Sunday, June 8, 2008

SEAri enhances access to research - SDM Pulse, Summer 2008

The MIT Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (SEAri) seeks to advance the theories, methods, and effective practice of systems engineering applied to complex socio-technical systems through collaborative research. The group actively shares its research through engagement with sponsors and via events and publications for the wider systems engineering community. Recognizing that websites are proving to be another important mechanism for sharing knowledge, over the past year the research group has worked to enhance its website to provide timely access to its work.

Launched in the summer of 2007, the SEAri website provides public access to a large number of knowledge
assets. Website visitors can find information about the research group and its program as well as gain access to four types of documents: presentations, publications, theses, and working papers. Where possible, all documents are available for download in the spirit of open information sharing. At present there are more than 100 conference, journal, and working papers online, covering many systems engineering research topics.

While the primary purpose of the site is to be a portal to research knowledge, SEAri is also using the website as a research tool. SEAri research scientist Adam Ross, architect of the website, describes its importance: “Our graduate student researchers can share information and documents, and they have a mechanism for research exchange via a wiki environment. Our hope is that use of the website will encourage higher levels of information exchange within the research team, as well as better preservation of research results for successive research projects.”

“Our overall strategy is to continue to increase the availability of research knowledge to the systems engineering community—in final form but also the interim results,” said SEAri Research Director Donna Rhodes. One mechanism to both accelerate the sharing of ideas and to help SEAri researchers gain valuable feedback to develop better research outcomes is the recent addition of working papers, which are available on the website before they have been formally published, Rhodes said.

Other information online includes SEAri research bulletins, notices of upcoming events, information on educational courses, and links to sponsors, partners, and other organizations in the systems community. In the future, SEAri intends to develop the website further as a mechanism for interactive collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the systems community.

Visit the SEAri website at or contact the leadership team at

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