***ARCHIVE SITE *** Knowledge Management for Development Journal, Vol 3, No 1 (2007)

The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with open access for development

Ismael Peña-López

Abstract


Researchers and research interests in developing countries are underrepresented in mainstream academic publishing systems. Reasons are many but publishing costs, research infrastructure financing and researcher invisibility are among the most apparent. Efforts have been made to mitigate this situation; an increasingly common and successful approach is open access to scholarly literature such as open access journals, self-archiving in institutional repositories and self-publishing.

The concept and tools around the web 2.0 harness clear opportunities for researchers, acting as individuals, to contribute and build a broader personal presence on the Internet, at the same time benefiting from a better diffusion for their work, interests and publications. By using a mesh of social software applications, this paper introduces the concept of the Personal Research Portal (PRP) as a means to create a digital identity for the researcher and to build a virtual network of colleagues working in the same field. Complementary to formal academic research dissemination and validation trajectories, the Personal Research Portal is presented as a knowledge management system that can enhance reading, storing and creating knowledge at both the private and public levels, helping to bridge the academic digital divide.

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