connective action - Environmental observatories - ICT - Public goods
Rural communities in Africa are facing numerous challenges related to human health, agricultural production, water scarcity and service delivery. Addressing such challenges requires effective collective action and coordination among stakeholders, which often prove difficult to achieve. Against the background of the increased availability of information and communication technologies (ICTs), this article synthesizes the lessons from six case-studies reported in this Special Issue. The cases investigate the possible role of digital citizen science platforms (labelled EVOCAs: Environmental Virtual Observatories for Connective Action) in overcoming the challenges of integrating heterogeneous actors in collective management of common resources and/or the provision of public goods. Inspired by the seminal work of Elinor Ostrom, our expectation was that such platforms could help operationalize communication and information-related design principles and community conditions that are known to enhance the capacity to address environmental challenges. This article presents some cross-cutting insights and reflections regarding the nature of the challenges identified by the diagnostic studies, and on the relevance and significance of Ostrom's framework and analysis. It also reflects on the plausibility of our original ideas and assumptions by assessing what the various studies tell us about the significance and potential of key components of an EVOCA-type intervention: i.e. environmental monitoring, ICT, connective action, citizen science and responsible design. At the same time, we draw lessons for follow-up research and action in our research program and beyond by identifying several issues and themes that merit further investigation. Based on the case-studies, we conclude that many collective action challenges are of a more complex nature than originally anticipated, and often cannot be resolved within clearly demarcated communities. While this complicates the realization of Ostrom's communication and information-related design principles and community features, there may still be a meaningful role for digital citizen science platforms. To help address complex challenges, they must be oriented towards fostering adaptive and systemic learning across interdependent stakeholder communities, rather than focusing on the self-betterment of the communities alone. Such digital platforms need to be developed in a responsible manner that ensures complementarity with already existing patterns of communication and ICT-use, that anticipates dynamics of trust and distrust among interdependent stakeholders, and that prevents typical problems associated with the sharing of information such as privacy infringement and undesirable control over information by outsiders.
Introducing automated GUI testing and observing its benefits : An industrial case study in the context of law-practice management software
Garousi, Vahid ; Yildirim, Erdem - \ 2018
In: Proceedings - 2018 IEEE 11th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops, ICSTW 2018. - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. - ISBN 9781538663523 - p. 138 - 145.
Action research - Experience report - Industrial case study - Software testing - Test automation - Test code engineering - Test patterns
Motivated by a real-world industrial need in the context of a large IT solutions company based in Turkey, the authors and their colleagues developed and introduced automated test suites for GUI testing of two large-scale law-practice management software (comprising of 414 and 105 KLOC). We report in this paper our experience in developing and introducing a set of large automated test suites (more than 50 KLOC in total), using best practices in state-of-the art and -practice, and to report its observed benefits by conducting cost-benefit analysis in the specific industrial context. The project was conducted based on the principles of case-study and 'action research' in which the real industrial needs drove the research. Among the best practices that we used are the followings: (1) the page-object test pattern, (2) modularity in test code, (3) creating test-specific libraries, and (4) using systematic guidelines to decide when and what (test cases) to automate. To assess the cost-benefit and Return On Investment (ROI) of test automation, we followed a hybrid measurement approach to assess both the quantitative and qualitative (intangible) benefits of test automation. The empirical findings showed that the automated GUI testing approach has indeed benefitted the test and QA team in the company under study and automation has been highly welcome by the test engineers. By serving as a success story and experience report in development and introduction of automated test suites in an industrial setting, this paper adds to the body of evidence in this area and it aims at sharing both technical (e.g., using automated test patterns) and process aspects (e.g., test process improvement) of our project with other practitioners and researchers with the hope of encouraging more industry-academia collaborations in test automation.