The Emerging Governance of E-Infrastructure



The paper studies the transition to ICT-based support systems for scientific research. These systems currently attempt the transition from the project stage to the more permanent stage of an infrastructure. The transition leads to several challenges, including in the area of establishing adequate governance regimes, which not all projects master successfully. Studying a set of cases from Europe and America, we look at patterns in the size and scope of the undertakings, embeddedness in user communities, aims and responsibilities, mechanisms of coordination, forms of governance, and time horizon and funding. We find that, though configurations and landscapes are somewhat diverse, successful projects typically follow distinctive paths, either large-scale or small-scale, and become what we term ‘stable metaorganizations’ or ‘established communities.’