During my time as a doctoral student I led two long-term, inter-related ethnographic investigations of scientific collaboration, software development, and big data use. The first was Dr. Lee’s National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award and the second was an NSF proposal that I co-authored with her to extend this original project.


I led day-to-day activities for each project’s full lifecycle including:

  • open- & closed-ended survey design & analysis
  • interview protocol design
  • conducting interviews with principal investigators (junior to senior professors), undergraduate through graduate students, and research staff
  • observing scientific research groups
  • iteratively analyzing this extensive body of qualitative data using a variety of QDA techniques including:
    • visual representations tracing relationships
    • the atlas.TI software package
    • extensive memoing
  • co-authoring publications describing scientific work practices & challenges
  • presenting multiple conference talks discussing
    • interdisciplinarity of scientists at the University of Washington
    • a typology of data sources in data-intensive scientific work
    • how cosmologists test their software using plots
  • presenting findings to subjects of the research to offer an outsider perspective on their practices & to elicit feedback
  • mentoring undergraduate and graduate students (including publishing with undergraduate co-authors)
  • managing human subjects paperwork & practices
  • authoring annual & final reports to the funding agency

Both of these projects supported my dissertation work which extended and deepened their larger goals.


Interacting with Cyberinfrastructure in the Face of Changing Science

This project was a longitudinal investigation of scientific research practices in four domains at the University of Washington. Its primary purpose was to develop a conceptual framework to understand the set of sociotechnical relationships that comprise cyberinfrastructure (CI) and scientific collaboration. I helped launch this project in Autumn 2010 and:

  • designed, disseminated, & analyzed a closed- and open-ended survey of 300+ University of Washington research leaders (see B1 below)
  • enrolled leading researchers & their groups in the study
  • designed & conducted multiple rounds of semi-structured interviews
  • conducted ethnographic observations of research group meetings & work spaces
  • mentored a junior graduate student and 3 undergraduate students
  • led qualitative data analysis activities
  • co-authored publications & presented conference talks examining scientific software development & big data practices in climate science, microbiology, oceanography, and physics/astronomy (T1, A10, A9, A6, B1, C7, C6, C5, C1 on my CV)


Scientists and their Software: A Sociotechnical Investigation of Scientific Software Development and Sharing

This NSF-funded project that I co-authored with Dr. Lee extended the Interacting With Cyberinfrastructure project. Despite the importance of software infrastructures & platforms for data-intensive research, too little is known about how scientists use, adopt, and develop scientific software in their day-to-day work. This project was needed to explore how software, software development, and software sharing practices are, and can be, community products, resources, or practices. We have extensively examined how scientists develop, use, and share software as part of their everyday work through this project. I helped lead this project from its inception and:

  • designed & disseminated an open & closed-ended survey of University of Washington oceanographers, microbiologists & genome scientists, and physicists/astronomers examining their software & data development, use, and sharing (see B2)
  • helped enroll three groups in the longitudinal portion of the study
  • conducted ethnographic observations & semi-structured interviews of physicists
  • mentored a junior graduate student and 2 undergraduate students
  • co-authored publications investigating scientific software development, use, and sharing to work with big data (T1; A10, A9, A6, B2, C7 below)


Project Outputs

I have helped produce a variety of peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and conference presentations based on these project’s findings. The selected items from my CV below are connected to these two projects.


  • A10 — Paine, D., & Lee, C. P. (under review). Developing a Typology of Coordinative Entities to Investigate Work Arrangements in Scientific Collaborations. Paper submitted to the 15th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW 2017).
  • A9 — Paine, D., Sy, E., Piell, R., & Lee, C. P. (2015). Examining Data Processing Work as Part of the Scientific Data Lifecycle: Comparing Practices Across Four Scientific Research Groups. Paper presented at the 2015 iConference, Newport Beach, CA, USA. DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/73644
  • A6 — Paine, D., & Lee, C. P. (2014). Producing Data, Producing Software: Developing a Radio Astronomy Research Infrastructure. Paper presented at the IEEE 10th International Conference on e-Science (e-Science 2014), Guarujá, SP, Brazil. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/eScience.2014.41
  • B2 — Paine, D., Woodum, J. M., & Lee, C. P. (2014). Surveying Scientists About Their Software. Computer Supported Collaboration Laboratory Technical Reports: University of Washington. DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/37824
  • B1 — Paine, D., Sy, E., Chen, Y-Y., & Lee, C. P. (2014). Data, Software, and Advanced Computational Usage of University of Washington Research Leaders. Computer Supported Collaboration Laboratory Technical Reports: University of Washington. DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/37823
  • C7 — Paine, D. (2015). Unpacking the Production of Radio Astronomy Software and Data Products. Presentation as part of the Boundaries and Collaboration in Technical and Scientific Work II session at the Society of Social Studies of Science (4S) annual meeting. Denver, CO, Nov. 14, 2015.
  • C6 — Chen, Y-Y., Paine, D., & Lee, C. P. (2014). Generating Data at the Group, Collaborator and Community Levels. Position paper for the Sharing, Re-use and Circulation of Resources in Cooperative Scientific Work Workshop at the 2014 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW).
  • C5 — Paine, D. & Lee, C. P. (2013). Examining Data-Intensive Science: Data Sources as Coordinative Artifacts. Presentation as part of the Spatial: II session at the Society of Social Studies of Science (4S) annual meeting. San Diego, CA, Oct. 12, 2013.
  • C1 — Paine, D. & Ferro, T. (2011). Cyberinfrastructure Supported Interdisciplinarity. Presentation as part of the Collaboration Infrastructures in the Sciences: Sociotechnical Issues panel at the Society of Social Studies of Science (4S) annual meeting. Cleveland, OH, Nov. 3, 2011.