The creation of knowledge is the research object of the Virtual Knowledge Studio. In the context of e-research, it is tempting to focus on the digital technologies. Such an approach would, however, ignore the epistemic dimension of knowledge practices. Scholarly and scientific developments are intellectually codified, so that they are relatively resistant to external steering, but not to technological change. The study of the interaction between users, designers and technological artefacts is the topic of a number of well-established fields of research: humanities computing, social informatics, technology studies, human computer interaction, computer supported cooperative work, and innovation studies. Although the researchers at the Studio will be able to draw upon this knowledge, its research agenda will not be limited to these user-oriented paradigms.
The central problem in the development of e-research is not the technology, nor the role of the user in technological environments, but the cultural and historical specificity of knowledge production in the new technologically mediated contexts. This is the reason the Studio puts knowledge creation centre stage. The central research question of the Studio is how it is possible to develop novel ways of knowledge creation in the humanities and social sciences by utilizing and adapting e-research concepts, instruments and ways of working. This includes the epistemic and cultural effects of e-research on the humanities and social sciences.