FACEBOOK for CoP of Researchers: Identifying the Needs and Evaluating the Compatibility

Sami Miniaoui, Mohanad Halaweh


Communities of practice (CoPs) are increasingly capturing the interest of many fields such as business companies, education and organizations. Many CoPs were developed for people who have common interest in healthcare, agriculture and environment, and teaching. However, there is lack of COPs dedicated for researchers. This research aims to explore the appropriateness of Facebook (FB) as a platform for serving a CoP of researchers. To achieve this goal, first we identify the needs of CoPs for researchers within UAE context. Consequently, we adopted qualitative research approach to elicit the needs. We applied the grounded theory method to analyze the data. The results of the analysis showed seven main needs: collaboration, debating, awareness/ notification, reference management, cross search, customization, tracking, and user orientation. Secondly, we evaluated the compatibility of FB features to the identified needs. Although we found that FB covers most of CoPs needs, there are few needs which are not met successfully so this raised some technical and practical issues, which have been highlighted in the paper.


Community of Practice (CoP); CoP needs; Qualitative research; Grounded theory; Social networking platforms; Facebook.

Full Text:

PDF [en]


AMERSON, R. (2011). Facebook: A Tool for Nursing Education Research, Journal of Nursing Education.

CHARLIER, B., Boukottaya, A., Daele, A., Deschryver, N., El Helou, S., Naudet, Y. (2007). Designing services for CoPs : first results of the PALETTE project. TEL-CoPs’07:

nd International Workshop on Building Technology Enhanced Learning Solutions for Communities of Practice, Crete, Greece.

CHAKRABORTY, S., Dehlinger, J. (2009). Applying the Grounded Theory Method to Derive Enterprise System Requirements. 10th ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligences. Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing, Daegu, Korea.

DAELE, A. (2006). A model for representing professional development through the participation in a virtual CoP: uses for developing enhanced services. TEL-CoPs: First international workshop on building technology enhanced learning solutions for Communities of practice, Crete Greece.

DAELE, A., Erpicum, M. , Esnault, L., Pironet, F., Platteaux, H., Vandeput, E. (2006). An example of Participatory design methodology in a project which aims at developing individual and organisational learning in Communities of practice. TEL-CoPs: First international workshop on building technology enhanced learning solutions for Communities of practice, Crete Greece.

DCMI.(2010). Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms[ January 2008]

HALAWEH, M. (2011). Using Grounded Theory as a Supportive Technique for System Requirements Analysis. The Sixth International Conference on Systems, St. Maarten, The Netherlands Antilles.

HALAWEH, M., Al Mourad, B., Miniaoui, S. (2011). Identifying the needs of community of practice (CoP) for researchers within UAE. European, Mediterranean & Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems 2011 (EMCIS2011), Athens, Greece.

KAYRI, M., Çakir, Ö. (2010). An Applied Study on Educational Use Of Facebook As A Web 2.0 Tool: The Sample Lesson Of Computer networks And Communication. International Journal of Computer Science & Information Technology (IJCSIT), 2(4).

KüNZEL, M., Charlier, B., Daele, A. (2007). Modelling activity and development of communities of practices. EIAH07 Conference, Lausanne, Switzerland.

LAVE, J., Wenger, E. (1991).Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge University Press.

MAZER, J. P., Murphy, R.E., Simonds, C.J. (2008). I’ll see you on ‘Facebook’: The Effects of Computer-Mediated Teacher Self-Disclosure on Student Motivation, Affective Learning, and Classroom Climate. Communication Education, 56(1),1-17 .http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03634520601009710.[ 17 Feb 2007]

MUñOZ, C., Towner, T. (2009 ). Opening Facebook: How to Use Facebook in the College Classroom. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

PARBOOSINGH, J.T. (2006). Physician communities of practice: where learning and practice are inseparable. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions,

, 230-236.

RICHARDSON, B., Cooper, N. (2003). Developing a virtual interdisciplinary research community in higher education. Journal of Inter-professional Care, 17,173-182. SECKOR, J. (2005).Case Study 5: Libraries and Facebook. London School of Economics and Political Science,http:// clt.lse.ac.uk/Projects/Case_Study _Five_report.pdf.

STRAUSS, A.L., Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Sage Publications.

TYNES, B. M. (2007). Internet Safety Gone Wild?. Journal of Adolescent Research. 22(6), http://jar.sagepub.com/cgi/ content/abstract/22/6/575.

VAN KESTEREN, A., Caceres, M. Eds. (2007).Widgets

0. W3C Working Recommendation. www.w3.org/TR/widgets [May 30, 2007]

WALTON, N. (2009). Facebook and research, Web blog post. http://open.salon.com/blog/ re se arche t hic s / 20 0 9/ 0 6 /14/f ace book _ and _ re se arch [ JUNE 14, 2009]

WENGER, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge University Press.

WENGER, E. (2001). Supporting communities of practice: a survey of community-oriented technologies. Report of the Council of CIOs of the US Federal Government.

WENGER, E. (2006). Communities of practice: a brief introduction. http://www.ewenger.com/theory/ communities_of_practice_intro.htm [ June 2006]

WENGER, E., McDermott R., Synder, W. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice. Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

WILD, E.L., Richmond, P.A, de merode, L., Smith, J.D. (2004). All Kids Count Connections: a community of practice on integrating child health information systems. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, S61-5.

YI, J.Q. (2000). Supporting business by facilitating organizational learning and knowledge creation in the MOT community of practice (CoP). Indiana University, Bloomington.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242011000400009

Copyright (c)

2017 © Universidad Alberto Hurtado - Facultad de Economía y Negocios. 
Erasmo Escala 1835 - Santiago, Chile.
Economic Analysis Review | Observatorio Económico | Gestión y Tendencias 

Journal Supported by Chimera Innova Group