Knowledge Portals: A Review

Knowledge Portals: A Review

Hayden Wimmer (Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, USA), Jie Du (Grand Valley State University, Allendale, USA) and Roy Rada (University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2019010101
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Knowledge portals are a method to provide integrated access to users of multiple systems through a single-entry point. A large body of literature exists on knowledge portals; however, the only published literature reviews are outdated, as they only cover material prior to the 21st century. The purpose of this article is to present review on some major papers about knowledge portals that were published from 2000-2017. The review takes a holistic perspective based on systems development life cycle to critique the literature and identifies key challenges that enlighten future directions. Trends in the first decade of the 21st century include the desire to formalize and standardize a model of knowledge portals, while major challenges for the future include the need to maintain cybersecurity across users and platforms.
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In the era of globalization economy, how to leverage and fully utilize the intellectual assets is increasingly important for businesses and organizations. Knowledge portals, a sub-field in knowledge management are identified by researchers and practitioners as one of effective approaches to generate business value and competitive advantage. Knowledge portals emerged in the early 1990s as a solution to knowledge management containing disparate data sources. Knowledge portals were a new concept of knowledge management that integrated data from these disparate sources into a user-friendly environment. There are many requirements for a knowledge portal. The requirements include but are not limited to the ability to customize content, single sign-on, integrating data from multiple sources, search functionality, user context, and system scalability. Basic functionality should include the ability to capture, store, manage, retrieve, and present knowledge, as well as offer collaboration functionality for users.

The body of literature relating to knowledge portals was reviewed by (Dias, 2001). The literature review contained academic articles through and including 1999. A query posed to IEEE Digital Library on July 31, 2017 that required a term “knowledge portal” retrieved 817 bibliographic citations dating to 1994. Figure 1 shows the number of publications from 1994 to 2017. The topic of “knowledge portal” gains more and more researcher and practitioners’ interest when entering the 21st century. However, there has not been a current review on the topic of knowledge portals. This creates the need for a review of knowledge portals for the first seventeen years of the 21st century.

Figure 1.

Frequency of publications related to knowledge portals


The objective of this paper is to review some of the major works in knowledge portals from 2001-2017 in order to extend the current literature review by (Dias, 2001). First a Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) framework based on which the literature review was conducted is presented. Next, this paper reviews the literature based on the different phases of the SDLC framework that include planning, analysis, design, and implementation. A classification of the literature is next synthesized, and the research is classified by its common themes. Recommendations are made on future directions considering the current limitations. Finally, a conclusion reviews the key issues and trends in contemporary knowledge portal research.


A Conceptual Framework for Literature Review

The study proposes a conceptual framework for examining the existing literature on knowledge portals (see Figure 2). The conceptual framework is anchored by a fundamental framework of software development, Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The SDLC is used to provide a taxonomy

for the literature review content. The articles on knowledge portal development with a specific emphasis on each phase of SDLC are reviewed and case studies of implementing knowledge portals are discussed based on industries and regions. Definitions of knowledge portals are given next, followed by a further explanation on the SDLC perspective of examining knowledge portal development.

Figure 2.

A conceptual model for the literature review


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