Web2forDev 2007 (III): Knowledge Sharing for the Research Community

Juha Hautakangas
Global Partnerships for Sharing Forest Related Information through the GFIS-Gateway at www.gfis.net

GFIS: information service that stores metadata on forestry “under the same roof”, providing accurate search results and reliable information.

The system interacts with other databases all over the world using RSS format, and using the Open Search specification as a standard interface for search engines.

Multilingual search aggregator, where content comes from RSS feeds generated through searches.

Ismael Peña-López
The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with open access for development

There is unchallenged evidence that both researchers and research interests in developing countries are underrepresented in mainstream academic publishing systems. Reasons are many but publishing costs, research infrastructure financing and the vicious circle of researcher invisibility are among the most mentioned. 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 digital divide.

Some comments from the audience
  • Stress on improving reputation systems for Web 2.0 apps/platforms
  • How to engage the “old school” scholar? My answer: let’s distinguish from what’s a scholar supposed to do — which is independent from being online — and what the “e-scholar” is supposed to do — the change of platform. The only answer is awareness on what a Network Society means: the more you give, the more you get.
  • Stress on the digital divide: no access, no Web 2.0. Which I fully agree, but Web 2.0 are ubiquitous — you can access them from any telecenter or public access point —, less power demanding — but more broadband demanding —, and feeding the Internet with content, which is part of the digital divide too.

Balaji Venkataraman

Use of Semantic Wiki Tool to Build a Repository of Re-usable Information objects in Agricultural Education and Extension: Results from a Preliminary Study

Being able to connect knowledge not only by keywords/tags, but also through content itself, linking fragments of information and knowledge through meanings, concepts and interlinking of concepts.

Mediawiki + semantic tool + FAO’s AGROVOC = Semantic VASAT Wiki (see also test2.icrisat.org)

New sources of content: Voiceblog. Question of mine: is this recorded sound from the voiceblog transcribed/analyzed so it can be related with written content. Answer: so far, this is being done, but done manually, in two ways: one, by transcribing recordings and two, by tagging sound or video recordings with keywords. But in the future it is expected that some kind of language recognition should be able to do this automatically.

More info on the DEAL – High Level view of Digital Ecology for Agriculture & Rural Livelihood portal and the way it works (White Papers, Presentations).

Web 2.0 for Development related posts (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Web2forDev 2007 (III): Knowledge Sharing for the Research Community” In ICTlogy, #48, September 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=629

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