The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK has been funding a programme to look at exploring tools needed by researchers to do their research, interact with other researchers (who may come from different disciplines, institutions or even countries) and to make use of available resources and technical infrastructures. They call this collection of tools "Virtual Research Environments" or VREs.
Recently, JISC have begun to put some very useful videos on YouTube describing some of the projects that come under this programme. Four particular projects in phase two of this research programme include the following:
Collaborative Research Events on the Web (CREW): |Youtube video|Website|
myExperiment - a social networking site for scientists. |Youtube video|Website|
Study of Documents and Manuscripts |Youtube video|Website|
Virtual Environments for Research in Archaeology |Youtube video|Website|
Explore further on the JISC website to find out how Virtual Research Environments (VREs) can help researchers in all disciplines manage the increasingly complex range of tasks involved in carrying out research.