Difference between revisions of "OATP future"

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Revision as of 14:01, 18 October 2012

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  This page has not yet been updated to reflect the transition from Connotea to TagTeam. It will be soon  
  • Since May 2011, Peter Suber has been supervising a project at Harvard to enhance OATP with many of the new features described on this page. (Under construction.)

Better default project feed

  • Eliminate duplicates. Today, if more than one user tags the same item with the same tag, more than one copy of the item will appear in the feed. For OATP, duplicates are a bug, not a feature. Duplicates clutter the feed for our busy readers. Taggers can avoid duplicates by reading or searching the feed before adding new items, but that's time-consuming. Readers can avoid duplicates by subscribing to a de-dup feed created with Yahoo Pipes, but that has disadvantages (seeing only the subtopic tags added by the first user of the subscribed tag). We plan to add tools to make this easier for everyone.
  • Eliminate spam. Today, spammers who make the effort can add non-OA items to the project feed by using project tags for non-OA items. We plan to add tools for blocking spam and spammers.

Better subset control

  • Currently readers can subscribe only to the default feed for a project tag. or to a filtered or combo feed created with a tool like Yahoo Pipes.
    • The oa.new feed is already too large for many readers, and filtered feeds are either too intimidating or not filtered in precisely the ways that individual users may want.
    • We're working on tools to make it easier for users to create customized filtered feeds and subscribe to any subset of the project feed (defining subsets by tags or keywords or both).
    • Of course we're also working toward greater use of subtopic tags, which will also support this goal. If you want to reduce the volume of your daily reading by subscribing to a feed which includes oa.new but excludes (say) oa.journals, then you will only reduce the volume to the extent that project taggers are tagging journal-related news with oa.journals.

Better tagging

  • More use of subtopic tags (not just oa.new)...
    • Subtopic tags are used unevenly today. Some are used frequently and some are used infrequently. Some have reached a consensus status as approved tags and some are competing with other tags for the same niche.
  • More tag convergence, or more use of subtopic tags from the project's evolving ontology...
  • More use of summaries or descriptions...

Interoperable tagging

  • Currently all project tags are from the Connotea tagging platform. We'll soon open participation to other major tagging platforms.

More tagging

  • More prospective tagging (of new developments)...
    • More people participating...
    • More people specifically looking for new developments in certain fields, countries, or languages...
  • More retroactive tagging (of older developments)...
    • More sporadic retroactive tagging, as taggers encounter relevant older items...
    • More systematic efforts to make given tags retroactively comprehensive...
  • We always welcome more taggers. But we're not systematically recruiting more taggers until we improve the underlying project tools, especially the tools for removing duplicates and spam from the feeds and the tools for encouraging tag convergence. If we recruited too many taggers too soon, we could aggravate the problems of duplication, spam, and tag divergence.

Tag convergence

  • OATP deliberately started as an informal folksonomy, but is deliberately evolving into a formal ontology. See the page of project tags. This evolution requires two kinds of effort:
    1. agreements among the frequent taggers on the best tags for given topics
    2. tools to nudge taggers toward the consensus tags and away from deprecated tags

Integration with OAD

  • Currently, there's little connection between the OATP and the Open Access Directory (OAD) beyond the fact that the OATP pages reside at the OAD. But we're working toward two sorts of integration:
    1. Retroactively tagging OAD resources with relevant OATP tags
    2. Prospectively adding newly tagged OATP items to relevant OAD lists


  • We'll soon add boolean searching of the project feeds.
  • We plan to add boolean searching of the pages tagged by project tags.


  • We're starting with OA because we care about OA. But everything we're doing could be done for any other topic. When we've strengthened, debugged, and refined our tools, and when we've learned what works and what doesn't work in shifting informal communities from a folksonomy to an ontology, then others should be able to use or adapt our tools and best practices to launch real-time, crowd-sourced tracking projects for arbitrary topics.

Volunteers wanted

  • Scan the list of improvements we have in mind (above), and consider some of the specific jobs (below). If you're interested in helping out with any of them, please contact Peter Suber.
  1. Making new project mashups
    • We need to give bloggers and webmasters more widget choices for displaying the latest items in the project feeds. We need widgets that webmasters can adapt to suit their blogs, using the titles, fonts, and color schemes of their choice.
  2. Retroactive tagging
    • We need to make our consensus tags as retroactively comprehensive as possible. If you're doing a research project on an OA-related topic (for example, OA journals in Brazil), then as you find relevant items, tag them with all relevant project tags, e.g. oa.journals, oa.brazil, oa.south_america, oa.portuguese and so on. Just remember to omit oa.new for items more than six months old.