The new issue of Ariadne includes an article by Tracey Stanley on the University of Leed‚Äôs EVIE (Embedding a VRE in an Institutional Environment)¬†project, which bears a certain resemblance to some of the work coming out of the University of Minnesota, the University of Washington, NYU and various other places examining researcher behaviors and related service needs.¬† Lorcan has blogged about several of these projects elsewhere, for example here, here and (more generally) here.¬†
Like many of these other projects, the Evie project bgan with a survey of researcher needs.
“Respondents prioritised the different aspects that they required as follows:
- Finding and acquiring published information such as articles, conference proceedings, monographs etc.
- Finding out about funding opportunities; applying for funding; managing funding projects.
- Collaborating with partners within the University or elsewhere.
- Sharing or archiving research results.”¬† [T. Stanley "Developing a Virtual Research Environment in a Portal Framework: The EVIE Project"¬†Ariadne Issue 51]
These examples are less specific than the requirements generated by the Mellon-funded project at Minnesota, but still quite similar. ¬†It would be interesting to compare the prioritized lists of requirements generated by these different projects.¬† A consensus may already have emerged.¬†¬†Leeds is interesting in that they‚Äôve already deployed and tested a set of tools (within a virtual research environment) to meet these requirements.¬† I was also glad to see that they‚Äôre already thinking about the need for making the VRE permeable, so that it can benefit from an contribute to networked resources:
“There is also a requirement to integrate not only with systems within a single institution, but also, driven by the dispersed nature of research communities, with a variety of systems and resources outside the institution. These might include:¬†
- Collaboration tools at a collaborating institution or commercial partner.
- External Web 2.0 collaboration tools (eg: Google Docs).¬†¬†¬†
- Grid services.¬†¬†¬†
- Broader Information Environment tools and services.¬†¬†¬†
- Integration with the emerging landscape of institutional and other repositories and other publication mechanisms. [T. Stanley Op. cit.]¬†
The focus here on grid services,¬†institutional collaboration, and integration in existing networks is particularly interesting.¬† It’s something our Programs and Research group will be examining as part of our work agenda in Supporting New Modes of Research, Teaching and Learning.¬†