This page is a collection of notes on projects from the JISC Virtual Research Environment programme, past and present, with potential to become open projects.
List of current JISC projects
These projects were found in the JISC Virtual Research Environment programme webpage.
Collaborative Research Events on the Web (CREW)9
Collaborative Research Events on the Web (CREW) aims to improve access to research event content by capturing and publishing the scholarly communication that occurs at events like conferences and workshops. The project is developing tools to enable presentations and similar sessions to be recorded and annotated and enable powerful searches across distributed conference and related research data. Searches will yield results within written documents such as abstracts and papers and also in rich audio-visual content, such as clips from presentations or questions asked at a talk.
CREW is a based on the IUGO and MEMETIC projects from the first phase of the Virtual Research Environments programme.
Last publication from the project: CREW User Requirements Report4 (PDF)
This report presents the results of initial user requirements gathering by conducting three workshops with the participating user groups, the Institute for Health Sciences (IHS), the Scientific Visualization Users and Intute. The aim is to ensure the incorporation of user requirements and determine use cases for the CREW application related to the specific research practices of each group.
The project is a collaboration between the Universities of Manchester5, Bristol6 and Wales, Bangor7 The project builds upon the success of Iugo8 and Memetic9 by developing and integrating these technologies and embedding them in a variety of authentic research settings, including Intute10, a national JISC service to provide access to web resources for research to UK universities, the Institute of Health Sciences11, which promotes health sciences research in Manchester and scientific visualization research groups.
The myExperiment Virtual Research Environment enables you and your research community to share digital items associated with your research — in particular, it enables you to share and execute scientific workflows. It supports the individual scientist on their personal projects, forming a distributed community with scientists elsewhere who would otherwise be disconnected, enabling them to share, re-use and repurpose experiments, to reduce time-to-experiment, share expertise and avoid reinvention — and it does this in the context of the scholarly knowledge lifecycle. Hence myExperiment is a community social network, a market place, a platform for launching workflows and a gateway to other publishing environments.
myExperiment is part of the myGrid6 consortium, which develops the Taverna workbench7 for creating and executing scientific workflows, and also builds on CombeChem8 - two of the original UK e-Science Pilot Projects. The related WHIP (Triana9 enactment) activity in Cardiff is supported by the OMII-UK10 Commissioned Software Programme.
We are developing the Web 2.0 open source Software that powers the myexperiment.org web site. The closed beta release of the site (myexperiment.org11) was launched in July 2007 and the open beta in November, supporting communities sharing workflows. New features in the near future includes Taverna workflow execution as well as Experiment Objects – these enable you to group together the various digital items associated with an experiment and to handle their provenance. Ultimately the web site software will be downloadable so that you can run your own myExperiment instance — and connect it up with others if you wish.
myExperiment is part of the myGrid6 consortium, which develops the Taverna workbench7 for creating and executing scientific workflows, and also builds on CombeChem8 - two of the original UK e-Science Pilot Projects. The related WHIP (Triana9 enactment) activity in Cardiff is supported by the OMII-UK10 Commissioned Software Programme. Lead institutions
- University of Southampton
- University of Manchester
- Microsoft's Technical Computing Initiative
Study of Documents and Manuscripts11
After testing the pilot within epigraphical and papyrological communities the context of the VRE will be extended to address the wider needs of documentary and manuscript scholars working within the humanities. By deploying the VRE for use by other interested researchers the project will test the degree to which VRE tools can be re-used by other disciplines.
The project will link to a related VRE at the University of Reading VERA5 supporting research in archaeology at the Silchester Roman Town. By treating documents as artefacts with an original archaeological or physical context, the two projects will demonstrate the benefit of Virtual Research Environments in providing seamless access to a richer range of research data and tools. Aims and Objectives
The aim of the VRE-SDM project is to construct an integrated environment in which the data (documents), tools and scholarly instrumenta will be available to the scholar as a complete and coherent resource. In the first instance the project will validate the pilot VRE against the requirements of researchers drawn from the Papyrological and Epigraphical communities and then will extend the system to further humanities disciplines. The objectives of the project will be to create a system through which a researcher will be able to:
- View, manipulate and enhance digitized images of documents and manuscripts within a portal framework
- Search across multiple, distributed data sets, images and texts
- Select, store and organise items from the above, in a ‘personal workspace’
- Add annotations to these items to store personal thoughts and responses
Support collaboration by allowing multiple researchers in separate locations to share a common view of the workspace, in conjunction with real time communication via Chat, VoIP and desktop integration with AccessGrid
- Allow a collaborator to comment, point/highlight, discuss and annotate the items in the shared workspace
- Gain comprehensive user requirements and expand the use of the VRE for documentary and manuscript scholars in other fields of humanities research
Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology
The Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology project builds on the successful JISC VRE 15 project, Silchester 'Town Life6 a research and training excavation of one part of the large Roman town at Silchester. The Silchester excavation aims to trace the site's development from its origins before the Roman Conquest to its abandonment in the fifth century A.D. The rich and complex finds from the excavation provide the material to populate the research environment, and a working site to investigate the use of advanced Information Technology in an archaeological context.
Regular updates regarding the project will be posted on the VERA blog7 VERA Blog RSS Feed8. If you are an archaeologist, and would like to get involved with the project, providing us feedback and user comments, please contact us using the online form9. You may also wish to sign up to the vera-announce10 discussion list about the project, where announcements will be posted. Lead institutions
- School of Systems Engineering11 and Department of Archaeology12, University of Reading13
- School of Library, Archive and Information Studies14, University College London15 (user testing and analysis)
List of Simal projects
These projects were found in the OSS Watch Simal catalogue.
Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities (BVREH)
A preliminary survey of ICT use in research projects within the Humanities Division in the University of Oxford carried out in summer 2004 has identified a number of areas of need and overlapping interest which provide a context for the creation and deployment of VRE tools for Humanities researchers.
CORE: Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment
This is a 24-month project that will develop and deploy a Web services based Virtual Research Environment (VRE) demonstrator; to enable researches to design experiments collaboratively, collect the results and disseminate the findings.
- Status: Finished in November 2006.
Theme: Medical research (orthopedics).
Veredict: No apparent potential.
The project had the following outputs:
- CORE Grid/Web Services
- Analysis Service: A Web service to perform analysis on dataset using statistical methods.
- EPrints Service: A Web service to help create, submit, and disseminate articles for reviewing between researchers.
- Data Set Manager Service: A Web service to handle trial related data.
- Forum Service: A Web service to support discussions between researchers.
- Simulation Service: A Grid service to provide users with functionalities in running their simulations.
- VRE Demonstrator: Under development.
All the outputs are "Under development". Some WSDL files are available, but there's no apparent info on how or where to use them. There's no community, no version control no bug tracker, etc.
CSAGE: Collaborative Stereoscopic Access Grid Environment
The project will have two main objectives; the first part building a portable hardware and software extension to the Access Grid for full-sized stereo viewing, and a second part to construct a lightweight framework for storing and editing the performances.
ELVI: Evaluation of a Large-scale VRE Implementation
This project will produce and demonstrate a practical framework for the effective deployment of a generic VRE in an HE environment.
eReSS: e-Research Tools and Resources Interoperability project
The central objective of eReSS is to provide support to the VRE Programme by helping to identify suitable solutions for the interoperability of Virtual Research Environment tools, applications, and resources.
This project aims to establish an integrated VRE infrastructure based on open standards and existing software components to support the White Rose Grid research community at the University of Leeds.
GROWL: VRE Programming Toolkit and Applications
In this project we address the uptake of Grid-based computing and distributed data management by focussing on issues which may hinder or facilitate end-user application development.
IBVRE: VRE to support the Integrative Biology Research Consortium
The overall aim of the IBVRE project is to extend the Integrative Biology (IB) infrastructure to become a virtual research environment for computational biology.
Status: Funding finished in 31 March 2007. Towards the end of the project, the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) joined as a formal project partner to assist in the completion of the Grid Integration work and ensure the smooth transfer of technology into the main IB project.
Theme: Medical research (cardiac and cancer).
Veredict: Large community, no open development practices, but potential to open up, even considering academic constraints.
Instead of looking at the IBVRE per se, it's more interesting to look at the larger Integrative Biology (IB) project.
The Integrative Biology consortium brings together the original project partners - the Universities of Oxford, Nottingham, UCL, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield and Auckland plus CCLRC, EPSRC and IBM - and new partners who have since joined us including Tulane , Graz and Utrecht Universities, UCSD and UCLA.
There are possible points of contact for OSS Watch, as the Chair is Paul Jeffreys (Oxford e-Science Centre), and the Principal Investigator is David Gavaghan (University of Oxford, Computing Lab).
ComLab has contacted us in the past to show interest for open source, but the IB seems quite closed:
It has a Project Twiki, only for members.
The downloads section says: "In the future, software developed by the project will be provided for download under appropriate licensing terms. No software is available yet."
Implementing the Kepler Workflow Interface into the Cheshire Digital Library
This project seeks to develop and implement the Kepler/Ptolemy scientific workflow system as an interface to the Cheshire 3 digital library framework. The aim is to enable researchers in both the humanities and scientific disciplines to use the Kepler/Cheshire software to conduct analyses and perform distributed processing in several different software and hardware environments; and to coordinate the export and import of data from one environment to another.
ISME: Integration & Steering of Multi-site Experiments to Assemble Engineering Body Scans
This project aims to develop and refine the experimental steering process, shared workspace and distributed visualisation into a VRE making them deployable by dispersed teams of instrument scientists, material scientists and engineers in a transparent and robust manner.
IUGO: Conference Information Integration
This project aims to develop a proof of concept system to enable the integration of web-based content (and references to non web-based content), related to individual conferences and individual sessions within conferences.
MEMETIC: Meeting Memory Technology Informing Collaboration
This project aims to extend the Access Grid's VRE infrastructure with new collaboration functionalities from the CoAKTinG project.
Sakai VRE for Educational Research
This project intends to provide and support the Sakai platform for large, distributed social sciences research projects.
Sakai VRE Portal Demonstrator
In this project we will extend the Sakai open source and open standards portal framework. It will host a number of integrated tools and robust distributed services and become the principal user interface for a fully-functional Virtual Research Environment (VRE).
Silchester Roman Town: A Virtual Research Environment for Archaeology
The overall aim of the project is to develop a system to facilitate rapidly developing and iterative archaeological research by synchronising the three processes of gathering information, co-ordinating expertise, and managing the resulting body of data.
Status: Funding finished in 30 November 2006. The project as evolved into Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology (VERA)
Veredict: See above
VERA is a current JISC project (see above)
Virtual Research Environment for the History of Political Discourse 1500-1800
The project aims to develop a virtual research and research skills development environment, capable of expansion and of facilitating multiple participation in the rapidly evolving field of the history of political discourse.