A list of Collaborative Research Environment Tools for University of Newcastle Researchers

Collaborative research environment

A Collaborative Research Environment is an online application that combines and integrates several collaboration tools such as; wiki, file hosting, discussion forum, chat, calendar and blog etc.

Collaborative Research Environments integrate several collaboration tools but often don't do as great a job at each of these, as some more dedicated single purpose tools.

Collaborative Research Environments usually require a server to be set up. Before attempting to set up your own, talk to either your e Research Analyst or your on campus IT support group to discover hosting options available to you.

What is it and how do I get it? When should I use it? What caveats or obstacles are there? *Support?
Google sites

A collaborative website with blogs, tools for shared document use & email distribution.

It has a template specifically designed for research projects.

When you require a quick, simple and free website for a collaborative research project.

A user is required to have a Google account.

Consideration should be made to periodic copying of the documents for back up & recovery purposes

Confidential documents or private information such as non-de identified data should not be placed on Google sites.

End User


A free, virtual learning environment orientated towards university courses & student collaboration (e.g. course document distribution, assignment submission, forums & blog use) it can be adapted for research.

Moodle is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) but it can be adapted to function as a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for the support of researcher collaboration over synchronous chat, discussion forums, news posts, blogging & file sharing etc.

Use it when you would like to do all these things in an integrated web-based environment.

The University of Newcastle UON Online uses Blackboard to perform the types of functions Moodle performs in the Virtual Learning Environment.

It is recommended that Blackboard be used for University courses.

Moodle is a web application that must be hosted. Being a VLE it uses the terminology of education including terms related to: courses, students etc and therefore needs to be customised to function as a VRE.

End User

Sakai CLE

A web based collaboration tool with document sharing, wikis, blogs, chat, news fees and podcast.

ARCS has an experimental instance running for UON Research purposes.

Contact ARCS by phoning Ext: 17000

A full-featured system supporting technology enabled research & collaboration.

The ARCS instance of SAKAI is an experimental implementation being used to gauge the value of the product for the UON.

ARCS It is not a full production instance & may be subject to outages.

UON Supported

*Support Source of Support for Service
UON Supplied Deployed, managed and supported by the University and provided to Researchers at no additional cost.
UON Supported Deployed, managed and supported by the University with some additional costs to the Researcher, Centre or Faculty.
End User The item is end user supported. The University is not in a position to provide technical support or assurances that the product will work within the University environment.
External (Organisation) Deployed, managed and supported by an organisation external to the University. Additional costs may apply.