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Supporting education and research JISC Virtual Research Environment Call Town Meeting 19 th July 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting education and research JISC Virtual Research Environment Call Town Meeting 19 th July 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting education and research JISC Virtual Research Environment Call Town Meeting 19 th July 2004

2 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London2 Agenda Welcome and introduction –David de Roure (member of JCSR and VRE working group JISC Circular 5/04 Context and objectives of the call –Alan Robiette (JISC Development Group) Preparing a proposal –Joe Hutcheon (JISC Policy Group) Question and answer session –JISC panel

3 Supporting education and research Background and Objectives of the Call Alan Robiette, JISC Development Group

4 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London4 Context Funding £3M from comprehensive spending review Became available 1 April 2004 One-off funding stream: no prospect of extended recurrent funding HEFCE funds; so HE (and England) only To develop the infrastructure and tools for collaborative e-research environments No real strings other than that...

5 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London5 Process to date JISC Committee for Support of Research (JCSR) has lead responsibility for the work Appointed Working Group chaired by David Boyd (e-Science Core Programme) Working Group met three times, drafted Circular and additional background paper (roadmap) for JCSR approval Circular signed off by JCSR and issued 30 th June 2004

6 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London6 What is a VRE? See discussion in Section 2 of the roadmap Some key points: Should support the processes of research Should be built on interoperable tools (hence be extensible, capable of being tailored etc.) Should support a wide range of users and user requirements, and be compatible with existing widely-used tools

7 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London7 Examples of function Access to research resources E.g. computational resources, data storage, remote instrumentation The publication life-cycle Literature search and retrieval, support for authoring, e-prints/self-archiving Collaboration Messaging (including secure messaging), sharing diaries/calendars/files etc., distributed document production

8 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London8 Approaches Top down Build framework based on open standards (e.g. WSRP & JSR168 portlets) Current paradigm is services-oriented architecture (SOA – see roadmap) ) Integrate extensive range of services and tools Bottom up Deploy user-focused tools which extend personal environment to encompass collaborative working

9 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London9 OGCE NSF funded Grid portal project led by Indiana University Acronym stands for Open Grid Computational Environment Uses Jetspeed portal as presentation layer Based on web services as the service integration technology Incorporates Michigan CHEF toolset to provide collaboration framework (used for example in NEESGrid)

10 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London10 Sakai Institutional environment project joint between MIT, Stanford, Indiana, Michigan Supplemented by Mellon funding Component-based architecture using MIT Open Knowledge Initiative APIs (more VLE than VRE?) Initial implementation Java-based (not web services) Uses uPortal as presentation layer Also incorporates CHEF toolset for collaborative groupware functions Beta deployment Autumn 2004

11 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London11 JISC proposals sought (1) Projects to deploy OGCE, Sakai or similar frameworks to support defined communities Goal is to gain experience of how these environments enhance the research process, including collaboration (2) Projects to integrate new tools and services into such frameworks Goal is to develop a portfolio of standards-based, re-usable components

12 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London12 Bottom-up example Chandler Next-generation information management application (Outlook killer) Developed by Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF) Will support peer-to-peer sharing in personal version Corporate version being funded by Mellon and leading US universities Personal version available late 2004

13 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London13 Further examples Lionshare Hybrid peer-to-peer/corporate file- sharing architecture developed at Penn State Now also has substantial Mellon funding Person-to-person/small-group collaboration tools Many examples: circular quotes Privaria as one instance Also wikis, blogs, open (server-based) groupware environments etc. etc.

14 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London14 JISC proposals sought Trial deployments in research communities with defined user needs Particularly those with little previous history of using collaboration tools Principal objective is to address human/cultural issues, determine what works and what doesn't, and so on Tools tested in this strand may not immediately integrate into frameworks but will help define user requirements

15 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London15 Evaluation strand Some funding will be awarded to a formative evaluation project Goal is to track work as it proceeds Act as a knowledge transfer agent between the differing projects which make up the programme Pick up on user experiences and evolving user perceptions of requirements and functionality Hence feed back into the work in progress and help to shape its direction

16 19 July 2004VRE Town Meeting, London16 Outcomes and sustainability Ultimate target is convergence of VRE work with VLEs and JISC digital library developments Institutions or Research Council sites will be able to mount tailored environments for their communities Some components may be accepted by and maintained by the Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute (OMII) International collaboration on software infrastructure is important

17 Supporting education and research Immediate questions?

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