-- RobAllan - 05 May 2006

User Requirements and Web based Access for eResearch

The first of a series of discussions on the use of Web based interfaces to e-Research services will be as NeSC, 19/5/06. See Web site for registration information.

e-Science projects have successfully demonstrated the potential of Grid-based infrast ructures and tools within a number of disciplines but these technologies have yet to have a wider impact on research. The reasons are likely to be complex and multi-facet ed, ranging from the technical (tried once and was too hard, not clear needs will be met, not well adapted to the needs of the individual researcher or community, poor us ability) to the socio-political (too large a risk to their team, dont fully understan d if it will truly be a benefit).

This workshop is the first in a series being planned to bring the e-Science community together to discuss how we might respond to these issues. Its aim will be to identif y lessons learnt from e-Science projects that would contribute to our capacity to mak e Grid infrastructures and tools usable and accessible for diverse user communities. Its focus will be on providing an opportunity for a pragmatic discussion between e-Sc ience portal users and developers in order to understand usability challenges, techno logical options, community-specific content and needs, and methodologies for design a nd development.

The morning session will be devoted to walkthrough case studies of two or three examp les of e-Research portals, organised around short talks from portal users and develop ers, and focusing on a small set of basic issues and questions. The afternoon session will include breakout sessions to discuss how we might use what we have learnt from the case studies to further the workshop aims.

The questions to be addressed include:

  • What should our road map be for improving usability and engagement via portals? Are there unresolved challenges or is it just development?
  • What aspects of portals are crucial to greater user engagement with e-Science? What are the key usability issues for new and diverse research communities?
  • Is it necessary for work on portals to be led and strongly connected with research leaders in a discipline they serve? If so, how can we gain their commitment?
  • In what ways can we capitalise on or reuse portals developed for one particular community?
  • If we invest in portals, what else would we need to do before they are useful? E.g., what critical mass of services and data do researchers need access to?
  • If we invest in portals, and we cant afford everything, what do we do first?
  • If portals are important, how can we bring in more resources (e.g., from supported disciplines) to contribute to a portal?
  • How will we decide whether portal investment has been successful?
Topic revision: r1 - 05 May 2006 - 13:02:08 - RobAllan
 
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