We often see terms such as “gateway”, “portal”, or “virtual libraries” when we search information.

To some extent, subject gateways refers to virtual libraries, and has the same meaning to subject trees. A “gateway” is a quality-controlled service that aims to help a community of users to discover high quality, relevant Web-based information quickly and effectively. It is a selection of resources via an intellectual process, within a pre-defined collection scope and an intellectually-constructed structure for browsing. It provides online links to independent third party sources and redirects users to the holders of the original digital material.

Examples:

  • INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
  • BUBL Link is a catalogue of selected Internet resources covering all academic subject areas and catalogued according to DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification). Not sure why it’s not updated any more since April 2011.

A “web portal” is a website for a specific audience that aggregates an array of content and provides a variety of services including search engines, directories, news, e-mail and chat rooms.

Examples:

  • CoolCite is a CV based academic portal.  It aims to support researchers and allow the sharing of ideas while supporting collaborations with peers. Users can access updated and relevant information for conducting innovative research. The portal supplies links to scientific associations, departments, disciplines and various forms of publications.
  • Excite is a collection of Internet sites and services owned by IAC Search & Media, which is a subsidiary of InterActive Corporation (IAC). Launched in 1994, it is an online service offering a variety of content, including an Internet portal, a search engine, a web-based email, instant messaging, stock quotes, and a customizable user homepage.
  • iGoogle (formerly Google Personalized Homepage) is a service of Google, and is a customizable Ajax-based startpage or personal web portal.

On my blog, I see gateway and portal resources as repositories, which is a selection of resources that are organised by certain categories.

References:

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