n. A collection of geographically distributed laboratories that are linked electronically for collaborative projects.
The NGI [Next Generation Internet] has already begun enabling innovations in science through major 'collaboratory' experiments, such as combustion scientists spread across the U.S. and around the world that are working together 'in a laboratory without walls or clocks,' said George Strawn, executive officer of the computing and networking directorate at the National Science Foundation.
—Scott Nance, “NGI Technologies Will Become More Pervasive In 5 To 10 Years,” New Technology Week, July 16, 2001
1989 (earliest)
Addressing an audience of university, government and industry representatives, Wulf described a futuristic 'collaboratory.' A collaboratory would be the electronic equivalent of a research laboratory staffed with the nation's top scientists and equipped with the fastest computers, the finest instruments and the largest databases, he said.
—Florence Olsen, “NSF expects to outgrow backbone net,” Government Computer News, April 17, 1989
This word is a silky smooth blend of the adjective collaborative, "of or relating to working together," and laboratory. As shown by the earliest citation, the blending may have been performed by William Wulf when he was assistant director of the U.S. National Science Foundation in 1989.
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