The Personal Research Portal: Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0

The 5th and 6th of September 2007 takes place the conference Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0, organized by the Information, Communication and Society Journal. The conference will be hold at the National Science Learning Centre, York, UK.

This event focuses on some significant developments in Internet culture that have emerged in the last few years. Although these developments have received widespread media coverage they have so far received little in the way of sustained investigation by the social sciences in the UK. This event is intended to work toward the development of a social science of what has come to be known as Web 2.0 – a much heralded transition in Web media characterised by social practices of ‘generating’ and ‘browsing’, ‘tagging’ and ‘feeds’, ‘commenting’ and ‘noting’,‘reviewing’ and ‘rating’, ‘blogging’, ‘mashing-up’ and making ‘friends’ .
The aim of the event will be to develop critical, theoretical and empirically informed accounts of Web 2.0 not just as a business model but as a complex, ambivalent and dynamic phenomena laden with tensions and of increasing social and cultural significance. The event is intended to provide opportunities for those working on a social science of Web 2.0 to discuss their ideas and to begin to work through the processes and possible consequences of its rhetoric of ‘social participation’, ‘communal intelligence’, and ‘collaborative cultures’.

I have been accepted a communication, so I’ll be there along with Francisco Lupiáñez and Enric Senabre, who have also had their communications accepted.

I here copy the abstract to my communication. 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.

Paz Peña is also attending the conference presenting what she calls a v2.0 of his paper Software Social y Educación: El abordaje de lo público:
In this article I approach the Social Software as a relationship device, a fundamental perspective in order to understand the possibilities of public development of the user subject or closer to the Web 2.0. This, in the context of understanding the education not from the content, but from the configuration of the subject as a fundamental part of knowledge.
Tobias Escher is also attending :)


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

Peña-López, I. (2007) “The Personal Research Portal: Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0” In ICTlogy, #45, June 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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5 Comments to “The Personal Research Portal: Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0” »

  1. Ismael,
    Sólo decir que hace un tiempo sigo con interés tus áres de investigación y es un honor para mí saber que estarás en esta conferencia en la cual he tenido la suerte de ser seleccinada también.
    Espero que podamos disfutar de la publicación de tu artículo en este blog también.
    Saludos cordiales.

  2. Good idea. I think that Elgg would be a good platform to build it on, as Emerald publishing has already done:

    I’m thinking of something similar to link IT companies and individuals for joint proposals, skills searches and other collaborative activities.

  3. Yes, Elgg could be a starting point… and maybe, with time, an ending point: I really like Elgg.

    But I was actually thinking on a mashup of other applications such as WordPress, MediaWiki, BibCiter, etc.


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