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Social networking sites have been used or created for research purposes. The myExperiment social website is becoming an indispensible collaboration tool for sharing scientific workflows and building communities. Such sharing cuts down on the repetition of research work, saving time and effort and leading to advances and innovation more rapidly than if researchers were on their own, without access to similar work (for comparison to their own). Other social networking sites such as Facebook have been adopted by researchers and extensions have been built to allow them to be used as portal to access research information. For example, content in the ICEAGE Digital Library can be accessed within Facebook.

Systems research in a globalised world

Many researchers now devote a significant amount of their attention to global issues, which previously could not be addressed due to technological and informational limitations. These global issues include, for instance, climate change, pandemics, rainforest destruction and biodiversity. Such “big research” problems fall under wider contemporary concerns about living sustainably and understanding human biology and health (including the aetiology of diseases and the search for cures).

This ubiquitous global perspective has in large part emerged because of a worldwide exchange of information and the availability of data resulting from use of ICT, coupled with the use of ICT to organise that data. For example, the earth is seen as a system or as systems within systems, which necessitates the need for cross-scale research. Earth system science in geosciences provides a useful example of this change to "systems research". ICT is used to model and simulate integrations of geology, oceanography and environmental sciences, generating a more complex, holistic view than was possible prior to the increased use of computer enabled methods. There has also been a recent concerted development of systems biology, which involves integration of mathematics, engineering and computer science to manage the data deluge in biology in order to answer big questions concerning sustainable living and human health on a global level.

A significant number of researchers in the social sciences and arts and humanities have also taken up this global view. For the social sciences, this perspective is clear, for instance, in the idea of "global knowledge" and attempts to solve social issues relating to sustainable living through large-scale data gathering and analysis. In the arts and humanities, a global perspective is evident in the development of the Global Performing Arts Consortium , an international database of performing arts resources, and in global cultural and international studies research which often relies on/requires access to large amounts of cross-culturally derived data to adequately substantiate conclusions.

Participation in research – democratising “big science”

e-Research not only enables scientists to tackle “big” questions, but it has also allowed for wider participation in research. Volunteer computing allows members of the public to support and take part in research conducted by teams of professional researchers by providing compute resources or by performing specific tasks that are part of the research process. For example, the SETI@home project makes use of volunteers' desktop computers to search for extraterrestrial life while Folding@home uses the compute power provided by volunteers to study protein folding. In the case of climateprediction.net , any member of the public with appropriate computer equipment can contribute to the study of climate change. In each of these cases, tasks and data are shared across a network of dispersed computers, thus increasing the compute power and storage capacity available far beyond the capabilities of a single computer. Several of the examples of inspiring e-Research projects we will introduce here have been successful as a result of using volunteer computing.

Open Source Science is not just about direct public participation. It is also about transparency, so that the public has access to and can observe the research process. Open Notebook Science enables better collaboration among researchers at the same time that it makes research project records available online for perusal by the lay public. In this way, "big science" is democratised, no longer purely the product and tool of a cloistered research elite but an activity within a wider societal context that society members can take part in.

Research in a connected world - fundamental concepts and inspiring examples

Preceding sections in this introduction have presented a strong argument for the uptake of e-Research methods by illustrating their importance in a multitude of research endeavors. The Research in a Connected World brochure serves as an introduction to e-Research for those unfamiliar with such methods, revealing it's potential and promise for all disciplines. The brochure consists of individual modules that give researchers a grounding in fundamental concepts and a taste of what is possible when using computer-enabled methods.

We provide an introduction to distributed systems, contrasting them to desktop PCs, and then move on to detailed discussion of inspiring examples of e-Research, looking at projects in many different fields. These examples are followed by examples that show the wider impact of e-Research and explore the unique collaborations that have developed not only among other academic researchers but also between researchers and the wider public. The subsequent section of the brochure describes elements of and issues relating to distributed systems, beginning with a short history of distributed computing and including modules on the taxonomy of research computation problems, distributed computing architectures, issues concerning managing complex data, visualisation, use of portals and virtual research environments. A final module contains a list of relevant services and contacts.

We hope this resource will not only inform you but also inspire you to begin to use computer-enabled methods to further your research. If you already consider yourself an e-Researcher, we hope to have introduced you to new tools that you can begin to apply in your own work.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
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
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
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
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
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.
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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