We have models of commerce in a Web setting: business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C). Now scientists commonly use Web based services to perform in-silico experiments. Thus we are prompted to ask the question “Are e-Scientists doing e-Business?”. Do the infra-structure and models offered by e-Commerce support the activities e-Scientists need to perform? In this position paper we compare e-Science and e-Business using the discipline of bioinformatics. Such a comparison should inform the reuse of existing e-Business technologies in e-Science projects. We argue that the individual e-Scientist is now demanding more than the simple web interfaces prevalent in consumer e-commerce. Individual e-Scientists need to interact in a manner more akin to the B2B model than the B2C style previously used. We examine how the infrastructure prevalent in the B2B arena of e-commerce can be reused and extended to support the needs of today’s e-Scientists. We illustrate this argument with reference to the myGrid e-Science middleware project.
Author and article information
Department of Computer Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
IT Innovation Centre, University or Southampton, Southampton, UK