Jingjing Zhang


Distributed work over geographical distance is not new, but this century has witnessed a rapid extension of this kind of work (Juan, Daradoumis, Roca, Grasman, & Faulin, 2012). In academia, it seems that the use of many technologies has inevitably led to an increasing trend of distributed research. In an attempt to explore this phenomenon, a qualitative study involving 24 senior researchers was conducted, and their lived and told stories illustrated that they worked together privately and publicly, informally and formally, with a high degree of reciprocity and with written records of their discourse. All forms of research activities, mediated or not, can be seen together as varied combinations of proximity and distribution. In the digital age, it is not technology that enables distributed research. Instead, trust and a willingness to work together are the keys to interdisciplinary work undertaken at a distance. Discovered in this study is a new type of trust, namely distributed trust, which has emerged in distributed research. With distributed trust that is a prerequisite for generating mediated dialogue conducive to research exchange is more likely to be developed in mediated dialogue at a distance in modern research.