A Science Gateway is a web-hosted set of community-developed tools that give researchers, educators, and students easy access to specialized resources that are specific to a science or engineering discipline. Such resources are meant to reduce the computing skills threshold for researchers to apply advanced computing infrastructure to research problems. Through Science Gateways, researchers concentrate on the questions, while the science gateway interface serves to organize computing with data, models and methods to expand research capabilities and improve reproducibility of analyses.
Science Gateways are distinguished from web portals by the integration of high-performance computing capabilities, including application of machine learning and other data science techniques, available from a browser-interface. Science Gateways enable access to shared data, software, instruments, and other discipline-specific resources. For example, they may connect to or between instruments (such as weather sensors or other instruments such as telescopes), data collections or specialized software. Researchers may also participate as collaborators, and make contributions to feed back into the community, through providing unique data sets or enhancements to the methods employed in the Science Gateway itself.
Science Gateways are sponsored and hosted by funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as individual research groups and universities. Examples of institutionally supported Science Gateways include the NeuroScience Gateway (www.nsgportal.org) and the Materials Project (https://www.materialsproject.org/). XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) supported Science Gateways span about two dozen fields of science are cataloged at: https://www.xsede.org/web/guest/gateways-listing.
In support of the CWRU research community, for those who may want to establish their own Science Gateway, RCCI participates in the Science Gateway Community Institute (SGCI), a funded 5-year NSF grant to support Science Gateway development. In its second year, the aim of the SGCI (https://sciencegateways.org/) is to serve the science gateway community with both online and in-person resources and services. SGCI provides support to projects through dedicated developers and staff who may partner with research group members and university staff. SGCI has evolved from experiences developing projects within XSEDE, and has experience with many Science Gateway platforms and other tools, so that you can focus on the features that are unique to your user community.
If you are interested in this topic please contact RCCI for more information. We are planning a workshop for Fall semester on the use of web-hosted resources such as a Science Gateway for research involving large-scale computation and complex problem solving.