Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Web 2.0 tools to improve research diffusion

Ismael Peña-López, The Personal Research Portal: Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0, ICTlogy, June 5, 2007.  Excerpt:

...I here copy the abstract to my [presentation at the conference, Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0, York, September 5-6, 2007]. Please, do feel free to comment or make any kind of suggestion.

The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with research diffusion

There is unchallenged evidence that both researchers’ and research funders’ needs usually collide with scientific publishers’. Even if there might be a common mission or interest in making research diffusion as broad as possible, while the former ones would promote diffusion at any cost, it is precisely cost – and sometimes profit – the main issue on the publisher’s side. The consequences are many, but to name a few: (a) loss of control (intellectual property rights) over his work by the author, (b) slow publishing processes, (c) underrepresentation in mainstream academic publishing systems of marginal academic subjects (i.e. related to or produced in developing countries), and (d) researcher invisibility. Efforts have been made to mitigate this situation, being open access to scholarly literature – open access journals, self-archiving in institutional repositories – an increasingly common and successful approach.

It is our opinion that focus has been put on institutional initiatives, but the concept and tools around the web 2.0 seem to bring clear opportunities so that researchers, acting as individuals, can also contribute, to build a broader personal presence on the Internet and a better diffusion for their work, interests and publications.

By using a mesh of social software applications, we here propose the concept of the Personal Research Portal as a means to create a digital identity for the researcher – tied to his digital public notebook and personal repository – and a virtual network of colleagues working in the same field. Complementary to formal publishing or taking part in congresses, the Personal Research Portal would be a knowledge management system that would enhance reading, storing and creating at both the private and public levels, helping to bridge the academic divide among those who publish and those who don’t.