What is eResearch?
eResearch is the term applied to the use of advanced information and communication technologies (ICT's) to the practice of research. Key areas include collaboration, computation (including high performance computing), visualisation, research data management and tools.
Why is eResearch Important?
Through the use of eResearch technologies, modern researchers are becoming more innovative and thus developing solutions to research problems that were considered impossible less than 10 years ago.
The application of eResearch methodologies and technologies is widely considered applicable to a diverse range of research domains. As an example, it is now well accepted that the three pillars of scientific discovery are theory, experiment and simulation. There is no doubt that leading-edge simulation is necessary for modern, multidisciplinary science and one needs high scale eResearch facilities to support the resulting high-end simulations. Moreover, computational simulation avoids in some cases the need for possibly very costly, controversial, dangerous, prohibitive or impossible experimentation.
A lot of attention is now also being given to the management of research data at the national level by research grant funding organizations (eg. NHMRC).
The management of large data sets and using eResearch methodologies (such as data mining) provides the foundation for research disciplines such as climate system science.
Using eResearch Tools to Improve Research Outcomes
eResearch Tools allows researchers to increase their research output and research quality through:
- Improved Collaboration - Sharing Data; Virtual Meetings/Presentations
- Utilising Local, State and National IT Infrastructure - Scientific Instruments; Data Services; Web Services, Portals and Systems
- Accessing Data Repositories and Collections - Artistic; Astronomy; Biological; Climate; Genome; Historical; Oceanographic
- Utilising Advanced Computing Facilities - Perform greater Computer Simulations; Conduct larger Searches
- Managing and reusing research data – Metadata systems, data storage and preservation
Australian eResearch Organisations (AeRO)
Australian National Data Service (ANDS)
Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF)
Australian Government - Research Infrastructure Website
2011 Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure (4MB PDF) - eResearch Infrastructure initiatives (page 80)