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Consensus Study Report


The needs and demands placed on science to address a range of urgent problems are growing. The world is faced with complex, interrelated challenges in which the way forward lies hidden or dispersed across disciplines and organizations. For centuries, scientific research has progressed through iteration of a workflow built on experimentation or observation and analysis of the resulting data. While computers and automation technologies have played a central role in research workflows for decades to acquire, process, and analyze data, these same computing and automation technologies can now also control the acquisition of data, for example, through the design of new experiments or decision making about new observations.

The term automated research workflow (ARW) describes scientific research processes that are emerging across a variety of disciplines and fields. ARWs integrate computation, laboratory automation, and tools from artificial intelligence in the performance of tasks that make up the research process, such as designing experiments, observations, and simulations; collecting and analyzing data; and learning from the results to inform further experiments, observations, and simulations. The common goal of researchers implementing ARWs is to accelerate scientific knowledge generation, potentially by orders of magnitude, while achieving greater control and reproducibility in the scientific process.

Automated Research Workflows for Accelerated Discovery: Closing the Knowledge Discovery Loop examines current efforts to develop advanced and automated workflows to accelerate research progress, including wider use of artificial intelligence. This report identifies research needs and priorities in the use of advanced and automated workflows for scientific research. Automated Research Workflows for Accelerated Discovery is intended to create awareness, momentum, and synergies to realize the potential of ARWs in scholarly discovery.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Automated Research Workflows for Accelerated Discovery: Closing the Knowledge Discovery Loop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

136 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-68652-5
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-68655-6

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