New project: openTA [30.11.2012]

openTA, a project to establish a specialist Internet portal on TA, was launched in Bern in the context of the NTA5 conference. The project is funded by DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). The kickoff workshop of openTA raised considerable interest with more than 30 participants from Germany, Austria and Switzerland representing 20 institutions. The project which started in October 2012 is scheduled to run two years. It will be carried out by ITAS in close collaboration with the Library of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Institute for Applied Computer Science (IAI) of KIT.

The portal promotes open access publication concepts, allows free access to its information resources in the sense of open data, uses free software and makes its own software solutions publicly available for re-use in the line of open source, and it invites the TA community to get involved in the development process in the sense of open innovation. This concept is summarized by the term openTA.

The specialized portal is dependent on the resources of the NTA members and the whole TA community. At the input side the use of standardized formats and interfaces is pivotal in order to avoid any unnecessary effort of the participating institutions for the provision of data. At the output side services shall be provided in turn which aggregate the information obtained and which are at the same time customizable and embeddable in the websites of the participating institutions. A TA-News-Service and a TA- calendar were the examples used at the workshop to explain these principles.

Topics discussed were inter alia the anticipated costs for the preparation of the data, the question of the addressees of the specialist portal TA, the relationship to social (scientists) networks and the visibility of the data providing institutions on the portal. An important consideration and expectation expressed by one participant was that the openTA project may encourage and contribute to the innovation and modernization of the cooperating institutions’ Internet offerings. At the end of the day the quality and the attractiveness, in terms of content and functionality, of the openTA portal will be crucial for its success. In this sense, the workshop in Bern marked the starting point for an ambitious endeavor to put a sophisticated concept into practice.

Further information:

Project description openTA