Objective, Challenge, and Approach
nanoHUB.org is designed in the spirit of research and educational support through online simulation. Everyone in the community is encouraged to contribute tools and seminars to the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology community! However, we are faced with issues of “Quality Control” and “Software Support” as a central cyberinfrastructure provider. Clearly we cannot be responsible to support all the contributed tools and materials. We therefore take a two-pronged approach to tackle the issues of “Quality Control” and “Software Support”: We distinguish between two different sets of tools:
1) contributed tools supported solely by the tool contributor. nanoHUB.org puts processes and infrastructure in place that makes the tracking of bugs, questions, and improvement requests as automated as possible. We request that the tool authors provide enough supplemental materials to their tools such as scientific heritage, tool validation, tool limitation discussions, tutorials, and even possibly usage scenarios (homework or project assignments).
2) NCN@University supported tools: nanoHUB.org is operated by the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) which consists of several University nodes. NCN@University nodes support a limited set of tools with their local expertise. The level of support is such that we monitor the support tickets, questions, and suggestions for improvement very closely through NCN@University support persons and interact with the user community through these venues rapidly. Our level of service commitment is that we aim to answer questions within 24 hours, fix simple bugs within a week, and manage a list of tool improvements publicly.