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The article provides an overview of Web portals and the roles they play in e-Science, high performance computing and grid computing. A broad categorization of portals is given, issues related to portal development are highlighted, and predictions on the future of portals are given.



A portal (or Web portal) presents information from diverse sources in a unified way. A Web site that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as e-mail, forums, search engines, online shopping are referred to as portal. The first portals grow out of online services, such as AOL, and provided access to the Web, but by now most of the traditional search engines have transformed themselves into Web portals to attract and keep a larger audience. Apart from the basic search engine feature, these portals often offer services such as e-mail, news, stock prices, information, and entertainment.

Portals provide a way for enterprises, research and other communities to generate a consistent look and feel with access control and procedures for multiple applications, which otherwise would have been different entities altogether. In a research environment a portal integrates online scientific services into single Web environment which can be accessed and managed from a standard Web browser. The most remarkable benefit of portals is that they simplify the interaction of users with distributed systems and with each other, because a single tool – the browser – and a standard and widely accepted network protocol – HTTP – can be used through all communications.

After the proliferation of Web browsers in the mid-1990s many companies tried to build or acquire a portal, to have a piece of the Internet market. The Web portal gained special attention because it was, for many users, the starting point of their Web browser. Similarly, but a bit later, research communities recognized the value of Web portals in integrating various services into coherent, customizable environments. Research collaborations began developing portals in the late 1990. These environments can be broadly categorized as horizontal portals, which cover many areas, and vertical portals, which are focused on one functional area. Horizontal research portals often provide services that are independent from any scientific discipline and represent generic functionalities that are common across disciplines. Vertical portals target specific group of researchers that are involved in the same experiment or work within the same scientific field.

Portals for distributed science

In the simplest form a scientific portal is a collection of links to external Web pages and Web services that are scattered on the Internet and aimed to serve scientists with similar interest. These portals often include search engines that are customized for the interest of the user community, e.g. for publications, job positions, news from a scientific domain. Various research communities, ranging from mathematics to art and humanities, all have their own portals, sometimes even multiple portals localized for different geographical regions and languages.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Research in a connected world. OpenStax CNX. Nov 22, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10677/1.12
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