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Microscopy & microanalysis: Challenges & opportunities in eResearch

CollectionsAustralian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (APSR)
Title: Microscopy & microanalysis: Challenges & opportunities in eResearch
Author(s): Ringer, Simon
Keywords: APSR
Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories
In an age dominated by streamlining and optimisation of data capture and analysis, the investment in and adoption of advanced cyber-infrastructure has been identified as rudimentary and an epoch making breakthrough for the Australian characterisation community in materials informatics – microscopy and microanalysis. Realisation of this vision for leading edge e-Research initiatives involves significant technological requirements in establishing a collaborative network of shared characterisation facilities accessible throughout Australia, networking specialist equipment nodes in major capital cities to smaller, remote nodes via high speed networks in the form of active or passive telepresence microscopy. Investment in cyber-infrastructure is not only essential, but fundamental in increasing accessibility, robustness and interoperability of the underlying ICT structure and participation in e-Research initiatives, providing significant impact in delivering research outcomes to researchers in remote locations, broadening the user base of selected instrumentation, broadcasting and disseminating training courses and seminars, and providing productive and cost effective interaction between operational committees of the characterisation community. Providing such an interface for collaboration means addressing challenges limiting its uptake. Lack of awareness of available facilities; lack of software support; incorporation of legacy systems; lack of standardised user interfaces and interoperable systems across nodes; and lack of skills and expertise in accessing and utilising facilities are hindering the overall strategic plan. Overcoming the current challenges limiting the uptake of e-Research infrastructure involves employing specialist personnel to be embedded within and move between specific projects and nodes within the characterisation community, transferring knowledge to enhance awareness, skills and capabilities to maximise existing and future investment in instruments, people and research – a collaborative force towards e-Research, with microscopy on the cusp of this challenge. This presentation will encompass the current trends, opportunities and challenges for e-Research in microscopy and microanalysis.


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