How I made my own open-access “research portal”
By Rohan Fox
It is difficult – but not impossible – to access academic articles if you don’t have access to journal subscriptions. In this blog, I go through my experience in trying to gain access to academic articles and data while working at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), and how I tried to make the process as easy and efficient as possible. I hope that by sharing the story, and sharing the research portal that I created, that researchers without access to journal subscriptions have more of a chance to find the information they need.
The portal aggregates over 750 sources of online, open data, academic and government articles and makes them searchable through a customisable Google search tool. Most of the work was in finding these resources; putting them in the custom Google search tool was simple. I provide a link to an Excel sheet with all the sources below.
Why did I create the portal?
Perhaps this is obvious, but it is very difficult trying to do research if your organisation does not subscribe to hundreds or sometimes thousands of academic journals. This is certainly what I found when I was working at UPNG. A number of major publishers and other organisations have made an effort to either provide free or discounted rates for journal access to developing countries, in addition to publishing open-access journals. However, even with these initiatives, I found that libraries in PNG are under-resourced and due to this are often not always able to utilise and disseminate what is available. In addition to this, even if you are aware of all of the various initiatives, these resources are scattered around the web and often have to be searched individually (very time consuming!).
Nevertheless, this is how I started out. A number of major websites are particularly useful; Google …read more