Opening Science Gateways to Future Success

Gateways can have a transformative impact on the way science is conducted. However, only if scientists’ time is used more effectively in both the short and the long term will they rely on these tools for their work. This study looked at both the characteristics of successful gateways that warrant long-term funding and the potential for transformation in a field through new applications of gateway technologies. Understanding the types of science and engineering problems and the types of communities that can most benefit from applied, persistent CI will lead to informed investment decisions.

Research Plan

To achieve these goals, Nancy Wilkins-Diehr and Katherine Lawrence conducted five full-day focus groups over two years. The topics of the five focus groups were:

  1. Characteristics of successful gateways
  2. Fields ready for transformation with appropriate gateways in place
  3. Research initiatives that have been successful and sustainable in multiple fields and through multiple funding sources
  4. External perspectives on the evaluation criteria and compelling features of potentially successful and sustainable technology projects, and expert opinions on the feasibility of new models for sustaining science and engineering portals and gateways
  5. The viability of our preliminary findings and identification of additional factors and barriers that should be considered in the implementation of any recommendations emerging from this study (This group included representatives from NSF and other federal agencies.)

While traditional focus groups typically engage the participants in a one-to-many, facilitator-driven structure, these focus groups explored a many-to-many, participative exchange of ideas and expertise among the participants in order to generate practical insights that drew on the strength of multidisciplinary perspectives.


Read the reports based on our research, or view a six-minute summary of our results:

This project was funded by NSF award number 0948476.

Contact Us
A collaboration of seven universities, led by:
San Diego Supercomputer Center
University of California at San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0505 USA

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under award number ACI-1547611. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.