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.
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:
- Characteristics of successful gateways
- Fields ready for transformation with appropriate gateways in place
- Research initiatives that have been successful and sustainable in multiple fields and through multiple funding sources
- 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
- 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.