logo Information about the Papuaweb Project honai/home page

This website is at an early stage of development, although it has already assembled a wide variety of research materials about Papua, including a bibliography of recent publications related to Papua, a world wide web virtual library, annotated bibliographies and a digital library. Some of these resources are now available on this website. Others will be put onto the website in the near future. Most important to the project is the inclusion of documents generated within Papua, particularly by the staff and students at Unipa, Uncen, and the works of other scholars in Papua. For this process to begin in earnest and for this website resource to continue to grow requires the project to move to its next phase - employing Papuaweb staff at both Unipa and Uncen. For this reason the project is seeking a major donor for Papuaweb. Expressions of interest or suggestions regarding funding opportunities can be made to infopapuaweb.org or to the Rectors of Unipa or Uncen. Financial support will enable this website to continue to offer free and unrestricted access to all of the research resources generated for and contributed to the website.

Papuaweb acknowledges and appreciates seed funding for the preparation of materials for this website from the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Project (SSGM), ANU.



More detailed information about the Papuaweb Project

(extracted from funding proposal, August 2002)

1.0 Summary

This is a funding proposal for a three-year project to develop an open-access bilingual website (Indonesian and English) and set of digital research resources about the Indonesian province of Papua (Irian Jaya) directed to the needs of researchers both within and outside Papua. The Papuaweb project aims to consolidate contemporary and historical research materials relevant to Papua and to promote further publication of Papua-related research. The Papuaweb Project is a collaboration between the State University of Papua (UNIPA), Cenderawasih State University (UNCEN) and the Australian National University (ANU).

In its initial three-year phase, Papuaweb will assemble a substantial and diverse range of research resources and make these available both through the project website (www.papuaweb.org) and as stand-alone components for use by researchers with limited on-line (internet) access. This enables the project partners to guarantee significant tangible outcomes from the first phase of the project while hoping to secure continued funding for the project by the end of this period. Core components of this website will include a comprehensive bibliography of all known documentation about Papua, specialised annotated bibliographies, important government documents and a substantial library of digital theses, dissertations and other publications relevant to Papua. The site will also help to foster a network of Papua scholars through regularly posted information about current research projects, academic conferences and workshops relevant to Papua research.

2.0 Background

Papua is often represented as a remote and unknown world. Though it is obviously familiar to the communities who live here, there is substantial documentation about this land and its people held by government agencies and in government archives, libraries, museums and private individual and institutional collections throughout Papua, Indonesia and around the world. Still these various research resources, their authors and their owners remain relatively unknown to one another and to the Papua research community. They are almost universally unknown to the broader Papuan community which might benefit in a variety of ways from improved access to - and the repatriation of - some of the intellectual resources of their region.

As the principal tertiary institutions in Papua, the Universitas Negeri Papua (UNIPA) and Universitas Negeri Cenderawasih (UNCEN) have a crucial role to play in the education of Papuan researchers. Together with a wide variety of business, technical and theological colleges throughout the province (see Appendix A), they provide vocational and academic training for employment in businesses, government and civil service organisations as well as educating the future political and intellectual leaders of Papua. The importance to these universities and other educational institutions in Papua of access to adequate resources for these tasks cannot be overstated. To date, UNCEN and UNIPA have generated significant research resources through the work of their academic staff and the requirement that students complete a thesis component for their degree. Since its establishment in the early 1960s, students and academic staff at the University of Cenderawasih have produced more than 4500 theses and research reports at their Abepura campus. Staff and students at the University of Papua in Manokwari (until last year the agricultural campus of UNCEN) also produced around 1500 theses and research reports during this period. These documents represent important research resources but they are virtually unknown outside these universities. Furthermore, with the exception of these thesis collections, other research resources about Papua at these universities are extremely limited, as is information about research materials held in other locations within or outside Papua.

In November 2001, a Special Autonomy bill for Papua was introduced by the Indonesian Government. This legislation significantly strengthens the role of local and provincial state institutions in the governance of the province. The successful implementation of this legislation will rely in large measure on the inclusion of quality research resources in the formulation of provincial policy and planning. Government officials, non-government groups and other civil society groups in Papua all stand to benefit from improved access to information about Papua as well as knowledge of relevant comparative experiences from the region. UNIPA and UNCEN have an important role to play in providing such intellectual resources, as do other research communities in Indonesia and around the world.

The Australian National University in Canberra has a comprehensive collection of research materials about Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Papua (including many rare early Dutch texts). Together with the extraordinary collection at the National Library of Australia (also in Canberra), this represents the most complete collection of Papua-related documentation held anywhere in the Asia-Pacific region outside Papua. The use of existing on-line library catalogues of this material represents an excellent starting point for the collation of a comprehensive bibliography of documents relevant to Papua. The collections themselves also represent an important source of materials for researchers which can be digitised and made more widely available via World Wide Web (WWW) technologies. The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS) at ANU has a history of research cooperation with UNCEN and UNIPA and a long tradition of inter-disciplinary research collaboration in Indonesia (for example the Indonesia Project http://economics.anu.edu.au/ip and the Papua New Guinea Land Management Project http://rspas.anu.edu.au/lmp/index.html). RSPAS ANU is in an excellent position to work with UNCEN and UNIPA in the creation and maintenance of a research website and is committed to providing the necessary technical resources and expertise to host this website in its initial phase. With this intention, RSPAS ANU has already leased the domain name www.papuaweb.org for two years on behalf of the UNIPA-ANU-UNCEN Papuaweb Project.

3.0 Objectives

3.1 Vision and mission

Papuaweb envisions a substantial open-access research website dedicated to all aspects of research about Papua.

Papuaweb's mission is to serve students, educators, research communities, government and non-government agencies, aid-workers, development consultants, journalists and businesses living in - or with an interest in - Papua. Papuaweb will achieve and sustain this vision by providing free internet access to a wide range of existing and new research materials, by training project staff at Papuan universities to create and maintain website content and by fostering a community of Papua researchers through its web-based network.

This vision and mission statement provides the foundation for all subsequent decisions about the scope of the Papuaweb project, including language considerations, website design and content and a range of related administrative, policy and technical issues.

3.2 A bilingual website

To best serve the interests of researchers in Papua and Indonesia, significant portions of the site will be available in Indonesian. To serve the widest possible range of researchers with an interest in Papua who reside outside Indonesia, much of the site will also be available in English. The need for a bilingual website creates opportunities for the translation of certain documents which might not otherwise be accessible to researchers with fluency in only one of these two languages. The decision to host a bilingual resource also significantly increases the amount of work necessary to create and maintain the website, both in translation and the need to create duplicate (parallel) websites. For this reason, there must be a special component of the project (and project staff) dedicated to providing high-quality translations of documents for the website. Initially, only core pages within the website will be offered in both English and Indonesian and most documents in the digital library will be initially offered in their language of origin. Papuaweb staff will establish priorities for translation work based on the recommendations of the project partners. While Papuaweb will not be able to translate all documents entered into the digital library, it will create bilingual summaries (or provide translations of abstracts) for all documents as they are added to the digital library resource to assist researchers in the task of selecting other priority documents for translation. The Papuaweb resource will require assistance from a project partner or staff skilled in the translation of material from Dutch toIndonesian (refer to Section 6.5).

3.3. Website design: practical considerations and constraints

Papuaweb will be designed to maximise its reliability, easy of use, ease of maintenance, transfer speeds and accessibility (universally readable by all internet browsers). The current state of internet technologies allows for websites to contain a wide variety of different elements, from basic text, tables and images to simple animations, audio and video streaming. However, much of this technology and the variety of scripting languages used for internet websites does not enhance research content and introduces significant technical problems for users (particularly those in Papua) and those who maintain the web resource. For this reason the selection of content for the initial phase of this website will be restricted to material considered of practical use and immediate importance to Papua researchers with only limited multimedia content on the site (discussed further in Sections 5.7 and 5.8).

The computer equipment, telephone connections and access to an internet service provider necessary for using the internet represent a great expense for many individuals and institutions in Indonesia, and most of these services are restricted to the larger urban centres in the country. As a result, only a limited number of people or organisations are able to afford the cost of a computer, internet provider and timed local (or long-distance) telephone calls, and computer training is not often incorporated into educational programs. For these reasons, most people in Papua are unfamiliar with internet technology (including many students at tertiary level). While hourly rental of internet enabled computers is now possible in some of the larger towns in Papua (Jayapura, Biak, Manokwari, Sorong and Timika all have local Wasantara.net servers) this remains expensive for many users (Rp.10,000/hour or US$1/hour) and the frequently slow connection speeds (particularly in Jayapura) create major obstacles to the effective use of this technology for many research purposes. It is unclear how long it will take for these services to be improved by Wasantara.net which is presently the sole internet provider in Papua. For this reason Papuaweb is fully supportive of UNIPA and UNCEN creating independent local area networks and - ultimately - their own internet servers (see Section 9.0). This will enable them in the future to be the host institutions for the Papuaweb project.

3.4 "Stand-alone" components

Because of the limitations of internet access in Papua, many elements of the website will be designed as "stand-alone" components. These components can then be used on computers without an active internet connection. This is of particular value for the bibliography and for digitised library resources which would otherwise require significant on-line time to download. Stand-alone components will be freely available to the project partners on CD ROM format. Most of the web pages described in the next section will be available as stand-alone components.

4.0 Outputs: Papuaweb content

Papuaweb will feature web pages with the following content:

4.1 Catalogues and bibliographies

  • Main Bibliography (Papuabib). A comprehensive on-line bibliography with all known documents related to Papua. This will form the core resource for the website and provide many researchers with their first opportunity to see the extent of materials available on various topics. This resource will include reviews by Papua researchers and bibliographic annotations to specific titles where possible. The bibliography will be available through the website, and be searchable by all the usual key catalogue fields (author, title, keywords, etc). It will also be made available off-line (via CD ROM) to various libraries in Papua, which will enable all major educational libraries in the province and some non-government organisations with significant libraries to benefit from the resource. It is anticipated that this catalogue will be of particular value in facilitating the work of these organisations seeking to create a digital catalogue of their Papua-related holdings. The Papuaweb main bibliography will also be used as the basis for a document and publications acquisition program for UNCEN, UNIPA, ANU and other libraries seeking a more complete collection on Papua.

  • Annotated Bibliographies. These pages are a series of annotated bibliographies written by researchers working on various social and scientific issues related to Papua. This will make it possible for users of the website to become familiar with resources available on particular themes without being overwhelmed by the scope of the main bibliography. It also provides an important educational resource for people to enhance their understanding of the context for this knowledge. These bibliographies will follow a similar format to the annotated essays in van Baal et al (1984), discussing issues in greater depth and including contemporary material.

  • Collections. These pages survey the wide range of primary research materials and ethnographic collections from Papua held in various institutions around the world. It will include summaries of archival, library and museum collections as well as descriptions of extensive private collections where possible. This resource will be of great value to Papua researchers who presently have very limited information about the extent of materials written about or collected in Papua by early European explorers and expeditions, by the former Dutch and contemporary Indonesian governments and by various private and institutional collectors and research institutions around the world.

  • Papua WWW Virtual Library (Papua www-vl). An extensive list of links related to Papua is being collated and will provide a valuable guide to other resources about Papua on the WWW. This will be available as both a list (similiar to http://papua.pagina.nl) and in the form of an annotated bibliography which provides important context for these sites and makes the Papua www-vl of great value to researchers with limited time available to search the internet. Already this list includes several hundred links and it will be regularly updated to ensure that it remains relevant.

4.2 Papua background information

  • Papua fact sheets. Basic information and documentation about Papua concerning areas such as geography, economics, demography, history, health, subsistence and commercial agriculture, natural resource management, linguistics and ethnography. This information will include publications from the government statistical office (BPS).

  • Government documents. This section will include a range of important Indonesian Government documents relevant to Papua including the Indonesian Constitution, the new Special Autonomy Bill and other related documents. It will also include information about the various international (governmental) agreements to which Papua, as a province of Indonesia, is bound. These webpages will provide easy access to a range of documents which are crucial to the responsibilities and functions of government and judicial systems in Papua, but are often difficult and time-consuming for researchers to obtain. Where necessary, this section will provide analysis and annotations to these documents.

  • Provincial Government Directory. These pages will detail the activities and structure of bureaucratic and security institutions operating at the provincial (propinsi), district (kabupaten) and sub-district (kecamatan) levels of government in Papua. The pages will also include lists of senior bureaucrats and military officials. This information helps explain the complex networks and inter-relationships between these varied government agencies and their changing roles under the 2002 Special Autonomy legislation.

  • Chronology. A detailed chronology of events in Papua will be offered on the website. This will be compiled from a range of notes and chronological sources contained in various dissertations about Papua. While this will initially be offered as a comprehensive chronology of all events in Papua, it will eventually be possible for researchers to use specific keywords (such as government policy, refugees, etc) to extract thematic timelines of their choice from the Papuaweb chronological database.

  • Who's Who. A feature of the Papuaweb site will be regular additions to a list of people and institutions of contemporary or historical importance in Papua. This "who's who" will take a similar format to the popular people profiles carried in the Papuan weekly newspaper TIFA and may even draw on archival material from TIFA subject to a formal agreement with the newspaper.

  • Civil society. Papuaweb will provide a list of known non-government organisations (NGOs) including a brief description of their work and contact details. This resource will be of great value to NGOs in Papua seeking to strengthen their relationships with domestic and foreign donor agencies, and will also provide important links for donor agencies seeking NGO partners for work in Papua.

  • Religious organisations. Churches and missions play a crucial role in urban and rural regions of Papua, yet there is little contemporary material available about the diverse range of Christian church and missionary organisations in the province. There is even less material documenting other religious practices in Papua, including Islamic institutions or the current state of traditional spiritual belief systems in the region. These web pages will help redress this lack of knowledge by providing some basic information about religious groups and sub-groups in Papua.

  • Business directory. For people wanting to visit Papua, it is extremely difficult to get information about businesses working within the province. Business plays an important role in contemporary development in Papua and businesses provide the majority of goods and services necessary for people living in urban areas of the province. For this reason, this page will provide basic contact details for businesses working in the province, including hotels, travel agents, computer and office suppliers, transportation services, etc.

4.3 Research networks

  • Conferences, seminars and workshops. These pages will provide details of recent and forthcoming conferences, seminars and workshops about any research relevant to Papua. Where possible, the pages will include any follow-up documentation, proceedings and reports resulting for such research activities. This component of the Papuaweb project will also be available to coordinate the organisation and dissemination of information about Papua-related conferences and workshops.

  • Research Forum. While there are several excellent email news groups dedicated to Papuan issues which serve the interests of activists and some researchers (such as Kabar-Irian), there is not yet an equivalent list to serve the general Papua research community. These pages will offer a scholarly forum for discussion of current research projects in (or about) Papua with the specific intention of helping to facilitate collaborations between researchers within and outside Papua. Papuaweb has already generated a list of several hundred Indonesian and foreign researchers with an interest in Papua and this list can provide a basis for a register of researchers to be held by the research centres (Pusat Penelitian) at both UNCEN and UNIPA. This register will then provide academics at these universities with a ready network of collaborators for specific research projects.

4.4 Digital Library

  • Dissertations on-line. The creation of a digital library resource on Papua is an exciting component of this project, but will be restricted in the initial phase of Papuaweb to the on-line publication of recent research work about Papua. Papuaweb already has a commitment from several Papua scholars to publish electronic versions of their theses or dissertations on the Papuaweb site. Since different copyright issues apply to theses and dissertations, as distinct from books and journal articles, it is generally less complicated to get authorisation for the reproduction of theses on the internet (see Section 5.0 Papuaweb: policy and technical issues). Papuaweb will carefully select theses and dissertations produced within Papua and by foreign researchers for inclusion in this electronic library. Most of the resources in this digital library will be in PDF format (which makes them easy to read, but less easily copied into word- processing documents). Since PDF format can result in large files, these components will also be made available on CD ROM to Papuaweb partners and interested researchers.

  • Journals on-line. UNIPA currently produces three journals and UNCEN has recently re-commenced publication of the Irian Bulletin social science journal. Because of the difficulties and expense of publication and distribution of these journals internationally, it is proposed that on-line versions of these journals could be produced by the universities for this research audience. This would be subject to further decisions by academic staff at UNIPA and UNCEN. Papuaweb will also seek to gain copyright approval to use or access articles about Papua published in other academic journals. Moreover, it will negotiate access for project partners in Papua to online humanities journals through services such as Eprint (articles in print at www.eprints.org), JSTOR (www.jstor.org), Project Muse (muse.jhu.edu) and science journals online like Elsevier's Sciencedirect (www.sciencedirect.com), Wiley Interscience (www3.interscience.wiley.com) and others.

  • Papuaweb publications. Papuaweb can provide a forum for on-line publication of any scholarly articles which would follow the usual process of peer-review. This possibility will be raised on the Papuaweb site research forum for open discussion among Papua researchers using the website. While this is a relatively new approach to academic publishing, it has the potential to significantly expand the available audience for academics writing about Papua and increase the speed of publication of this work (some academic journals can take more than two years to publish articles). Wider distribution and immediate publication could assist in making the work of many Papua researchers of greater significance to a wide public (this approach has already been proven by services like Eprints at www.eprints.org).

  • Dictionary online. Papuaweb will provide a basic Indonesian-English dictionary on-line which could then be downloaded by users in Papua and elsewhere. This provides an important basic resource for students and researchers involved in translation work.

  • Image archive and pwb imagebank. Papuaweb will include an extensive collection of photos and other images which will be of particular interest to users with fast internet connections. This will include extensive captions and give students and researchers the opportunity to make "virtual" tours to various parts of Papua. This resource will also be circulated as a stand-alone component to researchers in the Papuaweb network. By the third year of the project, these pages will include images of local interest taken by Papuaweb staff with the use of digital cameras.

  • Map archive. Papuaweb will also create an extensive map archive for use by Papua researchers. These images will include: maps from early expeditions to Papua; settlement patterns, towns and aircraft landing strips; topographic, geologic and climatic maps, national parks, natural resource concession areas and marine resource maps and other geographic source materials of interest to researchers. It would also provide a range of blank maps for student, teaching and research purposes. These webpages will be developed through the resources of the three universities and may involve collaboration with possible future institutional project partners like Bappeda, Dinas Kehutanan, WWF and others, all of which have extensive mapping resources about Papua.

  • Other publications. Papuaweb will encourage and support parallel projects which seek to digitise and electronically archive a range of other publications produced in Papua, including the weekly newspaper TIFA (and/or the other more recent weekly JUBI), the Rural Development Foundation for Irian Jaya's (YPMD) News from the Village (Kabar Dari Kampung) and other research sources.

4.5 Papuaweb and host institutions

  • The Papuaweb Project. This web page will explain the rationale for the creation of the Papuaweb site and provide comprehensive details of the vision and mission of the project and its various components. It will also elaborate on technical and policy decisions made by the universities on behalf of the project and provide an open account of project expenditures. Such information is necessary to ensure the prudent and transparent management of the website and to attract secure funding for the project in the future.

  • Universitas Negeri Papua. At present, UNIPA has no official website, although address details for the university can be found (http://webserver.rad.net.id/Hi-Ed-Net/uncen-m.htm) and an unofficial website has been created by a former student (www-personal.une.edu.au/~awidodo/uncen). Papuaweb staff will assist UNIPA with the creation of a website to meet the specific needs of the university within the first six months of the project. At present the university does not have the technical capacity to host a website and the local Wasantaranet does not have a valid IP address, so the UNIPA website must be hosted by a computer outside Manokwari. It is the intention of the Papuaweb project partners that computer resources at UNIPA be reviewed early in 2002 and expanded with the intention of providing a local area network (LAN) within the Amban campus as soon as possible. Until this process is complete, ANU will host a website on behalf of UNIPA, with content created and collated by employees at UNIPA and the Papuaweb staff.

  • Universitas Negeri Cenderawasih. UNCEN has only a residual presence on the web, in what remains of a web-based educational network (http://webserver.rad.net.id/Hi-Ed-Net/uncen-j.htm). Again, it is the intention of Papuaweb that by the end of 2002 there will be staff working for the Papuaweb project at UNCEN who can be trained together with the Papuaweb staff at UNIPA to create a website able to meet the specific needs of UNCEN. At present UNCEN does not have the technical capacity to host a website, although the local Wasantaranet in Jayapura is able to do this and they do have a valid internet IP address. Unfortunately though, the Wasantaranet server in Jayapura is extremely slow at present for technical reasons which should improve during 2002. Until that process is complete, ANU will host a website on behalf of UNCEN, with content created and collated by employees at UNCEN and the Papuaweb staff.

  • Australian National University. RSPAS, ANU has assumed responsibility for hosting the Papuaweb site on the ANU computer network and is ready to provide technical expertise and will seek to establish appropriate funding resources for this purpose. As a project partner, it will seek to meet its own expenses within the budget of the university while supporting funding proposals for research work, office equipment and project staff at both UNIPA and UNCEN. ANU is in an excellent position to host the Papuaweb site and already hosts a range of special interest research websites and virtual libraries. It also has its own comprehensive institutional website (www.anu.edu.au).


  © Copyright UNIPA - ANU - UNCEN PapuaWeb Project, 2002-2004.

honai/home page