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Theme 4: Foundations of e-Science/e-Research

Chair: Malcolm Atkinson (University of Edinburgh)
Co-Chair: David de Roure (University of Oxford)

Today there are many beacons of success in e-Science, where computation-enabled or data-enabled methods have yielded significant new research results in a wide range of disciplines. This theme seeks contributions which report advances in understanding so that such successes become more routine and are less demanding on the researchers. Today such successes often depend on prodigious efforts from exceptionally talented multi-disciplinary teams. At some centres, those successes are repeated across a number of disciplines, which makes it clear that there are underpinning principles that can be re-applied relatively easily once they have been discovered through that pioneering effort. Normally the successful groups are so busy applying their successful strategies that the latent knowledge enabling the success is not articulated – this theme seeks to uncover this key knowledge.

Papers should report evidence for emerging principles and enunciate proposed principles clearly, so that they can be tested, refined and applied by a wide community of researchers. These principles may apply in a well-identified sub-class of applications, e.g. for a research activity common in a group of disciplines, or may inform a very wide range of e-Science research. They may concern the uses of data, computation and communication, or guide human behaviour in specified e-Science research contexts.

A possible precursor to developing evidence for a principle is an articulation of classes of issues through which principle should guide practitioners. Another helpful contribution would be well-developed methods for measuring the success of e-Science methods in facilitating researchers' work. It is possible that we cannot go directly to enunciated principles but have to first report such preparatory steps.