Conference paper Open Access

VisDict: A Visual Dictionary in a Science Gateway

Sandra Gesing; Ewa Deelman; Rafael Ferreira da Silva; Michael Hildreth; Mary Ann McDowell; Natalie K. Meyers; Douglas Thain

Effective communication is crucial for the success of academic projects, especially within multidisciplinary teams where researchers come from different backgrounds not only on personal and/or cultural level but also from different disciplines. This can lead to misunderstandings which might not be even obvious in meetings and project plans if the same terms might be used for different concepts. Team members implicitly assume that all parties work with the same definition of terms. The project VisDict addresses the communication between workflow providers and domain researchers via the creation of a visual dictionary in a science gateway so that differences in the perception of terms are easily recognized and can be timely resolved. Dictionaries are used as translation tools between natural languages – the approach for translating from computational science to research domains such as physics and biology is novel. In this paper, we go into detail for our approach to build a dictionary in a science gateway, the lessons learned from carefully curating the first entries, and plans for automating its extension to a large set of relevant terms including their illustrations.

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