Science gateway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Science gateways provide access to advanced resources for science and engineering researchers, educators, and students. Through streamlined, online, user-friendly interfaces, gateways combine a variety of cyberinfrastructure (CI) components in support of a community-specific set of tools, applications, and data collections.:[1] In general, these specialized, shared resources are integrated as a Web portal, mobile app, or a suite of applications.[2] Through science gateways, broad communities of researchers can access diverse resources which can save both time and money for themselves and their institutions.[3] As listed below, functions and resources offered by science gateways include shared equipment and instruments, computational services, advanced software applications, collaboration capabilities, data repositories, and networks.[2]

shared equipment and instruments

  • telescopes
  • sensors
  • seismic shake tables

computational services

advanced software applications

  • workflows
  • analysis tools
  • simulation tools
  • modeling tools
  • visualization tools

collaboration capabilities

data repositories


  • high-speed
  • high-bandwidth


For decades, science gateways existed in various forms that would not have been called science gateways at the time, but in the last decade, more projects have coalesced around the term. For example, the Protein Data Bank:[4] started in 1971 and continues to provide a crucial service for its community.

Science gateways are often labeled with other names, depending on the community or region of the world. Alternative names include[5]

Some of the earliest gateways to provide simplified interfaces to high-performance grid computing used the US-based TeraGrid computing infrastructure, funded by the National Science Foundation. TeraGrid (now continued under the auspices of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, or XSEDE) brought together a diverse community of software developers, who were otherwise isolated from each other by disparate fields of application. In Australia, e-Research body NeCTAR provides similar resources and support for gateways. With the growth of this community in the US, Europe, and Australasia, several workshop series helped gateway creators and users coalesce around the concept and form a community of practice: Gateway Computing Environments (US, started in 2005), International Workshop on Science Gateways (Europe, started in 2009), and International Workshop on Science Gateways - Australia (started in 2016).

Additionally, middleware to support gateways have proliferated, including:

As some of the earliest gateways (and other digital resources) reached the end of their first funding cycle, users began to see some gateways shutting down due to lack of funding or insufficient progress building a sustainable tool; this prompted further investigation into the keys to sustainability for such projects.[13][14] Recognizing a need for software reuse and community exchange, the US National Science Foundation funded in 2016 the Science Gateways Community Institute,[2] which provides subsidized services and resources to the developers and users of science gateways. On an international level, the International Coalition on Science Gateways brings together organizations from multiple countries and continents to share best practices and future directions in the field.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilkins‐Diehr, Nancy. "Special issue: science gateways—common community interfaces to grid resources." Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 19, no. 6 (2007): 743-749.
  2. ^ a b c Lawrence, Katherine A., Michael Zentner, Nancy Wilkins‐Diehr, Julie A. Wernert, Marlon Pierce, Suresh Marru, and Scott Michael. "Science gateways today and tomorrow: positive perspectives of nearly 5000 members of the research community," Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 27, No. 16 (2015): 4252-4268.
  3. ^ Kiss, Tamas. "Science gateways for the broader take-up of distributed computing infrastructures." Journal of Grid Computing (2012): 1-2
  4. ^ Berman, H. M. (January 2008). "The Protein Data Bank: a historical perspective" (PDF). Acta Crystallographica Section A. A64 (1): 88–95. PMID 18156675. doi:10.1107/S0108767307035623
  5. ^ Shahand, S. (2015). Science gateways for biomedical big data analysis (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from University of Amsterdam Digital Academic Repository
  6. ^ Pierce, Marlon E., Suresh Marru, Lahiru Gunathilake, Don Kushan Wijeratne, Raminder Singh, Chathuri Wimalasena, Shameera Ratnayaka, and Sudhakar Pamidighantam. "Apache Airavata: design and directions of a science gateway framework." Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 27, no. 16 (2015): 4282-4291.
  7. ^ Wang, Y., Kaplan, N., Newman, G., & Scarpino, R. " A New Model for Managing, Documenting, and Sharing Citizen Science Data," PLoS Biology, vol. 13, (10), 2015. DOI:
  8. ^ Merchant, Nirav, et al., "The iPlant Collaborative: Cyberinfrastructure for Enabling Data to Discovery for the Life Sciences," PLOS Biology (2016), doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002342.
  9. ^ Goff, Stephen A., et al., "The iPlant Collaborative: Cyberinfrastructure for Plant BIology," Frontiers in Plant Science 2 (2011), doi: 10.3389/fpls.2011.00034.
  10. ^ Enis Afgan, Dannon Baker, Marius van den Beek, Daniel Blankenberg, Dave Bouvier, Martin Čech, John Chilton, Dave Clements, Nate Coraor, Carl Eberhard, Björn Grüning, Aysam Guerler, Jennifer Hillman-Jackson, Greg Von Kuster, Eric Rasche, Nicola Soranzo, Nitesh Turaga, James Taylor, Anton Nekrutenko, and Jeremy Goecks. The Galaxy platform for accessible, reproducible and collaborative biomedical analyses: 2016 update. Nucleic Acids Research (2016) 44(W1): W3-W10 doi:10.1093/nar/gkw343
  11. ^ Kacsuk, Péter (Ed.) 2014. Science Gateways for Distributed Computing Infrastructures: Development Framework and Exploitation by Scientific User Communities, Switzerland: Springer International.
  12. ^ M. McLennan, R. Kennell, "HUBzero: A Platform for Dissemination and Collaboration in Computational Science and Engineering," Computing in Science and Engineering, 12(2), pp. 48-52, March/April, 2010.
  13. ^ Maron, Nancy L., K. Kirby Smith, and Matthew Loy. "Sustaining Digital Resources: An On-the-Ground View of Projects Today." Ithaka S+R. Last Modified 14 July 2009.
  14. ^ Wilkins-Diehr, N. and K. A. Lawrence (2010) “Opening Science Gateways to Future Success: The Challenges of Gateway Sustainability,” Gateway Computing Environments Workshop (GCE), 2010, pp.1-10; November 14, 2010. IEEE Computer Society (Xplore Digital Library). doi: 10.1109/GCE.2010.5676121.