Measuring success for a future vision: Defining impact in science gateways/virtual research environments

TitleMeasuring success for a future vision: Defining impact in science gateways/virtual research environments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsCalyam P, Wilkins-Diehr N, Miller M, Brookes EH, Arora R, Chourasia A, Jennewein DM, Nandigam V, M. LaMar D, Cleveland SB, Newman G, Wang S, Zaslavsky I, Cianfrocco MA, Ellett K, Tarboton D, Jeffery KG, Zhao Z, González-Aranda J, Perri MJ, Tucker G, Candela L, Kiss T, Gesing S
JournalConcurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
Keywordsfuturistic vision, measuring impact, science gateways, success metrics, virtual research environments

Summary Scholars worldwide leverage science gateways/virtual research environments (VREs) for a wide variety of research and education endeavors spanning diverse scientific fields. Evaluating the value of a given science gateway/VRE to its constituent community is critical in obtaining the financial and human resources necessary to sustain operations and increase adoption in the user community. In this article, we feature a variety of exemplar science gateways/VREs and detail how they define impact in terms of, for example, their purpose, operation principles, and size of user base. Further, the exemplars recognize that their science gateways/VREs will continuously evolve with technological advancements and standards in cloud computing platforms, web service architectures, data management tools and cybersecurity. Correspondingly, we present a number of technology advances that could be incorporated in next-generation science gateways/VREs to enhance their scope and scale of their operations for greater success/impact. The exemplars are selected from owners of science gateways in the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) clientele in the United States, and from the owners of VREs in the International Virtual Research Environment Interest Group (VRE-IG) of the Research Data Alliance. Thus, community-driven best practices and technology advances are compiled from diverse expert groups with an international perspective to envisage futuristic science gateway/VRE innovations.