What is a Project?
Projects form the basis of a registered imageMAT user’s catalogue of created annotations. The user can set up projects to collect a series of annotations about a particular image, repository, or larger body of research.
Each registered user is provided a home directory folder, which behaves much like a directory in a unix file system. The user may create subfolders under any folder in or under this home directory folder, but nowhere else, and may place annotations, and associated urls in these folders, and subject to group permissions, in other peoples folders.
Users may also place links to other folders in any folder they have created, permitting these other folders to logically behave as if they were subfolders of this folder. Such links permit users to readily navigate to other users’ subfolders, and to indicate that other users’ subfolders are relevant to the project contained within one of their own folders. Users may also be permitted (subject to group permissions) to create (and modify) links in other users’ folders.
Users may also create links directly under the root folder. Such links are visible only to the individual that created them, and thus behave much like personal favorites. They permit navigation by the individual who created them, as do other links, but unlike other links they do not convey information to other users.
Collaboration can be achieved in various ways.
# A trusted group of individuals can share an existing project folder structure created by the group administrator, and place annotations, urls, and additional links directly into this project folder structure. Members of this group might be permitted to also directly manipulate the project folder structure itself (acting as if they were the owner of this folder structure). The advantage of this approach is that all members see changes to the collective project space. The drawbacks of such an arrangement are that the owner of the project structure (and potentially others) are at liberty to delete content within this structure, and it becomes potentially unclear who is doing what to the collective information contained within the project space.
# A somewhat less trusting group of individuals can collaborate by each permitting others in the group to link to their work on a project, thus consolidating each individual’s work on a project into larger project spaces separately managed and administered by interested parties. The advantage of this approach is that each member of a project group can decide which other members of the group they wish to work with, and can better manage access to their own research, without interference from others in the group. Disadvantages are that users may be unaware of the total collective material identified as belonging within a project, since there is no centralised space where the collective material is stored, and this collective material may be organised in very different ways by the individuals administering its various parts.
# An even more distant form of sharing can be achieved by users simply migrating annotations and urls into their own personal space. Such annotations and urls have a single identity (unless duplicate copies of annotations are created) even when distributed into multiple folders. An update to such an annotation in one folder, will be automatically visible (if published) to all other folders that reference this same annotation.
# A final layer of collaboration exists in users potentially being able to comment on, and rank annotations of interest to them. Such comments may be attached either to the annotation across projects hosting it, or be specific to an annotation within a project, or to an identifiable group of individuals potentially related to a project.