Forthcoming book by MIT Press: World Wide Research

Tony Hey, Roger Barga, and I were asked to contribute an essay for an MIT Press book entitled “World Wide Research – Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities“, edited by William H. Dutton and Paul W. Jeffreys. We decided to write about “Research Platforms and the Cloud”.

That was a couple of years ago but I believe that the topic of our contribution is definitely still relevant today. The space was limited so we couldn’t expand our thoughts as much as we wanted but I think the essay gives a good idea of our thoughts at the time.

I had a look at the print-ready draft of the book and it looks great. Some great names in Science and Technology have contributed their thoughts.

Here are few words from MIT Press’s announcement about the book.



Experts examine ways in which the use of increasingly powerful and versatile digital information and communication technologies are transforming research activities across all disciplines.

Advances in information and communication technology are transforming the way scholarly research is conducted across all disciplines. The use of increasingly powerful and versatile computer-based and networked systems promises to change research activity as profoundly as the mobile phone, the Internet, and email have changed everyday life. This book offers a comprehensive and accessible view of the use of these new approaches called “e-Research” and their ethical, legal, and institutional implications. The contributors, leading scholars from a range of disciplines, focus on how e-Research is reshaping not only how research is done but also, and more important, its outcomes. By anchoring their discussion in specific examples and case studies, they identify and analyze a promising set of practical developments and results associated with e-Research innovations.

The contributors, who include Geoffrey Bowker, Christine Borgman, Paul Edwards, Tim Berners-Lee, and Hal Abelson, explain why and how e-Research activity can reconfigure access to networks of information, expertise, and experience, changing what researchers observe, with whom they collaborate, how they share information, what methods they use to report their findings, and what knowledge is required to do this. They discuss both the means of e-Research (new research-centered computational networks) and its purpose (to improve the quality of world-wide research).


Forthcoming July 2010