Who uses eResearch Tools and Resources?

Overview

The use of eResearch tools and resources has been expanding globally over the past five years. This expansion is likely to continue as these services mature, and as existing and new users become more aware of the benefits to research and also benefits to the broader local, provincial, national and international community.

eResearch tools and resources currently have a broad spectrum of users from individual researchers (all stages of professional development), research groups and centres, schools and faculties engaged in research, research facilities, cross-institutional research collaborations, and academic and industry joint ventures. Research support personnel from university libraries, museums, and office of research services also use the tools and resources.

eResearch is influencing institutional policies and plans and is playing an increasing role in the formulation of ethics operational processes and procedures and information technology services.

Individual Researchers

Individual researchers use eResearch tools and resources to secure their research data and make it citable, to discover and gain access to research data generated from previous research, to gain access to computing resources beyond their desktop, and to collaborate and share with their colleagues. eResearch provides researchers with out-of-the-box and custom data management and computing solutions (ie: computing power and specialised software) which streamline and uplift their research. eResearch helps researchers deliver reproducible research and to meet appropriate compliance standards.

Research Directors and Data Managers of Institutes, Centres and Schools

Research directors and data managers are using eResearch data capture applications to centrally manage their data assets for the medium and long term. These assets enhance the reputation of the institute/centre/school and their value to the community. Access to well-managed, reusable datasets is becoming an important attractor in the formation of collaborative relationships amongst researchers, and an important strengthening aspect of competitive grant applications. Research data management planning is becoming ubiquitous. With the advent of virtual computing environments, the need for purpose-built high performance computer systems is lessening, with reduced total cost of ownership and reduced risk of obsolescence.

Research Facility Managers

Workflow systems, data capture systems, data sharing protocols, application programming interfaces, data management plans and centralised research data storage (through initiatives such as RDSI) are making it easier for Facility Managers to establish research facilities as services to researchers who are geographically distant from the facilities themselves, either nationally or internationally.

Higher Degree Research Students and their Supervisors

See Individual Researchers, above.

IT support staff at Institutes, Centres and Schools

See Research Directors and Data Managers of Institutes, Centres and Schools, above.