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The list above is not meant to be a comprehensive list but it gives an indication of the type of functionality many VREs will contain and what sorts of interfaces they have with other systems and services. The scope of virtual research environments tends to be defined to encompass activities such as project management and research administration (cf., e.g., Borda et al. 2006, p. 3) and their relevance is therefore not limited to research active academics but extends to other professionals in the research context such as administrative or library staff. It is this breadth of vision that sets VREs apart from earlier concepts that were much more focused on solving specific problems arising from particular scientific endeavours.

A range of VREs have been funded by the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), which has funded a series of research programmes in this area (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/vre2.aspx). The VREs funded range from exemplars and demonstrators to institutional implementations and generic tools as well as supporting projects. Further examples of e-Research and VREs can be found in the literature, for example, in Foster and Kesselman (2004), Berman, Fox and Hey (2003) and Olson, Zimmerman and Bos (2008). Examples of VREs are mentioned in other chapters of the book and you can find videos in the Resources section of the online version.

Infrastructure and communities

As the technologies mature, the focus shifts from the technical problems of distributed computation to the embedding of these technologies into organisational settings, into arrangements within research communities and into the wider societal context. It has been pointed out that infrastructures for research need to be seen as socio-technical arrangements (e.g., Edwards et al . 2007) and that the use of advanced ICTs is not just limited to “big science” endeavours in a small number of disciplines but, rather, is starting to affect research activities across the board.

Most research data today exists in digital form, either because it is created digitally (‘born digital’) or through digitisation programmes ( ibid .). The concept of ‘content as infrastructure’ emphasises the increasing importance of collections of research data as a re-usable infrastructure that builds on top of the physical research computing infrastructure and traditional infrastructures such as scientific instruments or libraries.

As the name virtual research environment implies, the aim is not to build single, monolithic systems but rather socio-technical configurations of different tools that can be assembled to suit the researchers’ needs without much effort, working within organisational, community and wider societal contexts. The concept of a VRE suggests the seamless integration of resources needed by researchers throughout the lifecycle of a research undertaking. While current VRE implementations are difficult to customise by the individual researcher to meet their specific research needs, there is a trend to provide environments that allow for the dynamic configuration and assemblage of research tools.

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
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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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