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Editorial: iSGTW and the Future

Editorial - iSGTW and the future


Simulation of neutron star.  Image courtesy of AEI / Seidenfadenf

This week marks the 100th issue of International Science Grid This Week. We have come a long way since our first issue: this publication now has over 4,000 subscribers, 50,000 visits per month,  and a Google page ranking of 8 on a scale of 10. (By way of comparison, Google itself has a 10, and Sony corporation has a 7.)

From the very first issue, iSGTW has sought to share stories of grid-empowered science and scientific discoveries, by acting as an impartial reporter of science grids.

As time has gone on, this publication has moved from exclusively featuring American grid-enabled science achievements—in the beginning, Open Science Grid started this publication as Science Grid This Week, as a newsletter covering U.S. grid projects—to more of a worldwide emphasis. This expansion was reflected by the addition of the word International to the title and by co-sponsorship with Enabling Grids for E-SciencE (EGEE) in Europe. iSGTW has also closely followed developments with the Large Hadron Collider—the world’s largest machine, whose computational requirements did much to spur the development of the grid, via the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (wLCG).
 
But LHC news is just one part of all the world's grid-related developments, and while we continue to recognize the LHC as the driving force in enabling science to benefit from the power of grid computing, we also pay attention to other areas of grid-related research, including fields as widely dispersed as earth science and personalized medicine.

So, what does the future hold for this publication?

Image courtesy of Jetmir Decani, sxc.hu

Directions

For starters, we’re working on expanding our coverage to include geographic areas beyond America and Europe, and showing more readers just how the grid can be used as a tool to answer their needs. We also aim to continue putting something of a human face on the grid, and by doing so, give background on how and why the grid works the way it does (while hewing to our primary focus on research and technology).

After all, as so many of the subjects of our profiles have pointed out, the grid is above all a social enterprise, in which researchers share resources, labor and time in exchange for access. The grid is not just about objects; it’s not a vending-machine model in which you put in money and results pop out. It’s a collaboration that depends not just upon software, middleware, hardware and organization, but upon people and their contributions.

Accordingly, we envision making this on-line publication more interactive, with more room for the grid community to contribute and to participate. And we want to not only reach out to those in the know about the grid, but also to those—students, researchers in others fields, the general public—who are new to the field. We want to help let them know what the grid can do, who to talk to, and how to get started.

At OSG, and at EGEE—whose offices are located next to the building where the world-wide web began—we have seen what the harnessing of computing resources can do.

One last thing: if you have any images or videos, or want to contribute a story or the idea for a story, please contact us. We try to get out and meet you at conferences, and follow up on any hints of stories we hear through the grapevine, but we know there are many more grid-related stories out there, just waiting to be told.

Watch this space!

The Editors, iSGTW

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