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Thursday, 15th June 2006

Resource of the Week: Entrepreneurship Research Portal

Resource of the Week: Entrepreneurship Research Portal
By Shirl Kennedy, Deputy Editor
Source: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Kauffman Foundation -- which "is the 26th largest foundation in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion" -- concentrates its funding efforts in two areas: education and entrepreneurship. Its Entrepreneurship Research Portal "is a unique aggregation of resources, events and data about entrepreneurship."

Basically, this is an annotated directory of links to working papers, conference papers, journal articles, reports, etc. Most of what I looked at pointed to freely accessible full-text, although the site indicates that some items may require a subscription or other form of payment before you can view them.

The main "Research on..." menu on the home page comprises your standard Yahoo!-style directory of subject areas:
+ Entrepreneurship and Economics (754)
+ Entrepreneurship and Finance (342)
+ Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Growth, and Policy (385)
+ Entrepreneurship and Law (170)
+ Entrepreneurship and Management (695)
+ Entrepreneurship and Marketing (140)
+ Entrepreneurship and the Social Sciences (258)
+ Entrepreneurship, General (600)
The numbers in parenthesis indicate how many items are in a particular category, which gives you some idea of how much content is accessible from here. Below this is a second directory, "Research Events & Deadlines...," which includes such things as calls for papers, conferences, requests for proposals, etc.

When you click on one of the Research areas to browse, you get a "results" page with various options on what should be displayed and how. You can do a simple keyword search of the results, or click the "Refine this search" link to get to an advanced search form that allows you to select which item record fields to search, restrict your search to certain years, and/or search only certain types of materials -- e.g., reports, working papers, book chapters, etc. Several options are available for sorting results as well -- e.g., by year, primary author, etc.

Of course, you can also just browse through the listings under each subject heading; these are sortable by year and author, primary author, or year. Each brief entry includes a title, an indication of what type of item it is, authors, sponsoring institution, and a brief summary. The title is a live link to an expanded entry, which includes more information about the item, including an abstract and a download link. Everything I looked at was in PDF format; what's especially nice is that the size of the file is indicated next to the download link. I look at many, many PDF documents on a daily basis when I'm working on DocuTicker, and I really don't like the nasty surprise of clicking on a link and starting an immediate, resource-consuming download of a huge PDF file that I didn't know was coming.

Note all the things that you can do with each item entry -- e-mail it, print it, or add it to your list: "The My List tool will help you manage information during your visit to the Entrepreneurship Research Portal. With thousands of records in the Research Database and more than a hundred Event and Deadline listings at any time, keeping track of the items that interest you is made easier using My List. One click adds items to My List, allowing you to later decide which items you would like to print, or have delivered via email." If you register (free) at the site, you can store your list. Note that this portal is "creating registration profiles in conjunction with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)," one of my personal favorite fishing holes. If you've already registered at SSRN, you can use the same login information here.

Note that RSS feeds are available for both Research, and Events and Deadlines, powered by FeedBurner. Alternately, you can subscribe by e-mail, which is powered by FeedBlitz.

You can submit research to this portal, as well as events, calls for papers, or requests for proposals.

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