Evaluating Return on Investment for Cyberinfrastructure Using the International Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework

Winona G. Snapp-Childs, David L. Hart, Claudia M. Costa, Julie A. Wernert, Harmony E. Jankowski, John W. Towns, Craig A. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the return on investment (ROI) in cyberinfrastructure (CI) facilities and services by comparing the value of end products created to the cost of operations. We assessed the cost of a US CI facility called XSEDE and the value of the end products created using this facility, categorizing end products according to the International Integrated Reporting Framework. The US federal government invested approximately $0.3B in operating the XSEDE ecosystem from 2016–2022. The estimated value of end products facilitated by XSEDE ranges from around $4.7B to $22.7B or more. Credit for the majority of these end products is shared among various contributors, including the XSEDE ecosystem. Granting the XSEDE ecosystem a seemingly reasonable percentage of credit for its contributions to end product creation suggests that the return on federal investment in the XSEDE ecosystem, in terms of value of end products created, was greater than one and possibly far greater than one. The Framework proved useful for addressing this question. Earlier work showed that the value of services provided by XSEDE was significantly greater than the cost of those services to the US federal government—a positive return on investment for delivery of services. Analyzing the financial efficiency of operations and the financial value of end products are two means for assessing the success of CI facilities in financial terms. Financial analyses should be used as one of many approaches for evaluating the success of CI facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number558
JournalSN Computer Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • IR framework
  • Return on investment
  • ROI
  • Science gateways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence


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