There are various ways that the Access Grid can support Social Scientists today and there are likely to be many more in the near future as its potential begins to be realised through further developments of the technology.
Just as the development of the Internet, and more specifically the Web, has helped academic researchers to keep in touch with new developments in their discipline, the Grid is poised to help Social Scientists to access a wider range of colleagues and technical resources to assist their research.
Many new research projects require the combined talents of researchers from multiple institutions, often from international locations. Currently, such research necessitates a considerable amount of travel that involves time and money. Access Grid is a cheap and energy-saving alternative to excessive travel. The era of the lone academic researcher is probably drawing to a close. In a changing financial climate, funding agencies encourage researchers to work collaboratively in an effort to deal with multiple aspects of problems.