To examine and discuss the features of library portals and suggest further development of these research tools.
The two categories of library portals (horizontal or public, and vertical) were examined to establish the characteristics of some of the portal software available in the marketplace. The study involved carrying out a literature search and visiting demonstration sites. Some library sites that have implemented this software were subsequently examined in order to establish features of their sites, and to see how these sites have handled the information literacy/research process.
Suggests that a well‐structured subject portal should be based on the principles of the flow of scientific information, and an information literacy component should be embedded in the portal. Such a portal could assist learners to become familiar with the breadth and depth of information resources relevant to their discipline. It should also assist librarians and learning advisers to become familiar with the information literacy requirements of specific subjects and courses. In this way, libraries should achieve their objective of making the learner information‐literate with minimal effort, and thus contribute positively to student learning outcomes.
The paper is a useful source of information for librarians considering investing in one of the commercial software tools and for those embarking on the development of subject portals. A pilot version of the subject portal implemented at the University of the Witswatersrand is shown.
The novelty in this work is the intuitive subject portal that is put forward; the elements and content of the portals are suggested.
Ubogu, F., Kekana, A. and Roberts, C. (2006), "Library subject portals: An investigation of possibilities for the University of the Witwatersrand Library", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 27-47. https://doi.org/10.1108/00330330610646799Download as .RIS
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