Web portals were introduced in 1998 as a means of tailoring information and services on the Web to the tastes, proclivities, and needs of the individuals consuming them. Portals are often misunderstood and have been described by many as the most abused term in IT. Providers of Web-based information technology applications occasionally cloud the issues related to portals by referring to their nonportal products. In essence, portals are Web sites that have been tailored to specific audiences and communities for the purposes of: 1) facilitating access to information, 2) providing personalized access to online services, and 3) fostering community among audiences that share needs or purposes. Within 4 years of their introduction, Web portals were implemented—at the institutional level—at more than 20% of U.S. ...

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