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Welcome to the SAMD Tutorial: Home page


This tutorial describes the e-Social Science demonstrator project SAMD (Seamless Access to Multiple Datasets). By using this tutorial you will learn how Grid technologies were successfully applied to a substantive social science research problem.

The structure of this tutorial is simple - individual Units cover the main topics which can be accessed by clicking the links below (e.g. 'Unit 1: Context' takes you to the first Unit). The Units consist of a set of hyperlinks providing more information about the topic; for more background information you can click 'Useful Links' or 'Glossary' from each page. To return to this Home page, just click the 'Home' link within each Unit.


Caution: although the SAMD project demonstrated proof of concept the technology has since moved on (see Unit 5 for further details). Also, since the SAMD demonstrator is no longer available, the task for the community is to build on the approach of SAMD and construct new interfaces to resources, using more modern Grid Security methods.

List of Units

Unit 1: Context
This unit describes the context of the SAMD demonstrator project and the relevant e-Science background; the social science research question is described and the main benefits of using the Grid approach are outlined.

Unit 2: Introduction to SAMD

This unit describes the aims of the SAMD demonstrator project, discussing the general concepts behind SAMD which relate to the Grid approach as well as an introduction to the technical challenges solved by the team.

Unit 3: Technology behind SAMD
This unit describes SAMD in more technical detail (e.g. authentication and authorisation and the use of Grid Middleware); hopefully, this will help social scientists to understand more about using the Grid in research involving large data sets and computational resources.

Unit 4: Walk-Through
This unit takes you through the process of using SAMD by a series of pages that illustrate the main steps involved in using the Graphical User Interface, which should give a good idea of what using the SAMD demonstrator software was really like.

Unit 5: Beyond SAMD
This unit looks at the possibility of scaling-up the SAMD research approach to other, more complex, research questions in the social sciences; further research and development needs (e.g. concerning the Grid-enabling of existing web-based data services) is highlighted.


The Tutorial was funded by the Fast Track programme funded by ESRC and JISC and produced at the University of Manchester

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The University of Manchester