Although now a worldwide discipline, the Social Representations Theory was born in Europe in the early 1960s. The development of the So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork will highlight Europe's position as an intellectual leader and pole of excellence in Social Psychology. It will promote synergy between research and education and introduce to others outside academia this rich European knowledge base closely linked with social policy-making processes on issues such as immigration and minority groups, quality of life, health, environment, and information technology. It will also augment and enhance the already growing "internationalisation" of European higher education institutions and research centres engaged in this area of research. It is a mechanism that pools academic knowledge with that of the private sector and political institutions and increases the added value of research in social sciences in areas important to EU citizens. Also innovative is adopting a networking approach to allow remote access to a user-friendly multimedia, multi-language repository of research data in this specialised field of social sciences. The production, development and dissemination of web based global platforms will make possible the integration of regularly scheduled institutional links, face to face meetings, as well as physical and virtual mobility for research trainees and academic and professional specialists.
This network is fundamentally based in information and communication technologies and is specifically designed to provide a high integration of diverse content and live delivery systems, including a specialised e-library, an advanced search engine, on-line bibliographic inventories, learning management systems, a web server, video-chat, media streaming server and audio and video e-conferencing tools, including an onscreen whiteboard for drawing and sharing applications, to present, record and playback the sessions.
ICT will therefore be both the tool and the goal of So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork project management.
In the perspective of a future “semantic web”, the category of products described above will contribute substantially to the development of the current web site by constructing a PORTAL for the entire field of Social Representations and Communication.
Beside the traditional tools and the large use of the ODL interactive tools, already above described such web-Auditorium, e-Meetings, audio and video-conferences designed for different communicative contexts and size of the target groups, there will be a specific extranet-Portal dedicated to the partners of the SoReComThematic Network not only for the whole duration of the 3 years project, but also after its conclusion as a long term acquisition of the programme.