The personal research portal
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:Digital Literacy | Knowledge Management | Usage & Uptake
In a Knowledge Society, the main problem knowledge workers have is invisibility: if people don’t know that you know, and people are not aware of what you know, you are not. In a Network Society, the main problem nodes have is being kicked off the network: you are worth what you contribute, if you don’t contribute, you are not worth a dime.
But digital technologies have forever changed the way knowledge is disseminated and accessed, at least, in two crucial ways. On one hand, diffusion procedures (publishing, broadcasting, etc.) have infinitely been getting easier and cheaper by onlinecasting procedures. On the other hand, intellectual property rights – and their trade – have seen their basements dynamited by the growing adoption of new content licenses aimed for the maximum spreading of shared of content.
Before this scene, governments and institutions are being pushed to foster Open Access (OA) literature as a way to achieve universal reach of research diffusion at cheap and immediate levels. Inexplicably, most efforts have been made at the institutional level, dedicating little energies to what the individual can do to contribute to this goal. Even though there are some good reasons for this unbalance, there are plenty of things that still can be done in this arena. The philosophy and tools around the web 2.0 seem to bring clear opportunities so that these people, acting as individuals, can also contribute, to build a broader personal presence on the Internet and a better diffusion for their work, interests or 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 knowledge workers – 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 offline meetings, the Personal Research Portal would be a knowledge management system that would enhance reading, storing and creating at both the private and public levels, and to contribute to create an online identity that, in its turn, will help to create a network whose currency is knowledge.