DescriptionThe articles in this special section explore scientific workflows in computer research processes. The goal is to increase awareness of the benefits of workflows to enhance computational and data-enabled research and to foster the exchange of lessons learned and good practices that can benefit the community. The issue highlights some of the activities and approaches that are underway in the scientific workflow community. Scientific workflows evolved as a way to manage computation on High Performance Computing (HPC) and distributed systems. Early workflow efforts started as domain-specific efforts that managed directed acyclic graphs on high-performance and distributed systems. They considered the systems and the applications as black boxes and focused on distributed resource management, workload, and execution management.