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In any VRE, there are some components that are generic and can potentially be used by researchers in many disciplines. A wide range of commoditised components and systems are available and efforts are underway to develop interoperability frameworks to foster flexible integration to form seamless collaborative work environments (Voss et al . 2007). This offers the opportunity for reuse on a large scale and thereby to avoid duplication of effort where supporting tools already exist. For example, synchronous and asynchronous collaboration support can be provided through integration of tools like instant messaging, Access Grid (www.accessgrid.org), EVO (evo.caltech.edu), wikis, blogs, feeds etc. Likewise, generic tools for the management of job submissions to computational grids or for the management of data in storage resource brokers exist and are quite mature and stable. Their general applicability leads to wide support for their development and, consequently, it does not make sense to re-invent them.

In addition, re-use of components also facilitates the re-use of skills on the side of technology and service providers as well as on the side of the end user. If every environment came with its own authentication system, for example, this would hinder uptake significantly, so re-use of common solutions such as Shibboleth supported by a large access management federation is clearly important. In effect, the tools and services making up a VRE should become part of the seen-but-unnoticed e-Infrastructure that enables researchers to collaborate with their peers easily and without having to pay much attention to the technology.

More specific support, however, for the management and conduct of specific research tasks will require configuration and adaptation of tools as well as the development of new ones. In order to maximise reuse in the light of heterogeneous requirements, a modular approach is needed that leaves the user in charge of managing their research environment and provides support for this through automated processes such as service and tool discovery. Inevitably, there will be a point when technical support staff will need to intervene. These interventions should be supported by the system in a way that enables users to learn and become more independent in the future.

The nature of research means that VREs will require constant adaptation to fit the specific research projects being undertaken. As research thrives on a constant modification of its practices, it is likely that new functionality will be required that is not already available. At the same time, economic pressures and the fact that some aspects of research are routine mean that existing functionality needs to be made use of and adapted wherever possible. What is required is a close collaboration between researchers on the one hand and technology and service providers on the other to establish configurations of technologies and social arrangements that allow the researchers to focus on the innovative aspects without having to concern themselves with technical details.

Creating an integrated e-Research experience fundamentally relies on the creation of communities of service providers, tool builders and researchers working together to develop specific support for research tasks as well as the creation of a technical and organisational platform for integrating these tools into an overall research process.


The vision of e-Research argues persuasively for the need to generate, keep and re-use an expanding range and volume of research resources. VREs are crucial to e-Research because they are the sites where these resources will be both consumed and created. VREs are also the sites of experiments in scholarly communications, which have the potential to transform their conduct.


Berman, F., Fox, G. and Hey, T. (eds.) (2003), Grid Computing: Making the Global Infrastructure a Reality . John Wiley and Sons.

Borda, A. et al . (2006), “Report of the Working Group on Virtual Research Communities for the OST e-Infrastructure Steering Group”, London, UK, Office of Science and Technology, available at (External Link) (accessed 12.02.2009)

Brown, S. and Swan, A. (2007), “ Researchers’ Use of Academic Libraries and their Services” . A report commissioned by the Research Information Network and the Consortium of Research Libraries. Available at: (External Link)

Edwards, P.N., Jackson, S.J., Bowker, G.C. and Knobel, C.P. (2007), Understanding Infrastructures: Dynamics, Tensions, and Design . Report of a Workshop on “History&Theory of Infrastructure: Lessons for New Scientific Cyberinfrastructures”, National Science Foundation.

Foster, I. and Kesselman, C. (eds.) (2004). The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure , 2 nd edition, Morgan Kaufman Publishers.

Fraser, M.A. (2005), Virtual Research Environments: Overview and Activity, Ariadne , No. 44, July 2005.

Olson, G.M., Zimmerman, A. and Bos, N. (2008), Scientific Collaboration on the Interent, MIT Press.

RIN (2007), Research and the Scholarly Communications Process: Towards Strategic Goals for Public Policy . Available at http://www.rin.ac.uk/sc-statement

Voss, A., Procter, R., Budweg, S. and Prinz, W. (2007), “Collaborations in and for e‑Research: making the ‘O’ in virtual organisation work”, Proceedings of the German e-Science Conference, Baden Baden, May 2007.

Wilkins-Diehr, N. (2007), Special Issue: Science Gateways – Common Community Interfaces to Grid Resources, Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience , Vol. 19, pp.743-749.

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
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
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
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 .?
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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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