Assessment of non-financial returns on cyberinfrastructure. Stewart, C., A., Apon, A., Hancock, D., Y., Furlani, T., Sill, A., Wernert, J., Lifka, D., Berente, N., Cheatham, T., & Slavin, S., D. In Proceedings of the Humans in the Loop: Enabling and Facilitating Research on Cloud Computing - HARC '19, pages 1-10, 2019. ACM Press.
Assessment of non-financial returns on cyberinfrastructure [pdf]Paper  Assessment of non-financial returns on cyberinfrastructure [link]Website  abstract   bibtex   
In recent years, considerable attention has been given to assessing the value of investments in cyberinfrastructure (CI). This paper focuses on assessment of value measured in ways other than financial benefits - what might well be termed impact or outcomes. This paper is a companion to a paper presented at the PEARC'19 conference, which focused on methods for assessing financial returns on investment. In this paper we focus on methods for assessing impacts such as effect on publication production, importance of publications, and assistance with major scientific accomplishments as signified by major awards. We in particular focus on the role of humans in the loop - humanware. This includes a brief description of the roles humans play in facilitating use of research cyberinfratructure - including clouds - and then a discussion of how those impacts have been assessed. Our conclusion overall is that there has been more progress in the past very few years in developing methods for the quantitative assessment of financial returns on investment than there has been in assessing non-quantitative impacts. There are a few clear actions that many research institutions could take to start better assessing the non-financial impacts of investment in cyberinfrastructure. However, there is a great need for assessment efforts to turn more attention to the assessment of non-financial benefits of investment in cyberinfrastructure, particularly the benefits of investing in humans and the benefits to humans who are involved in supporting and using cyberinfrastructure, including clouds.

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