DNA in the Criminal Justice System
DNA and the Criminal Justice
System is a Harvard-based project to create a forum for
the exchange of views and information among those interested
in this area. Its aim is to assist these individuals and institutions
in managing the challenges that the use of DNA in the criminal
justice system pose.
This builds on collaboration between
the NSF-funded DNApolicy.net. The objective of the research
project is to understand (1) search and sourcing strategies
for knowledge, and (2) the volunatry engagement in sharing
knowledge (giving and receiving help).
The sharing of knowledge is one
of the fundamental prerequisites to the effective operation
of an organization. The public sector offers particular challenges
to the sharing of knowledge, because of limitations in the
merging and relocation of government agencies (e.g., New York
cannot annex New Jersey no matter how efficient it would be).
In the US, in particular, expertise is scattered through the
government—because of the federal nature of US government,
and because of a Congressional-driven history of scattering
functions throughout the federal government.
Various information and communication
technologies (ICT) clearly enable access to information and
knowledge. It seems particularly plausible that ICT could
revolutionize knowledge sharing about innovations among diverse
and geographically dispersed government agencies, through
reducing costs of communication and making transparent who
knows what, and "who knows who knows what" (Monge & Contractor,
2003) . In the extreme, the possibility would appear that
ICT could make geography irrelevant.
Of course, the technology simply
creates the outer bounds of what is possible — simply because
it is possible for me to have spoken to someone from a distant
location today does not mean that I have. There are numerous
societal, institutional, individual, and situational factors
that limit the use of these technologies. Therefore, there
is a need to understand how the particular features of technologies
interplay with how people tap into different sources of knowledge,
why they ask and answer questions the way they do, and where
and how technology is helpful in improving knowledge sharing.
In particular, in this proposal, we focus on two fundamental
questions: (1) What search strategies do individuals adopt
when looking for information, and what determines the sequence
of their search? That is, where and how do people look for
answers? (2) What are the predictors of voluntary engagement
in knowledge sharing activities in online communities?
Mergel, I./Lazer, D./Binz-Scharf,
Electronic Communication in a Geographically Dispersed Community
of Forensic Scientists, poster presentation, dg.O 2005,
The National Conference on Digital Government Research, May
15.-18. 2005, Atlanta.
Mergel, I./Binz-Scharf, M./Lazer,
D. (2005): Going The Extra Mile: Engaging In Voluntary Knowledge
Sharing In Communities Of Practice, conference paper presented
at INSNA International Social Network Analysis Annual Conference,
Redondo Beach, February 16-20, 2005.
Binz-Scharf, M.-C./Mergel, I./Lazer,
D. (2005): Searching for answers: Tracing the paths of knowledge
in a dispersed community, conference paper, INSNA International
Social Network Analysis Annual Conference, Redondo Beach,
February 16-20, 2005.