Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Web Portal Research Issues

Web Portal Research Issues
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Author(s): Arthur Tatnall (Victoria University, Australia)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch649


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In general terms, a portal can be seen as “a door, gate or entrance” (Macquarie Library, 1981), and in its simplest form the word just means a gateway; however, it is often a gateway to somewhere other than just to the next room or street. The Oxford Reference Dictionary defines a portal as “a doorway or gate etc, especially a large and elaborate one” (Pearsall & Trumble, 1996). In the context of this article, a Web portal is considered to be a special Internet (or intranet) site designed to act as a gateway to give access to other specific sites. A Web portal can be said to aggregate information from multiple sources and make this information available to various users (Tatnall, 2005c). It consists of a Web site that can be used to find and gain access to other sites, but also to provide the services of a guide that can help to protect the user from the chaos of the Internet and direct him or her toward a specific goal. More generally, however, a portal should be seen as providing a gateway not just to sites on the Web, but to all network-accessible resources, whether involving intranets, extranets, or the Internet. In other words, a portal offers centralised access to all relevant content and applications.

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