Integrated National Research Portal: An Interoperable Web Application That Aggregates Research Publications

In recent years, research institutions have built systems (institutional repositories or research portals) that upload and store the different publications produced by researchers. These different institutional repositories help their respective institutions to keep the scholarly works in a central place. Institutions are using their repositories to host, manage, showcase, and distribute their research output. These different institutional repositories however, are stand alone portals which makes it tedious and time consuming for researchers to find information easily as they are made to move from one portal to another in search of information related to their research. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of building an Integrated National Research Portal(INRP) and thereafter build the system. The study employed an incremental development and integration and configuration model of system development to develop the different components of the system as part of the system was developed through configuration and customisation of open source platforms that includes searchkit and elasticloud. A survey research design was used to collect quantitative data on how the research publications must be structured and displayed on the INRP and what metadata of the research publication must be displayed. The target population was fourth year undergraduate students and postgraduates from the 13 different schools at the University of Zambia and a total of 30 students responded. The target area was the University of Zambia and data collection tools for the survey included structured questionnaires and observation methods. Data collected from the survey was analyzed using content analysis. The finding of the study on how the system must display the information revealed that (93.3%) out of 30 participants were undergraduates and (6.7%) were postgraduate students. The study established that the integrated national research portal was more effective for educational research than the stand alone portals. After the implementation of the INRP, an experiment was conducted to ascertain and measure the effectiveness of the system at making access to research publications fast and easy. A total of 30 students participated in this experiment who included both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Purposive sampling was adopted in the selection of the 30 participants. The majority of the respondents agreed that the Integrated National research Portal is more efficient and easy to use to search for information on publications. Therefore the study recommended that the integrated research portal is a very effective platform for searching for research publications as it makes research publications easily and quickly accessible and discoverable to the public.
Year of Publication
Number of Pages
Date Published
Capstone Research Project Report
University of Zambia
Lusaka, Zambia
Bule, Prudence, Emmanuel Kuyela, Blessed Makungu, and Linda Mwanza. 2022. “Integrated National Research Portal: An Interoperable Web Application That Aggregates Research Publications”. Lusaka, Zambia: University of Zambia.