Subject Portals Project Phase II (1 August 2013 - 31 July 2004)
This page descibes some of the activities that were undertaken by staff as part of the Subject Portals Project Phase II (1 August 2013 - 31 July 2004)
What is a Subject Portal?
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) defines a portal thus:
"...a network service that brings together content from diverse distributed resources using technologies such as cross searching, harvesting, and alerting, and collates this into an amalgamated form for presentation to the user. This presentation is usually via a web browser, though other means are also possible. For users, a portal is a, possibly personalised, single point of access where searching can be carried out across one or more than one resource and the amalgamated results viewed. Information may also be presented via other means, for example, alerting services and conference listings or links to e-prints and learning materials." JISC Portals FAQ.
The RDN Subject Portals Project has been developing portal functionality for five of the subject hubs of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN), BIOME, the bio-medical sciences hub; EEVL, the engineering, maths and computer sciences hub; HUMBUL, the humanities hub; PSIGate, the physical sciences hub and SOSIG, the social sciences hub. A subject portal, for the purposes of this project therefore, is a tailored view of the web within a particular subject area, with access to high-quality information resources made easier for the user through aggregated cross searching; streamlined account management; user profiling; and the provision of additional services.
What is the Subject Portals Project?
The RDN Subject Portals Project (SPP) Phase I was a 2 year project funded by JISC as part of its 5/99 Learning and Teaching call. The aim of the call was develop the visibility of the JISC IE supported information resources (formerly known as the DNER), and the SPP was originally known as Subject Access to the DNER or SAD II, which followed a 1 year project (SAD I) which developed prototype subject portals for BIOME; EEVL and SOSIG. SPP Phase I finished in August 2003.
The portal services that the project aim to deliver include:
The project is committed to using open source products wherever possible, and our development strategy has been to create areas of functionality in modular "portlets" which can be embedded in a portal framework. It is therefore an aim of the project to explore the feasibility of embedding the portlets within alternative third party portal environments, such as institutional portals and virtual learning environments, and to make this technology open source.
Subject Portals Project Phase II
SPP has been awarded further funding that will focus on the installation, maintenance and continued technical development of the portal software. At the core of this ongoing development is the continuation and expansion of the project’s model of collaborative software development. During phase II, which will run from September 2003 till August 2004, the portal prototype developed by SPP will be installed at the five participating RDN hubs and two extra hubs: ALTIS, the hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism hub and ARTIFACT, the arts and creative industries hub. Phase II will also involve extra interface design, further development of the portal services and development of additional services alongside user testing, impact evaluation and dissemination. There will also be further investigation of integrating portal services within institutional interfaces. It has been recognised that lessons learnt in phase I have potential utility for others developing portals for learning and teaching who may wish to explore embedding the SPP portlet developments within their own portal environments.
For further information on the project consortium see the Project Partners page.