Notes on International Workshop on Virtual Research Environments and Collaborative Work Environments


  • OSI Report on Virtual Collaboration from esce:

  • There is a new term *collaboration "upperware" *describing the cloud of actions eProfessionals are doing with collaboration tools available.

Keynote: Marc Pallot

  • attachment:"Pallot_ECOSPACE"

  • eCoSPACE Project:

  • Task is to push people learning to use collaboration networks and circumvent barriers mainly situated on management level.

Trustworthy characters: common issues for VREs and CWEs in archaeology and textual studies (Stuart Dunn)

  • Dunn_Edinburgh_23-5-07.ppt

  • Very similar to taxonomic workflow: Discovery*->Attribution->Reference and cross-reference, then cycle between *interpretation and publication.

  • Field work supported by Wireless Internet Access established on field using PDA's or subnotebooks to directly enter data into Integrated Archeological Database.

  • Identification of user Requirements is a dynamic and ongoing process.

  • editoral process:

  • link to non-techn issue of trust (e.g. Wikipedia)

  • link to techn issue of security, auth and access control (Shibboleth

  • wiki access control

  • version control:

  • author attribution for each version

  • workflow history part of intellectual content of the edition

  • annotation: both human and machine readable

  • existing library information infrastructures

  • How to be cited?

  • Who should be cited?

  • Integration with existing LIS systems?

  • Digital Libraries -> Paper Blanke, Dunn Dunning Oct 06?

  • VRE CWE overlap : shopping list

  • Authentication protocol

  • Workflows

  • Documentation and identification of decisions and maker

  • Data quality control mechanisms

  • Collaborative support services

  • Formal methods for developing intuitive interfaces

  • Project Silch or Silchester

  • Questions for Lunch or Dinner: Is that platform already running, what kind of experiences ?

  • Platform is only partly in operation. Especially, collaboration issues are not quite modelled or designed.

  • Stuart is interested in exchange. . We have exchanged email-adresses.

Supporting collaboration between research teams: issues and tools (V. Hinze-Hoare, D. Argles, R.J. Walters and G.B. Wills)

  • Argles_eSI-May07-v1.ppt

  • need for a collaborative virtual research environment

  • A list of terms, definitions and requirements for Collab-Learning, Working and Researching "Spaces"

  • Focus on CSCR Desing, following methodology of Lindgaard 2005

  • Next step: Developing prototypes

A Portal-based P2P System for Large Dataset Distribution (M. A. Baker and R. Lakhoo)

eReSS: eResearch Standards and Specifications (I. Dolphin, R. Sherratt, C. Awre, S. Jeyes and R.J. Allan)

The use of Virtual Research Environments and eScience to enhance use of online resources: the History of Political Discourse VRE Project (S. Hodson)

  • attachment:"Hodson_NCeS"

  • Described more or less, the installation of a wiki/forum based platform for discussion aspects.

VREs and the potential for new forms of collaboration (_M. Jirotka_and A. Carusi)

Keynote: Charles Severance, Executive Director, Sakai Foundation, University of Michigan

  • Severance_func_mash_v03.pdf


  • Sakai project

  • Note from coffee break: Platform will remain open, free and educational

  • Content aggregration platform for a lot of purposes.

  • Mainly based on JSR-168, JSR-170 (java portlet and document management API)

  • next version release provisioned to end of 2007

myExperiment - A Web 2.0 Virtual Research Environment (D. de Roure and C. Goble)

  • attachment:" Talk"

  • Web 2.0 -> Ajax.

  • Platform to share workflows in chemistry.

  • combines collaborative tools, data storage and semantic web technologies

  • beta version up and running

  • Warehouse or Federation of Repositories ?

  • Compromise: run several myExperiment instances

  • Social Tagging helps to discover workflows, but serves not for good metadata for automated use.

  • Might be interesting to be studied as a use case scenario for an VRE. But workflows are not very similar to taxonomist workflows.

Panel discussion: Marc Pallot, Charles Severance, David de Roure, Volkmar Pipek, chair: Marina Jirotka

  • Experience regarding design methodologies

  • Marc, Charles: First, investigate people and model what they are currently doing and support these workflows. Wrong question is: What you are dreaming of a platform. After having the platform running, new ideas will evolve as well from users as from developers automatically and leads to an adoptation of the platform automaically.

  • Annamaria: Researcher need time to see how these tools and methodologies operates before they accept and use them, and are able to develop new ideas.

  • are VREs similar enough to be built on a common architecture and set of tools ?

  • Charles: only 25-40% of tools are reusable tools everybody reuses every day. But at the end, none of these tools is really adequate to the expectation. So, what we are currently doing is creating prototypes to find out the right way dto do things.


Using Sakai for e-Research: Building a Multi-Institution Virtual Research Environment (X. Yang, R. Allan, A. Fish, M. Gonzalez and R. Crouchley)

  • nesc_sakai_24507.ppt


  • Runs Sakai on an IBM Blade Server with 28 dual-processor blades. Oracle Database on the National Grid Service

  • Besides CommTools, allows for running and developing applications running on the GRID.

  • Runs some of the most valuable GRID-Applications in UK

Articulating a Grass-root View of Research Communities. (L. Lau)

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