Virtual Research Environment Projects at Oxford University

This is a gateway web page to present the Virtual Research Environment projects being developed at Oxford University.

Developing the Virtual Research Environment at Oxford University: Phase 2

The Humanities Division has been awarded funding from the JISC as part of their second phase of the Virtual Research Environments Programme, to develop a VRE for the Study of Documents and Manuscripts. The project will develop an integrated environment in which documents, tools and scholarly resources will be available as a complete and coherent package. Although the research resources on which the VRE pilot project will be based will be ancient documents on various media (stone, wooden tablets, papyri, lead etc.), the tools and the structure of the environment will be entirely suitable for the study of a wide variety of types of documents and manuscripts. The project will also treat documents not as disembodied texts but as artefacts with an original archaeological or physical context which can, in a significant number of cases (in antiquity and later periods) be recovered or reconstructed. The project builds on the work undertaken in the Building a VRE for the Humanities (BVREH) project (see below) and is led by Alan Bowman with a team comprising Charles Crowther, Michael Fraser, Marina Jirotka, Ruth Kirkham and John Pybus.

Developing the Virtual Research Environment at Oxford University: Phase 1

Oxford University was awarded significant funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to develop infrastructure and tools for the next generation of collaborative research environments. We led or participated in three projects, listed below with sample deliverables:

VRE for the Integrative Biology Research Consortium (IB VRE)

The IB VRE project is developing a large-scale Virtual Research Environment demonstrator to investigate the use of existing collaboration frameworks to support the entire research process of a large-scale, international research consortium, namely that of the Integrative Biology (IB) project.

Sakai VRE Portal Demonstrator (Sakai VRE)

The Sakai VRE project aims to address the requirement for a single point of access to a comprehensive set of Grid and collaboration services in a VRE. The project is extending the Sakai open source and open standards portal framework to host a number of integrated tools and distributed services.

Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities (BVREH)

The BVREH project focuses on the humanities division at Oxford University. The aim of the fifteen month project is to identify areas in which electronic research tools would be beneficial, both for researchers at Oxford and in a wider context.

VRE Teams

The following staff in Oxford work on one or more of the VRE projects:

  • IB VRE
    • Professor David Gavaghan, Principal Investigator & Director
    • Dr Andrew Simpson, Principal Investigator
    • Dr Michael Fraser, Principal Investigator
    • Matthew Mascord, Project Manager
    • Geoff Williams, Developer – Systems
    • Clint Sieunarine, Developer – User Interface
    • Michael Loizou, System Administrator
    • Sharon Lloyd, IB Liaison (Management)
    • Dr Marina Jirotka, Consultant (Requirements)
    • Andrew Foster, Consultant (Technical)
  • Sakai VRE
    • Dr Michael Fraser, Associate Director
    • Dr Stuart Yeates, Systems Developer
    • Dr Graham Klyne, Systems Developer
    • Christian Fernau, Systems Developer
  • BVREH
    • Professor Alan K. Bowman, Principal Investigator
    • Dr C.V. Crowther, Principal Investigator
    • Dr Michael Fraser, Principal Investigator
    • Ruth Kirkham, Project Manager
    • John Pybus, Technical Support
    • Dr Marina Jirotka, Consultant (Requirements)

This document last modified: 2007-03-19

Archive material

VRE Projects

  • Sakai VRE Portal Demonstrator (Led by Lancaster University with Oxford (RTS) as a partner)
  • A VRE to Support the Integrative Biology Research Consortium (led by Computing Laboratory)
  • A VRE for the Humanities (led by Humanities Division)

Oxford VRE Forum

The Oxford VRE forum is a reasonably informal gathering of project representatives and others to discuss collaboration, areas of common concern, and any benefits to be gained from sharing effort