Building networks and communities

An important precept that was explicitly recognised at the start of the project, but which was reinforced through its experience as well, was that technological facilities are only one factor in building communities. Organisational, social, psychological and cultural aspects also have to be taken into account. The tools and services developed by Inspires could clearly help to find connections between the different areas of SPIRES. However, developing a sense of community which transcended specific areas of interest obviously required more than this. A number of key recommendations were made by the project to SPIRES in relation to facilities that could help in this and work will continue to assist in implementing these. A key feature which distinguished the previous Brain project and which was reproduced in a modified form in the Inspires project, was the importance placed on research related processes, particularly in relation to information about research and researchers, as well as in relation to embedding tools and services such as those that the project was developing within communities. The importance of this area was once again underlined by the experience of Inspires with the many networks and communities it worked with.