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FastLane

Managing Science in the Internet World

Thomas J. Misa and Jeffrey R. Yost

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The unique history and development of FastLane, the central nervous system of the National Science Foundation.

Since 2000, the National Science Foundation has depended upon its pioneering FastLane e-government system to manage grant applications, peer reviews, and reporting. In this behind-the-scenes account Thomas J. Misa and Jeffrey R. Yost examine how powerful forces of science and computing came together to create this influential grant-management system, assessing its impact on cutting-edge scientific research.

Why did the NSF create FastLane, and how did it anticipate the development of…

The unique history and development of FastLane, the central nervous system of the National Science Foundation.

Since 2000, the National Science Foundation has depended upon its pioneering FastLane e-government system to manage grant applications, peer reviews, and reporting. In this behind-the-scenes account Thomas J. Misa and Jeffrey R. Yost examine how powerful forces of science and computing came together to create this influential grant-management system, assessing its impact on cutting-edge scientific research.

Why did the NSF create FastLane, and how did it anticipate the development of web-based e-commerce? What technical challenges did the glitch-prone early system present? Did the switch to electronic grant proposals disadvantage universities with fewer resources? And how did the scientific community help shape FastLane?

Foregrounding the experience of computer users, the book draws on hundreds of interviews with scientific researchers, sponsored project administrators, NSF staff, and software designers, developers, and managers.

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FastLane

Thomas J. Misa and Jeffrey R. Yost

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Reviews

Reviews

This fundamentally important book for historians of science and technology uses the testimonies of scientists and computer experts to demystify the workings and construction of NSF's FastLane grant application system. Skillfully drawing from more than four hundred interviews and an impressive range of archival sources, Misa and Yost have masterfully crafted an accessible, engaging, and frank history.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
224
ISBN
9781421418681
Illustration Description
2 b&w photos, 2 line drawings, 2 maps, 2 charts
Table of Contents

Preface
1. Managing Science
2. Origins of E-Government
3. Developing a New System
4. Principal Investigators as Lead Users
5. Research Administrators as Lead Users
6. NSF Staff as Legacy Users
7. Legacies

Preface
1. Managing Science
2. Origins of E-Government
3. Developing a New System
4. Principal Investigators as Lead Users
5. Research Administrators as Lead Users
6. NSF Staff as Legacy Users
7. Legacies, Lessons, and Prospects
Appendix A. University Site Visits
Appendix B. Interview Summary Statistics
Notes
Essay on Sources
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Thomas J. Misa

Thomas J. Misa (LOPEZ ISLAND, WA) is the author or coauthor of many books, including A Nation of Steel: The Making of Modern America, 1865–1925 and FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World.
Featured Contributor

Jeffrey R. Yost

Jeffrey R. Yost is the associate director of the Charles Babbage Institute and a faculty member in the history of science, technology, and medicine department at the University of Minnesota. He is the coauthor of Computer: A History of the Information Machine.