The rise of informatics as a research domain

Printer-friendly version

Authors:Peter Fox


Over the past five years, data science has emerged as a means of conducting science over many disciplines and domains. Accompanying this emergence is the realization that different informatics approaches, i.e. the science of data and information underlying the developments, have also emerged independently and empirically in many areas, e.g. astro, bio, geo, hydro, ocean and over different timescales, funding models and corresponding appreciation by their communities. To fully enable both interdisciplinary research and cope with increasingly complex data within domains, a move to a more repeatable and interworkable mode is required, i.e. adding a research component to the application component of informatics that enables data science as a means to address integrative science grand challenges areas such as water, environment and climate, ultimately resulting in the discovery of new knowledge. This contribution details some key elements of research informatics, the class of people who appear in this discipline, and the state of some current research challenges. Keywords: Informatics; Data Science; Provenance; Semantics.


DateCreated ByLink
August 2, 2011
Peter FoxDownload

Related Projects:

TW LogoSemantic Workflow and Management of Provenance (SWaMP)
Principal Investigator: Peter Fox
Description: A joint effort between the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Related Research Areas:

Data Frameworks
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Description: None.
Concepts: eScience
Knowledge Provenance
Lead Professor: Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: Knowledge Provenance
Concepts: Provenance,
Semantic eScience
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Science has fully entered a new mode of operation. E-science, defined as a combination of science, informatics, computer science, cyberinfrastructure and information technology is changing the way all of these disciplines do both their individual and collaborative work.
As semantic technologies have been gaining momentum in various e-Science areas (for example, W3C's new interest group for semantic web health care and life science), it is important to offer semantic-based methodologies, tools, middleware to facilitate scientific knowledge modeling, logical-based hypothesis checking, semantic data integration and application composition, integrated knowledge discovery and data analyzing for different e-Science applications.
Partially influenced by the Artificial Intelligence community, the Semantic Web researchers have largely focused on formal aspects of semantic representation languages or general-purpose semantic application development, with inadequate consideration of requirements from specific science areas. On the other hand, general science researchers are growing ever more dependent on the web, but they have no coherent agenda for exploring the emerging trends on the semantic web technologies. It urgently requires the development of a multi-disciplinary field to foster the growth and development of e-Science applications based on the semantic technologies and related knowledge-based approaches.

Concepts: eScience
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Description: In the last 2-3 years, Informatics has attained greater visibility across a broad range of disciplines, especially in light of great successes in bio- and biomedical-informatics and significant challenges in the explosion of data and information resources. Xinformatics is intended to provide both the common informatics knowledge as well as how it is implemented in specific disciplines, e.g. X=astro, geo, chem, etc. Informatics' theoretical basis arises from information science, cognitive science, social science, library science as well as computer science. As such, it aggregates these studies and adds both the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems.
Concepts: , eScience