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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

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 to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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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