Virtual Research Environments - Working towards building a common reference model and a catalogue of design patterns for VREs

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27 Jun 2019
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

The objective of this meeting is to work towards building a common reference model and a catalogue of design patterns for VREs.

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KYVTJvP1ZQIYyEVXB94dJK_SoJOXWqbcp91-SGt8EH4/edit?usp=sharing 

Agenda for the meeting will be:

0-5 mins: Introduction to the IG (Sandra Gesing)
5-45 mins: Should we develop common reference models for VREs? (Chair Sandra Gesing)

  • Introduction to existing frameworks (5 min) (Sandra Gesing)
  • Rob Quick: Overview on Apache Airavata and US-based frameworks - lessons learned (5 min)
  • Guido Aben: Overview on Australian-based frameworks - lessons learned (5 min)
  • Guido Aben: Overview on European-based frameworks - lessons learned (5 min)
  • Panel discussion: Would we like to develop a common reference model? Should we set it up a working group? Who wants to join the WG? (20 min)
    • Rob Quick
    • Guido Aben
    • Christine Kirkpatrick

45-70 mins: Catalogue of design patterns (Group discussion) (Chair Sandra Gesing)
The panel discussion was the starting point for discussing existing solutions and a common reference model. Here we would like to discuss with the audience directly design patterns - different definitions and layers (GUI, architecture, data management, workflow patterns, etc.) and their similarities. This could lead to building a catalogue of design patterns for VREs. We will prepare a Google folder so that everyone can contribute their design patterns during the discussion and also afterwards. We plan to discuss questions such as: Is it feasible to maintain a catalogue of design patterns? Would people find it helpful? Would they like to contribute?

70-90 mins: Can we make VREs FAIR? (Christine Kirkpatrick)

  • Introduction to the FAIR principles and what they could mean for VREs (10 min with discussions) (Christine Kirkpatrick)

  • Software and the FAIR principles (10 min with discussions) 

Target Audience: 

This session is aimed at anyone who is or has been involved in developing, maintaining or using any form of online collaborative environment or their individual components.
In preparation for this meeting, attendees should refer to the notes from the previous sessions from past RDA Plenary meetings that focused more on understanding the commonalities and differences of the different VRE/SG/VL platforms from the different global regions and sustainability aspects.
Participants should come prepared to share knowledge of online collaborative environments they may be aware of, both past and present, and building blocks they know about.

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

VREs are synonymous with Science Gateways (SGs) in the USA and Virtual Laboratories (VLs) in Australia, and are increasingly being used to support a more dynamic approach to collaborative working across the internet. The VRE-IG will explore all aspects of existing and planned future VRE/SG/VLs with the aim of moving towards common policies and best practices, such as those now being promoted by the European EOSC, the US XSEDE and the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). 

The VRE IG acts as a longer-term organization responsible for tracking and contributing to the evolution of VRE/SG/VL technologies, particularly as they relate to data access. It will also seek to engage with those seeking to make use of these online technologies in an effort to identify the necessary technical aspects, social and community building practices, required skills, as well as governance issues and best practice required to support a more coordinated approach to the development of the collaborative environments that enable data sharing and in situ online processing.

At this meeting we will be considering whether to develop a common reference model for VREs.  A common reference model provides an abstract framework that would represent the key components of any VREs and their relationships[1].  Having such a reference model can be expected to facilitate both the development of future VREs as well as improve their FAIRness.

We also intend to discuss the development of a catalogue of design patterns of existing VREs.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_model

Short Group Status: 

Recognized and endorsed

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Remote participation availability: 
Yes