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

On February 2nd, 2009, a book chapter of mine — The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with open access — was published in the book Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies, edited by Stylianos Hatzipanagos and Steven Warburton.

This book chapter is the last one of a series of writings and speeches around the concept of the Personal Research Portal that began its journey in 2006. As the (so far) last from the series, I think it is the most accurate one, benefiting from the reviewers observations (thank you). I am grateful to the editors for having given me the opportunity to think over some concepts and polish them up. On the other hand, the book is full of very interesting chapters by authors that are actually paving the path of digital skills, online communities, etc.

Abstract and editors’ notes

We here propose the concept of the Personal Research Portal (PRP) – a mesh of social software applications to manage knowledge acquisition and diffusion – as a means to create a digital identity for the researcher – tied to their 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, and based on the concept of the e-portfolio, the PRP is a knowledge management system that enhances reading, storing and creating at both the private and public levels. Relying heavily on Web 2.0 applications – easy to use, freely available – the PRP automatically implies a public exposure and a digital presence that enables conversations and network weaving without time and space boundaries.

[…]

Peña-López proposes the concept of the Personal Research Portal (PRP) – a mesh of social software applications to manage knowledge acquisition and diffusion. This is premised on the belief that there is a place for individual initiatives to try and bridge the biases and unbalances in the weight that researchers and research topics have in the international arena. The chapter highlights the main perceived benefits of a PRP that include building a digital identity, information sharing, the creation of an effective e-portfolio, and the sharing of personal and professional networks. He concludes that the main challenges that need to be addressed include access to technology and developing appropriate skills, problems that are recognised as stemming from the digital divide.

Citation and preprint download

Peña-López, I. (2009). “The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with open access”. In Hatzipanagos, S. & Warburton, S. (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies, Chapter 26, 400-414. Hershey: IGI Global.

Related information

Seminar: The Personal Research Portal: The Virtual Faculty or the Net behind the Classroom

The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research, University of Athabasca, has invited me to impart a seminar in the framework of the CIDER Sessions about my digressions around The Personal Research Portal. The focus here will be on the educator, as I did in my article El portal personal del profesor: El claustro virtual o la red tras las aulas [The Personal Research Portal: The Virtual Faculty or the Net behind the Classroom].

The seminar will take place online — using Elluminate — on Friday 11th April 2008, at 17:00h GMT (in English).

Relevant info

Abstract

Instructional technology has suffered, in our opinion, two revolutions and a half during the last decades. The first one was, there is no doubt, the introduction of the personal computer in the educational environment. The second one, the appearance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in a broader sense – that implied, among other things, connecting the PC to the network – and their use in teaching. The “half” left, as it actually is a corollary of the latter, the one brought by the so called Web 2.0, thus giving birth to what has been dubbed as Education 2.0.

Notwithstanding, the emphasis has been put, most of the times, in how these technologies impact the relationship between teacher and student or how these technologies whether and how enhance the learning process and its results: how can ICTs be used to improve education administration, how can they help teaching in a classroom, applications in distance learning, etc.

Our aim in this seminar is to shift out of the spotlight and focus on the “hidden” practices of education, to stress on all the tasks that happen outside the classroom – be it of bricks and mortar or virtual – before or when designing a subject or teaching it to the students, what happens after that teaching, etc. in this necessary phase of reflection and redefinition of concepts, syllabuses, practices and so on… but without students. We want to make some proposals on how educators can use ICTs in their more open, participative and social side to build themselves a place on the net, to weave their own network of colleagues, to share resources, exchange experiences or suggest doubts and questions to the rest of education professionals.

Our ultimate goal would be to highlight that we think it is possible to build a virtual faculty based on their personal portals built with Web 2.0 tools, way beyond teacher spaces inside virtual learning environments or other corporate tools from educational institutions, thus leaving room for individual initiative and, most important, digital presence and digital identity.

Acknowledgements

Sincerest thanks go to Lynn Anderson for the proposal, all the e-mailing that we’ve been having through the last weeks and the support in preparing the seminar.