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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Johann Van Wyk, Theo Bothma and Marlene Holmner

The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the development of a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) conceptual model for the management of research data at a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the development of a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) conceptual model for the management of research data at a South African university.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design of this article consists of empirical and non-empirical research. The non-empirical part consists of a critical literature review to synthesise the strengths, weaknesses (limitations) and omissions of identified VRE models as found in literature to develop a conceptual VRE model. As part of the critical literature review concepts were clarified and possible applications of VREs in research lifecycles and research data lifecycles were explored. The empirical part focused on the practical application of this model. This part of the article follows an interpretivist paradigm, and a qualitative research approach, using case studies as inquiry method. Case studies with a positivist perspective were selected through purposive sampling, and inferences were drawn from the sample to design and test a conceptual VRE model, and to investigate the management of research data through a VRE. Investigation was done through a process of participatory action research (PAR) and included semi-structured interviews and participant observation data collection techniques. Evaluation of findings was done through formative and summative evaluation.

Findings

The article presents a VRE conceptual model, with identified generic component layers and components that could potentially be applied and used in different research settings/disciplines. The article also reveals the role that VREs play in the successful management of research data throughout the research lifecycle. Guidelines for setting up a conceptual VRE model are offered.

Practical implications

This article assisted in clarifying and validating the various components of a conceptual VRE model that could be used in different research settings and disciplines for research data management.

Originality/value

This article confirms/validates generic layers and components that would be needed in a VRE by synthesising these in a conceptual model in the context of a research lifecycle and presents guidelines for setting up a conceptual VRE model.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

David Jeffery and Judith Wusteman

This paper aims to introduce the OJAX++ virtual research environment (VRE) and illustrate how it can enable researchers to organise and collaborate on their research in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce the OJAX++ virtual research environment (VRE) and illustrate how it can enable researchers to organise and collaborate on their research in one place while using their own choice of popular web‐based applications.

Design/methodology/approach

Recent state‐of‐the‐art reports have highlighted trends in best practice VRE design: the move towards lightweight, modular, Web 2.0 VRE frameworks, and the importance of interoperability and integration of third party applications in such frameworks.

Findings

OJAX++ is a practical demonstration of these trends.

Practical implications

The OJAX++ VRE is freely available under an open source licence.

Social implications

The aim of VREs is to facilitate the research process and the OJAX++ VRE illustrates an implementation of this goal.

Originality/value

The OJAX++ VRE demonstrates best practice in VRE design, as highlighted in recent state‐of‐the‐art reports.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Åsa Grytli Tveten, Jon Gustav Kirkerud and Torjus Folsland Bolkesjø

This study aims to investigate the effects of thermal–hydro interconnection on the revenues, market value and curtailment of variable renewable energy (VRE). The…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the effects of thermal–hydro interconnection on the revenues, market value and curtailment of variable renewable energy (VRE). The increasing market shares of VRE sources in the Northern European power system cause declining revenues for VRE producers, because of the merit-order effect. A sparsely studied flexibility measure for mitigating the drop in the VRE market value is increased interconnection between thermal- and hydropower-dominated regions.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive partial equilibrium model with a high spatial and temporal resolution is applied for the analysis.

Findings

Model simulation results for 2030 show that thermal–hydro interconnection will cause exchange patterns that to a larger extent follow VRE production patterns, causing significantly reduced VRE curtailment. Wind value factors are found to decrease in the hydropower-dominated regions and increase in thermal power-dominated regions. Because of increased average electricity prices in most regions, the revenues are, however, found to increase for all VRE technologies. By only assuming the planned increases in transmission capacity, total VRE revenues are found to increase by 3.3 per cent and VRE electricity generation increases by 3.7 TWh.

Originality/value

The current study is, to the authors' knowledge, the first to analyze the effect of interconnection between thermal- and hydropower-dominated regions on the VRE market value, and the authors conclude that this is a promising flexibility measure for mitigating the value-drop of VRE caused by the merit-order effect. The study results demonstrate the importance of taking the whole power system into consideration when planning future transmission capacity expansions.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Stuart Dunn

The aim of this paper is to review the concept of the virtual research environment (VRE) in the light of its development over the past five years, and assess its…

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794

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to review the concept of the virtual research environment (VRE) in the light of its development over the past five years, and assess its applicability to the arts and humanities disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

Evidence from a number of case studies exemplifying the VRE approach is reviewed, and the case of a VRE in archaeology, the Silchester Roman Town project, is discussed in detail. The interpretive implications of using computers as a means of dealing with artistic and humanistic data, are highlighted.

Findings

There is a critical comparison to be drawn between VREs in the sciences and the humanities/arts. This is caused by the “fuzzy” nature of data and workflows in the latter, as compared with the more formal and definable research practice in the former. It is proposed that, to deal with this, the plan of any project which seeks to set up a VRE in the humanities should consider the research process under three headings: processes which the VRE seeks to introduce, existing processes which it seeks to undertake digitally, and processes which will be unaffected by the VRE.

Originality/value

In order to progress “the VRE” from being an artificial construct, driven by dedicated project funding, towards being an embedded part of research practice, those concerned with developing VREs need to consider the nuances of those research practices. This paper seeks to review those nuances by synthesizing data and experience from existing projects, thereby facilitating that embedding process.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Judith Wusteman

This editorial aims to introduce a special issue of Library Hi Tech on “Virtual research environments: issues and opportunities for librarians”. It defines the concept of…

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1459

Abstract

Purpose

This editorial aims to introduce a special issue of Library Hi Tech on “Virtual research environments: issues and opportunities for librarians”. It defines the concept of the virtual research environment (VRE), describes its relationship both to the virtual learning environment and to Web 2.0, and proposes that librarians play a central role in VRE development and use.

Findings

The VRE is likely to have a huge impact on many aspects of research and, thus, on the role of the academic and the research librarian. If VREs are to fulfill their potential as useful and usable artifacts, librarians need to have a central role in their development and application.

Practical implications

Librarians need to be proactive in identifying and advocating for their potential roles in VRE development and use. These roles need to be taken into account in the curricula of schools of library and information studies.

Originality/value

This is an ideal time for librarians to explore the potential of VREs because there is still time to influence their eventual form.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Martin Myhill, Michele Shoebridge and Lee Snook

This paper aims to consider the potential use of Web 2.0 tools as the basis for the creation of a virtual research environment. Specific features of the Web 2.0 world are…

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1655

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider the potential use of Web 2.0 tools as the basis for the creation of a virtual research environment. Specific features of the Web 2.0 world are explored because of their suitability for this purpose.

Design/methdology/approach

The concepts of virtual research environment and Web 2.0 are defined and the theoretical merits of using Web 2.0 tools are considered against the key components required for the successful implementation and operation of a VRE in the context of the UK academic sector. The most relevant Web 2.0 tools are considered on a brief, individual basis before being mixed together to construct a desktop‐based VRE based on a web browser. Final sections explore the role for the librarian in this user‐led environment and whether the approach described has global application.

Findings

A VRE based on Web 2.0 technology is not only viable but a certainty. However, some desirable features of a VRE may have to wait until Web 3.0 tools become available.

Research limitations/implications

There is very limited literature describing operational applications of a Web 2.0 approach to the development of a VRE. This study is therefore conceptual.

Practical implications

The concepts considered are capable of easy implementation by academic researchers.

Originality/value

A major impact of the “credit‐crunch” will be that research funds become harder to obtain. Systems which enhance the quality of research – as a VRE undoubtedly does – will become even more important. The paper concludes that a VRE based on Web 2.0 tools is totally viable.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Diane H. Sonnenwald, Monica Lassi, Nasrine Olson, Marisa Ponti and Ann‐Sofie Axelsson

The purpose of this paper is to present current and ongoing research investigating new ways of working across geographic distances and time within library and information…

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1451

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present current and ongoing research investigating new ways of working across geographic distances and time within library and information science (LIS).

Design/methodology/approach

A total of four studies were conducted focusing on: the design of a virtual research environment (VRE) to facilitate the sharing of data collection instruments among students, researchers and professionals; new ways professionals and researchers can collaborate; collaborative decision making in the context of purchasing a library management system; and collaboration among LIS professionals.

Findings

Early results show that VREs within LIS can build on previous VRE research which focused on other domains. However, there are several unique characteristics of LIS that place requirements on VREs and which are not yet implemented within VREs and that offer unique opportunities for VREs to enhance LIS research, education and practice.

Originality/value

This paper reports on ongoing research and preliminary findings of unique studies investigating how VREs could enhance LIS research and professional practice, and how LIS research and practice can inspire the next generation of VREs.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Paulo Carreira, Tiago Castelo, Cristina Caramelo Gomes, Alfredo Ferreira, Cláudia Ribeiro and Antonio Aguiar Costa

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of virtual reality environments (VRE) for maintenance activities by augmenting a virtual facility representation and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of virtual reality environments (VRE) for maintenance activities by augmenting a virtual facility representation and integrating relevant information regarding the status of systems and the space itself, while providing simple ways to control them.

Design/methodology/approach

The research focuses in the implementation of a VRE prototype of a building management system using game engine technologies. To evaluate the prototype, a usability study has been conducted that contrasts the virtual reality interface with a corresponding legacy application showing the users perception in terms of productivity improvement of facilities management (FM) tasks.

Findings

The usability tests conducted indicated that VREs have the potential to increase the productivity in maintenance tasks. Users without training demonstrated a high degree of engagement and performance operating a VRE interface, when compared with that of a legacy application. The potential drop in user time and increase in engagement with a VRE will eventually translate into lower cost and to an increase in quality.

Originality/value

To date no commonly accepted data model has been proposed to serve as the integrated data model to support facility operation. Although BIM models have gained increased acceptance in architecture engineering and construction activities they are not fully adequate to support data exchange in the post-handover (operation) phase. The presented research developed and tested a prototype able to handle and integrate data in a flexible and dynamic way, which is essential in management activities underlying FM.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 12 March 2018

The outlook for renewable energy.

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB230328

ISSN: 2633-304X

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Geographic
Topical
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Article
Publication date: 14 January 2014

Fintan Bracken, Daniel Earls, Catherine Madders, Faye O'Leary, Stephanie Ronan, Ciara Ward, Paul Tolan and Judith Wusteman

The purpose of this paper is to discover the research practices of biology researchers and to assess the suitability of the OJAX++ Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for…

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2429

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discover the research practices of biology researchers and to assess the suitability of the OJAX++ Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for these researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

Usability testing was used to evaluate the usability of OJAX++ in relation to biology researchers. Interviews with biology researchers in a large Irish university were conducted to investigate their research information behaviour, to establish user requirements in their discipline and to evaluate the feasibility of using OJAX++ in their research.

Findings

The results show that biology researchers used online tools extensively in their research but do not use social networking tools. E-mail and phone conversations are the preferred methods of collaborating with colleagues. The biology researchers found that OJAX++ was easy to use, intuitive and professionally presented but in its present format, OJAX++ does not fit in with current research practices as they do not use Web 2.0 tools that facilitate tagging. A list of requirements of a VRE for biology researchers is presented.

Originality/value

The findings of the study will assist developers of VREs and other web tools to better understand how researchers, in particular biologists, collaborate during the research process and what they require from online research tools. This study gives an important insight into the information behaviour of life science researchers.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 66 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

1 – 10 of 93