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  • This page is private. It's just notes and drafts for the public OA tracking project.

Project tags

Primary tag

  • Primary tag = oa.new
  • Use this tag for any new development. The item will then appear in the feed for people following new developments. Optionally, you may also add any of the subtopic tags below; but even if you don't, the item will appear in the project feed and alert subscribers to it.
  • For this purpose a "new" development is one from the last six months. Don't bother to do research to figure out the exact date when it's not obvious. (Sometimes it's hard to tell.) Different users will err on different sides of this line. Also use this tag for a new article or blog post about an old development. People following new developments will want to know about them.
  • Viewing the results

Secondary or subtopic tags

  • Use these to classify the items you tag.
  • All of them are optional in the sense that you can add an item to the primary project feed without them. But they are useful to help you and others find items on certain subtopics, and to allow you and others to create custom feeds to track only certain subtopics or combinations of subtopics.
  • If you use one or more of these and do not use the oa.new tag, then the item will not appear in the primary project feed. This is the best way to classify old items.
  • All of these tags are merely suggestions. You can invent new subtopic tags at will. They needn't follow the project format ("oa.something") but they might be easier for others to discover and use if they did. Use this wiki page to add new subtopic tags which do follow the project format.
  • Things: oa.article, oa.audio, oa.award, oa.blog (for blogs themselves, not individual posts), oa.book, oa.cc (Creative Commons), oa.comment (covers blog posts), oa.conversion, oa.copyright, oa.cost (not price), oa.cr (central repository), oa.data, oa.database, oa.declaration, oa.developing, oa.digitization, oa.doaj (Directory of Open Access Journals), oa.drm (digital rights management), oa.economics_of (as opposed to oa.economics), oa.etd (electronic theses and dissertations), oa.event, oa.fee, oa.foss (free and open source software), oa.funder (for a funder action), oa.funding, oa.google.settlement, oa.green, oa.gold, oa.grant, oa.gratis, oa.history_of (as opposed to oa.history), oa.hot, oa.hybrid, oa.impact, oa.infrastructure, oa.ip (intellectual property) oa.ir (institutional repository), oa.ir.populating, oa.growth, oa.images, oa.journal, oa.launch, oa.legislation, oa.library (for actions by libraries or librarians), oa.libre, oa.license, oa.mandate, oa.music, oa.mashup, oa.measurement, oa.multimedia, oa.museum, oa.negative (for setbacks, obstacles, opposition), oa.oad (for items to add to the Open Access Directory), oa.oai (Open Archives Initiative), oa.oatp (Open Access Tracking Project), oa.oer (open educational resources), oa.p2p, oa.patent, oa.policy, oa.pd (public domain), oa.peer_review, oa.presentation, oa.preservation, oa.price (not cost), oa.privacy, oa.project, oa.psi (public sector information, or government information), oa.publisher, oa.repository, oa.recommendation, oa.retroactive, oa.rumor, oa.search, oa.service, oa.software, oa.standard, oa.student, oa.study (for surveys and other empirical research), oa.survey, oa.terminology, oa.textbooks, oa.tool, oa.translation, oa.treaty, oa.university (for a university action), oa.up (university press), oa.video, oa.web2 (for web 2.0 initiatives), oa.wiki.
  • Dates: oa.2008, oa.2009, etc.; also oa.jan.2009, oa.feb.2009, etc.; but NOT oa.3.feb.2009, oa.4.feb.2009 etc.
  • Fields: oa.anthropology, oa.biology, oa.chemistry, etc.; also oa.stm (science, technology, medicine), oa.ssh (social sciences and humanities), oa.humanities
  • Institutions: oa.nih, oa.wt (Wellcome Trust), etc.; also oa.u.alberta, oa.u.bergen, oa.u.cape_town, etc.; also oa.harvard.u, etc.
  • Languages: oa.arabic, oa.bosnian, oa.chinese, etc.
  • Nations: oa.argentina, oa.brazil, oa.canada, etc.; also oa.africa, oa.asia, oa.europe, etc.

About these tags

  • To be sure that the item you're tagging makes it into the project feed, tag it with at least one tag from the first set. Use any other tags to help classify it; the tags in the second set are examples of tags you might use for this purpose, although you can make up your own at will.
  • Format:
    • Start with "oa."; all lower-case; no spaces; no plurals.
    • Minimize the use of phrases, as opposed to single words; but when we do use them, use the underscore char in place of spaces, e.g. "oa.peer_review".
    • For date tags, month names reduced to first three letters; no day-of-month tags.
    • All my initial subtopic tags are in English, but that's because it's my language. Project tags need NOT be in English, although it would help if the non-English tags still started with the English prefix, "oa.". However, non-English speakers who want new developments in non-English languages to be brought to the attention of everyone following the project feed, should use the "oa.new" tag in English, even if they supplement it with any number of non-English tags.
  • These are tags that I'm already using. But I didn't begin systematic tagging until /// (April 1, 2009?)
  • Suggestion: When an item is about OA for economics research, use "oa.economics". When it's about the economics of OA itself, use "oa.economics_of". Likewise for "oa.history" (OA for historical research), "oa.history_of" (history of OA itself), and so on.


The governance problem

  • If we want an official set of project tags (so that we can have a "full set" project feed and search engine), then we'll need a way to agree on that set. Even apart from the inevitable quarrels, it's extra work for people.
  • See the Models section of the main project page. Some models would not require a governance system.

The proliferation problem

  • The number of project tags may grow so large that participants could not remember them all without consulting the web page.
  • If there are too many, then participants would either consult a guide (slowing them down) or not consult a guide (increasing the error rate and tag divergence).
  • It seems to me that the number is far more likely to grow than shrink.
  • One solution is to remember that you can make feeds that combine project and personal tags. You needn't make all the tags of interest to you into official project tags. While true, I doubt that this would do much to reduce the pressure to add new project tags.
  • From one point of view, proliferation is a virtue, not a vice. It increases the freedom of users to track (subscribe to or search) just the subtopics they care about. Is there a way to see proliferation as all virtue and no vice? For example: participants don't have to remember the whole set of tags, just the tags for the subtopics they care about. Because they care about them, they're likely to remember them.

The rating problem

  • The full set feed is likely to be too large for most people to read. One way to cut it down would be to create a combo feed with fewer subtopic feeds. But that would omit some subtopics. A better way would be to subscribe to all the subtopics, but support a filter based on user ratings. This would allow you to see all the tagged items above a certain rating.
  • This is only a "problem" because Connotea doesn't support user ratings of tags or tagged items. We could drop Connote in favor of a service which does, and solve the problem.
    • Scintilla supports user votes/ratings. It's from NPG, like Connotea, which makes me wonder whether they can are or can be integrated to allow voting/rating of tagged items.
  • Another solution: Connotea is open source and could be tweaked to support user ratings. It may come on its own or we could create the add ons we need.
  • Another solution: Introduce tags like oa.1, oa.2, etc. Or simply introduce "oa.hot". If you'd trust user ratings of tagged items, then you should trust user ratings built into the tags. This is not as flexible as a true ratings system, but it's a makeshift we could implement while we wait for a true ratings system. (Why not as flexible? Any user who made an item oa.1 would put that item into the oa.1 feed, even if you and most others think it's unimportant or even irrelevant.)

The plural problem

  • Should we include (for example) both "oa.repository" and "oa.repositories"?
    • If yes, then slightly more work for people to make combo feeds or search engines; they'd have to include both forms of each tag in order to assure good coverage
    • If no, then we'd have to educate participants so that they used the preferred form; bound to be mistakes
  • Would be moot if we had a tool to automate the process of creating combo feeds and search engines from selected tags; we could include both forms of each tag without extra human labor and without educating users; users could use either form
  • At the moment, I'm solving this problem by making all project tags singular (except "oa.humanities").
  • Related: The case sensitivity problem. If our tagging system IS case sensitive, then we have a case problem to parallel the plural problem. For example, should we include both "oa.repository" and "OA.Repository"? (PS: Connotea is NOT case sensitive.)
  • Related: The variant spelling problem. I say "oa.digitization" but our brit colleagues will say "oa.digitisation".


  • Project participants to tag new developments
    • Anyone who wants to join; the more, the merrier
  • Project tags (ontology)
  • Tagging service
  • Wiki page (in OAD, a successor to this page)
  • Governance system
    • To agree on the project tags, revise or retire old ones, add new ones
      • Why do we need to agree? So that we know which feeds to put together for the superset feed (total feed); and which pages to put together for the superset search engine (total search engine)
  • Discussion forum for proposing and discussing new tags
    • OAD discussion pages may work; but we'll probably want a way to push new tags to participants; perhaps they could sign up to "watch" the OAD discussion pages; otherwise we'll need a discussion forum
    • Don't use an existing forum like SOAF (much tech talk would alienate subscribers who want OA substance)
  • RSS feeds for the individual tags
    • RSS feed for all the agreed-upon tags braided together
  • Method for braiding together just the feeds you care about (combo feeds)
    • Yahoo pipes?
    • Users could braid together project tags and personal tags
  • Google custom search engine for each feed
    • More precisely: for the pages to which the links in each feed point
    • One for all the project feeds ("full set")
    • We don't have to have search engines at all. Users could track items with RSS alone. But one of the most valuable features of OAN was the way it created a searchable index of all items noticed in a given period. The system that replaces OAN should at least as much.
    • We don't have to use Google search engines. But they are free; easy to set up; support Boolean searches; and likely to be around for a while. As other good custom search engines emerge, the project could easily take advantage of them.
    • Google may not do what we need: not just to search the Connotea page of links (to items tagged with a certain tag), but to search the pages targeted by those links; to enlarge its index in real time as the page of links enlarged; and to do this for arbitrarily many links. If Google can't do what we need, does any other service? Connotea's own search engine supports boolean searching, but it only searches for Connotea entries marked by certain tags (and/or certain taggers); it doesn't search the pages which have been tagged.
  • Method for making a Google engine for any subset (combo search engines)
    • If we can make these at all, could always be done manually; but would like to lower the barrier and make it automatic once user selects a set of tags
  • Method for adding a project widget to a web site
    • to display the most recently tagged items in a given feed
    • if we use Connotea, then the method for this is described under "Showing Connotea Articles on Other Web Sites" in the Connotea Guide
    • have a working example on launch day
  • Recommended pages to display arbitrary collections of tag feeds
    • The project will generate feeds and search engines; the feeds can be captured and displayed by a huge number of different tools and services; this part of the project would simply recommend a few for users who don't already have favorites
    • I've started a Wikio page to collect the feeds, if only to have another way to view the superset; right now it supports only the OAN feed; eventually add combo Connotea feed; this is an experiment and I'm not sure I'm ready to recommend Wikio
      • but doesn't have unique URL !! @fu, I asked March 19, 2009
      • here's the form for adding new feeds to the page
      • also supports "vote" buttons, tho I can't figure out how to add them
      • here's the page which searches for OA (not the page presenting user feeds),
    • List many recommendations; encourage users to create other pages to collect the feeds and view the superset
    • the only snag about letting 1000 flowers bloom is that each one must add new tags/feeds as they are agreed upon (else that page will not display the full superset)



  • Keep it to a minimum! Nobody has time for it.


  • How coordinate evolution of the OA ontology/folksonomy?
    • How reach agreements on best tag for a given topic?
    • How persuade users to change old tags to new ones?
    • How resolve disputes?
    • Encourage spontaneous tagging with any tag that seems fitting, with retroactive discussion about best tags for certain topics? Or encourage prospective discussion for new tags? (I lean toward former; fewer delays and bureaucratic hurdles.)
  • How keep project feed from including offtopic items?
    • How counsel taggers who tag offtopic items? How exclude them if need be?
  • How keep project feed from omitting ontopic items?
    • How recruit taggers who will notice what we're currently omitting?
    • Is there a better way to keep track of tags in use (and agreements about them) than on the OAD page?
  • Encourage or discourage the following? (the more we encourage them, the less useful the ontology and tags are for searching or subscribing; the more we discourage them, the more we depend on a governance system)
    • coexistence of tags in the singular and plural (e.g. oa.repository and oa.repositories)
    • coexistence of tags in English and other languages
    • coexistence of tags that abbreviate and tags that spell out (e.g. oa.pd and oa.public_domain)
    • coexistence of tags with different punctuation (e.g. oa.google.settlement and oa.google_settlement)


  • Most taggers will use consensus tag for a given topic, if they know there is one. (See my Freiburg essay on self-stabilization.) How make an emerging consensus well-known to taggers? This could minimize the need for interventions and persuasion.
  • Look for list of technologies and social practices which support what Connotea developers call "tag convergence". (Is there a literature on this?)
    • Ability to modify one's own tags retroactively
    • Ability to know which tags are already in use for a given topic.
    • For plural tags used for same topic, ability to know which one is used most often.
  • I could pledge to modify my own tags retroactively to fit with any emerging consensus on the best tags for certain topics.

Tools that would help

Feed-based search engines

  • A tool to create a Google custom search engine (or Yahoo BOSS search engine, etc.) for searching all and only the pages picked out by the links in any given feed.
    • The engine would search not just the Connotea page of citations and links (level 1 search), but the pages targeted by those links or the pages actually tagged by users (level 2 search)
    • Google custom search doesn't yet support level 2 searches. The question is whether another service does, or whether we can create a tool to feed Google the URLs needed (level 2 feed) so that it only has to conduct a level 1 search.
    • Tony Beavers working on it how to use Google custom search for this job.
    • Related problem: Google custom search will only search so many pages (c. 1,500 the last time I checked). Has this changed? If not, how work around it?
    • If we do this, create a list of some of the major OATP-related search engines on the OAD page.

Display engine

  • An RSS feed reader lets users move through the project feed one item at a time (via keystrokes or mouseclicks). I'd like to have a feed display tool that lets users move through the tagged items themselves with exactly the same ease --one keystroke or mouseclick per item, viewing the items in order.
  • Because the tool would be very simple (just collapsing two clicks into one) and because it would bring this utility to all RSS feeds (not just OATP), I suspect it already exists. Does it?

Compound feed builder

  • For those intimidated by Yahoo Pipes. This tool would have a subset of the Pipes feature set: just boolean combinations of tags or keywords, in some very easy interface.

New Connotea front end

  • For adding tags, reducing mouseclicks and keystrokes. Minor project.

Item rater

  • Tool to let users rate any tagged item.
  • Could be built in to Connotea, which is open source.
  • Could be independent, mashed up with Connotea.
    • In this case, could be a mashup with a new project-specific tool or a mashup with an existing tool (which I don't yet know about).
  • Could be emergent, based on number of times different users tagged an item with oa.new (and/or oa.hot). That is, ratings based on tag tallies, not separate acts of voting.
  • Could be recursive, based on tagger rating (based on project activity). Active taggers gain project weight, and their tags gain weight in proportion.
  • Possibilities
    • Google Reader allows users to add a star to any item in any feed, and to share the stars publicly. Also allows sharing comments (as does Connotea).
    • Connotea keeps track of how many users have tagged a given item. That feature could be made to work as a crude rating (voting) system . More in "Questions" section below.

Tag thesaurus

  • Lets users identify tags that should count as synonyms, at least for them (as individuals), e.g. "oa.repository" and "oa.repositories". Effect is that a feed on one term will include feeds on all the stipulated synonyms.
    • Some synonyms can be for the individual only (opt-in by that individual, affecting no others) and some for all users of a given service (at least shifting the default, requiring opt-out).
    • Probably must be tied to some feed-generating tool, like Yahoo Pipes. But how make it as modular and universal as possible?
    • This could solve one of the major limitations of social tagging projects (as opposed to standard vocabularies).
  • An extra that would be very helpful: when two tags are used for the same topic (e.g. "oa.repository" and "oa.repositories") and when the system knows that one is used more than the other or the at one is favored and the other deprecated, then when a tagger tries to use a minority/deprecated tag, the system pops up a note with an explanation and recommendation.
  • Another extra: System could suggest synonyms based on how often similar but different tags were used for the same or similar items.
  • Several benefits:
    • Helping users change their tags, and stop using deprecated tags in favor of preferred synonyms (assisting tag convergence, nudging the folksonomy toward an ontology).
    • Helping users track all the news on a set of similar tags, without having to code each one into a tool for braiding feeds together (minimizing the damage of a folksonomy, even if it never moves toward an ontology).

Tag census

  • Counts how many times each project tag has been used.
  • Will help us at least in this way: We can make sure that the most commonly used tags are listed on the OAD tag page with some annotation. If we take any steps to encourage tag convergence (as we will), we should start with the most commonly used tags.

Tagger time saver

  • When a tagger opens the Connotea "add tag" dialog, this tool pops up an alert about whether the item has already been tagged for the OATP.
  • For this, would all project taggers have to register themselves somewhere? For example, the Connotea group? (Unfortunately, Connotea groups are not well-documented and it's not clear what features they already provide.)
  • Or could this tool simply scan Connotea to see whether the oa.new tag was already attached to this item, without knowing who the project taggers were?
  • Would be nice if this tool could show all the project tags (all the tags in the project format, oa.something) for the same item. Likewise if it could show all the "descriptions" accompanying the tags.
  • This tool would (1) prevent duplication of labor by taggers, (2) prevent or minimize duplicate tags cluttering the feed, and (3) promote tag convergence by showing the tags already in use.
  • Optional addition: For prolific taggers, it would help to have a browser plug-in which lit up a small flag when the user visited a page already tagged at Connotea (any Connotea tag) or already tagged for OATP (the Connotea oa.new tag). I realize that this would have to be browser-specific and would only be useful to a handful of people --who probably use several different browsers.

Tagger census

  • Lets project participants learn who (by Connotea username, which may be a pseudonym) has used any given tag.
  • As agreements emerge to use A instead of B, we could then ask users of A to make retroactive change to B.
  • Also allows us to conduct surveys of active participants --e.g. about tags, about governance....

Tag suggester

  • Right now Connotea suggests tags you've already used, based on tags you've used before that start with the same letters. Create a tool which suggests tags used by any project participant. This could be a Connotea plug-in.
  • It could determine which tags to take into account either by the tag format (oa.something) or by membership in the the OATP group (now dormant).
  • This would strongly support tag convergence.


  • A tool to crawl the pages tagged with oa.new, either take an excerpt or generate a summary, and list those excerpts or summaries in a new feed.
  • The feed to be beefed up with excerpts or summaries is whatever the user chooses, e.g. could be a filtered or compounded version of the project feed.
  • Helps solve the austerity problem.
  • An excerpt extractor (quoter) should be fairly simple. What about a summarizer? There are many text summarizers around. How many support mashups?

Optimal tagging service

  • Only listed here so that we can keep an eye out for a better system, or make recommendations to Connotea (or other) developers. We're not going to build our own.
  • Criteria, met by Connotea:
    • open source
    • RSS feeds for each tag
    • extracts full citation from tagged work
    • supports retroactive modification of tags, of one's own tags only
  • Criteria, not met by Connotea:
    • shows subscriber tallies for each tag feed
    • supports user ratings for tagged items (unless I can get this with a mashup)
    • supports searching of tagged items (as opp just metadata) (unless I can get this with a mashup)

Mashups needed

Full-text feed

  • Mashup the project feed with some service, yielding a feed of the cited content, not just the citations. For example, if we tag blog posts, then the new feed consists of the posts themselves, unlike the default project feed which consists only of citations and links to the posts.
    • We get close with the Google Reader "Next" button, which gives me hope that there's a service out there somewhere which would create a full-text feed from the default feed of citations and links.
    • PS: If we could do this, it would be Step One in building Google custom search engines for the full-text of feed items.

Text summary feed

  • Like the above, but feed consists of software-generated text summaries rather than mere citations or full-texts.
    • The existence of many text-summarizers gives me hope that this mashup is possible.


(Roughly from lowest to highest levels of involvement)

  • Be a tracker.
    • Follow the project feed, either on the Connotea web page, the RSS feed, the email feed, or through a widget on any other web page.
    • Create custom feeds to track just the subtopics of combinations of subtopics you care about.
  • Be a tagger.
    • Tag new developments with the "oa.new" tag.
    • Tag new developments with subtopic tags. Use only the subtopic tags you remember or care about.
    • Tag new developments with subtopic tags. Try to use all relevant subtopic tags for the most complete and useful classification.
    • Tag old developments with subtopic tags. Remember to omit the "oa.new" tag.
    • Write a short summary in the "description" box of the tag dialog. The description will appear in the feed and give trackers more that just the citation and link.
    • In the rare cases when the Connotea tag dialog doesn't recognize an item title, add it yourself in the title box.
    • If you're a blogger and post an item on OA, then be sure to tag your own post for this system. (Tagging it with your blogging software isn't the same thing with Connotea for the OATP.)
    • If you're a repository manager, tag all deposited articles about OA.
    • Launch a similar project to track new developments in your field. As it evolves, if any lessons from it could improve the OATP, bring them back.
  • Other ways to help alert others to new developments:
    • Add a widget to your blog or another web page to display the items added to the feed. This will help you, and all your readers, follow the project feed.
    • When you find a new OA-related conference, add it to the OAD events page.
    • When you come across a new or updated number reflecting the growth or status of OA, add it to the OAD page on OA by the numbers.


  • To collect OA-related news.
    • Comprehensively: catching everything of importance
    • Collaboratively: scaling with the growth of the field
    • Flexibly: letting users can decide which subtopics to follow or search
    • Promptly: catching new developments in real time
  • To create a model that could be applied to track new developments in any field, or on any research topics.

Folksonomy to Ontology (F2O) project

  • also see: "tools needed" for many ideas for tools to foster tag convergence
  • also see: (in IS\Do file) OATP >> governance for the folksonomy or ontology
  • also see: (in IS\OA file) article on OATP and related topics
  • what is OATP already doing to nudge toward tag convergence?
    • Picked a tagging service (Connotea) which supports retroactive tag convergence.
    • Supports wiki-based community tag annotation, to explain scope, recommend alternatives, flag deprecated tags, and so on.
    • Supports community *discussion* of tags (on OAD discussion pages).
    • Taggers who read the project feed can see the tags being used by others.
    • Encourages mashups to minimize damage of non-convergence. For example, if users continue to use both oa.repository and oa.repositories, instead of picking one and deprecating the other, then users can easily make a combo feed of items tagged with either of them.
    • Soon: supports a list of Tips to steer participants toward convergent behavior, and a list of Conventions to codify community agreements
    • On occasion I mention what tags I use for certain topics when I blog those topics, in OAN. For example (on oa.heidelberg_appeal)
  • Nancy Pontika project on this
    • started July 3, 2009
    • find literature on these transitions; case studies; recommendations; ideas for tools to facilitate the transition; existing tools to facilitate the transition; ideas to solve the technical problems and ideas to solve the social problems; how modify user behavior through information and incentives rather than top-down governance?
  • what could OATP do or consider doing?
    • Open up the Google discussion forum? or is it unnecessary in light of the OAD discussion pages?
    • launch a governance structure? (ugh)
    • use some online tools for ontology building
    • look for suggestions in the literature (Nancy Pontika on the case)
    • Don't forget that Tony Beavers is becoming an expert on ontology development; See InPho: Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project; also see the project's Taxonomy Browser; Tony: what would it take to build a taxonomy browser for another ontology, like OATP's? Are your tools modular and adaptable to other projects?


About the ontology or subtopic tags

  • Should the project have an "oa.hot" tag until we add the tools which support user ratings? I'd say yes, if only because we may not support ratings for quite a while. But note that anyone can tag an item as hot. If you subscribe to that feed, you're at the mercy of the most heat-sensitive member of the community. Still, better to start with it. Users can always unsubscribe from the feed if participants are too promiscuous with the tag.

About the OAD page on OATP

  • moved to IS, April 19, 2009

About Connotea

  • Connotea: If two users belong to the same Connotea Group, does that eliminate duplicates when they tag the same item with the same tag?
    • Test this.
  • When more than one person has tagged a given item, the feed tells how many have done so.
    • We could use this feature as a crude rating (voting) system, at least if we could (1) filter a feed to show only the items tagged by more than n people or (2) use the Connotea search engine to display only the items tagged by more than n people. Can we do these things?
    • But at best, merely shows popularity (not very probative when we don't have many taggers). What I'd like is a way to tag an item as more impt or less impt, even if I'm the only one tagging it.
  • Is it possible to tell how often each of the project tags has been used? So far I can't find that info in Connotea.
    • If not, then recommend it as an enhancement.
    • If so, then consider limiting the OAD list of tags to those used more than x times (x could be as low as 2 or 3).
    • You can pull up the list of all items tagged with a given tag. At the bottom of the page it says, "1 to 10 of x total." But I don't want to have to do this for each individual tag.
  • Does Connotea provide a way (e.g. through special searching) to identify all the tags that start with "oa."?
    • If so, PS start counting them for my data file on the project.
  • How do we delete groups? I want to delete "OA tracking project" now that I've created "OATP".
  • Does Connotea support mass tagging? For example, if Google wanted to cooperate, could it take all the items that come up in Google Blog or Google Scholar search and tag them with "oa.oa"? Likewise for many subtopics? If a repository had many articles about OA already on deposit, could it identify them all in a search and tag them all at once? Could ordinary users (not at Google or a repository) do that or anything close to that?
    • See the Connotea Guide instructions on importing a batch of references. There's a way to import them into one's library and to tag them in batch mode as well. For example, all bookmarks in folder x could be tagged with "x". Definitely take advantage of this. But could we also build a tool to move from search engine results to bookmark folders to Connotea libraries?
    • Could we build a tool to batch-tag items already in my library? For example, run a search to carve out a subset and then command that all in the subset be tagged with "x". (Already in my IS list of Connotea enhancements.)
  • Is there any way to track the number of people who subscribe to a given feed? There is if we use Feedburner feeds. But for Connotea feeds? If not, can we use Feedburner to subscribe to Connotea tag feeds? I'm just thinking that we could use the popularity of individual tag feeds as a datum in deciding whether to add the feed to the full project feed.
  • Is there a way to view (as opp search) all items tagged with a certain tag?
    • The oa.new tag library by default shows the most recent 10, and lets you choose to view the most 25, 50, or 100. At the bottom of the page it indicates the total number. Apparently a user can click "Next 10" (or "Next 100" etc.) repeatedly in order to see them all. (1) Is that true? (2) Is there an easier way?
    • Connotea allows users to export a "list". That may allow bulk downloading of the whole tag library (in a number of different formats).
  • Is there a way to create a Connotea RSS feed for all the items tagged with project tags *except the items I tagged myself*?
    • NO, not yet.
    • For participants who do a lot of tagging, this would be an efficient way to keep up with the *rest* of what's going on, the portion you haven't already seen.
    • It would be possible if Connotea supported full boolean logic. But so far it doesn't support NOT.

About integration with other tools and services

  • Feedburner also has a method to aggregate feeds. Is it better than Connotea's (for example supporting full boolean logic and not just AND and OR)?
    • Ditto with Yahoo Pipes.
    • If so, we don't have to leave Connotea. We only have to recommend these other methods for users who want to braid feeds together.
  • What are the best ways to integrate OAD and OATD?
    • For example, on OAD page of declarations, we could say in the scope note: "The OATD tag for declarations is "oa.declaration"." We could even link to the Connotea page of tagged declarations.
      • Likewise for data, disciplinary repositories, society statements, and so on.
    • Items in our big bibliography could be tagged "oa.oad.biblio". That would help (a little) in identifying articles not yet in the biblio. (When we come across a relevant article, it may be easier to see whether it has this tag than to see whether it's in OAD.)
    • Connotea allows users to create a "community page" about any tag. These are wiki pages where you can describe the scope of the tag and carry some discussion. Should the project use those pages, or use OAD for the same purpose?
  • What are the best tools/services for putting the latest items from a given feed on a given web page? (I asked gavin c. 3/27/09)
    • I'm already using the Connotea code on OAN and it's fine. But if there are better widgets for this purpose, or easier ones to implement, we should recommend or list, e.g. on the OAD page.

Long-term, low priority

  • If we start with Connotea and later want to change the tagging service (because something better comes along), could we do it without losing all the valuable past tags?
    • Connotea allows individual users to export their "libraries" (collections of tagged items) in many different formats. But if the whole tracking project wants to move to a different service, then (1) the new service would have to import from one of the formats to which Connotea exports, and (2) we'd have to get many or all participants to export/import their libraries. Moreover, while Connotea export preserves citations and links, I don't know whether it preserves tags.
  • I don't believe that any impact measurements count citations found in RSS feeds (from tagging services or any other source). But for the new generation of impact measurements, which combine many sources of data, this could be useful. These tracking projects should invite new measurement initiatives to to consider using their citation data.
    • The citations themselves are free for the taking for anyone who subscribes the project feeds. But to multiply each citation by the number of subscribers, we'll need to find a way to count the subscribers. See above.


for soft launch

This is the launch on OAN. First announcement of project and first call for taggers.

  • Finish OAD page
    • Finish and post the list of suggested tags.
    • Finish and post the FAQ.
    • Finish and post the instruction for tagging; for tracking; for making custom feeds.
    • (Finish and post tips?)
    • Explain somewhere that this project is about "open access" to research, not "open access" for networks or the telecom industry, for other railroad industry, for physician scheduling, etc.
  • Link to project OAD page from OAN sidebar.
  • Point to project feed from OAN sidebar, recommend it as most comprehensive source of OA news.
    • Make clear that OAN only covers a subset.

for hard launch

This is the launch on SOAN.

  • Say in blog sidebar (roughly) that OATP is the comprehensive source of OA news. This blog covers just a subset.
  • Write email stationery to tell correspondents who recommend sites to tag them instead.

for later

  • Explain how to display newly tagged items in any any combo feed on any web page.
    • Find a few of the better widgets to do this job and recommend them to users who want to follow the feed and help others to follow it. (I asked Gavin to help identify the better ones, March 27, 2009.)
    • PS make a web page with several of the widgets on it, letting users see what they look like in action. Each should be accompanied by info on how to get one and put it on a blog or other web page.
  • Add "tag notes" to each tag in the initial set of project tags. (Connotea supports this.)
    • Have a Connotea (or OAD) wiki page on each project tag, explaining the intended scope (not the same as "tag notes).
  • Have working feeds for some individual tags (other than oa.new) and some combinations of tags, to show that it can be done.
    • Both RSS and email feeds.
    • Combo possibilities: oa.new + oa.hot; oa.new + oa.germany; oa.new + oa.chemistry; oa.policy + oa.uk;
  • Add support for Google search engines.
    • Have a working Google search engine for the combo feed of all the initial project tags (i.e. searching the (i.e. searching the pages targeted by the links in that feed).
    • Having a working Google search engine for each individual feed (i.e. the pages targeted by the links in that feed).
    • Explain how to create a Google search engine for an arbitrary subset of tags (project and/or personal tags).
  • Activate Connotea group?
    • If I do, link from it to OAD page and vice versa.
  • Make Google group (OATP) public. Right now it's private.
    • If I use this, link from it to OAD page and vice versa.
  • When folksonomy fairly well developed, then recruit users to tag older OA items retroactively. For example: all items in OAD bibliography; OAD list of declarations; all journals in DOAJ; all repositories in ROAR and OpenDOAR....


Draft FAQ

  • I've deleted the questions already covered in the public FAQ.

Why annotate the subtopic tags at OAD rather than Connotea?

  • The main reason is that the project may not stick with Connotea. A secondary reason is that the Connotea tag notes are spread out on separate tag pages, while OAD can pull them all together on a single page. However, the use of OAD is compatible with using the Connotea tag notes as well.

What's coming in the future?

  • Many things, I hope:
    • I want to develop tools to make it easier for users to subscribe to an arbitrary subset of the tag feeds.
    • I want to add user ratings to tagged items so that, for example, you could subscribe to the full project feed but only see the items that rate above a certain threshold (to control the volume without cutting off whole subtopics).
    • I want to add custom search tools so that you can not only search the Connotea pages listing the citations and links for any combination of tags (already possible), but the tagged pages themselves.
    • Finally, I want to shed control of the project, and turn it over to the community.
  • One reason to refine the project is to improve it for its original purpose, to aid in the tracking and classification of OA developments. But another is to make the system of general use in tracking and classifying new developments on any topic. I'd like to bring it to the point where a new tracking project only has to create a new set of project tags.
  • Note that every time Connotea is enhanced, the project is enhanced. Connotea is open source, and is constantly evolving.
  • ps: make a page (list) of these things (phase 2, ramping up); write short summary here; point to that page for more


Tips for taggers

  • Whenever you can, add a description.
  • When you know that a certain item has already been tagged with oa.new by someone else, then don't tag it with oa.new yourself, even if you add subtopic tags not already present. The second oa.new tag will put the item into the project feed more than once, wasting time for readers.
  • Tips for tag convergence
    • Look at the tags in use by others.
    • Read the tag annotations at the OATP home page.
    • For phrases, use the underscore character: oa.heidelberg_appeal. For subordination (sub-sub-topics) use another dot: oa.google.settlement.
    • Be prepared to revise tags retroactively to bring your usage into alignment with others. (Connotea supports retroactive tag revision.)
  • Tips on subtopic tags (other than tag convergence)
    • Use an underscore for phrases, oa.heidelberg_appeal (unless the community is already using an abbreviation for the phrase, oa.pr for peer review).
    • Use a dot for subordination or sub-subtopics, oa.google.settlement.
    • The oa. prefix means "in connection with OA". Hence even a item about TA journals might be tagged oa.journals if the TA journals are discussed in connection with OA. Likewise, oa.article is an article about OA, even if the article itself is TA. And so on.
  • Connotea doesn't always put the title of an item in the title box, especially with blog posts. When it doesn't, be sure to cut/paste the title into the right place. Otherwise feed readers will think you're tagging the blog itself, not a particular post within the blog.
  • Periodically review the tags you've been using. You can see them in the left sidebar of your personal Connotea library (URL = http://www.connotea.org/user/YOURUSERNAME). If you see any typos, just click "rename a tag" (in the right sidebar) in order to fix them retroactively.
    • For tag convergence, you might want to look at the tags used by others as well. For example, see the tags used by Peter Suber (OATP founder).
  • If you use subtopic tags and want to reuse tags already used by others:
    • Monitor which tags other people are using by reading the project feed. The subtopic tags are clearly displayed (at least) on the Connotea page for the oa.new tag library.
    • For a complete (or nearly complete) list of project tags in use, type "oa." in the "Add to Connotea" dialog box and a list of suggestions will appear which begin with the same three characters. (Is this list complete? Is there an easier way to see it?)
    • I don't want to set myself up as the definer of an ontology or standard vocabulary for this project. But I've used a large number of subtopic tags, perhaps more than any other user. To see which tags I've used, look at my personal Connotea library (in the left sidebar). Ignore non-project tags that don't begin with "oa.".
    • (Eventually) use the discussion forum to talk with other project participants about which tags to use for which topics.
    • (Eventually) record community consensus about the tags on a wiki --either the Connotea community pages or OAD.
  • Check your tags. A common typo is to forget the dot, typing (say) oa policy instead of oa.policy. The effect is to use taga (oa and policy) rather than one, and neither is in the project format. If this typo occurs with oa.new (oa and new) then the tagged item will not appear in the project feed.
  • If you tag and item and also write a blog post about it that goes beyond a citation, link, and excerpt, then also tag your own post.
    • Two things would help here: (1) tag the your own post with oa.new and other relevant tags, and (2) tag the original item with a tag to identify your blog (for example, for OAN it could be oa.oan). The first will alert people reading the feed to your post. The second will alert people who look up the item at Connotea to all the blog posts which might be discussing that item.
  • It's more important to get relevant items into the "new" feed than to classify them precisely by subtopic.
    • If time is tight, or if you don't care to classify new developments or if you don't remember the relevant tags, just use "oa.new". You can leave it to others to add subtopic tags. Or you can go back later and add them. (You can find them again in your personal Connotea library.)
  • Put the "Add to Connotea" bookmarklet on your browser. It makes tagging go much faster.
  • The "oa." prefix in project tags simply means that the tags belong to the OA tracking project, rather than to another one. Hence, for example, "oa.journal" is for any item about journals relevant to this project. It's not limited to items about OA journals. Likewise for "oa.policy", "oa.book" and so on.
  • Connotea tags are not case sensitive. If you've already used "oa.comment" and then tag an item with "OA.Comment", Connotea will convert the second tag to the form of the first.
    • PS: But what if a given user is new and hasn't already used "oa.comment". Would "OA.Comment" then be recorded with caps, and fail to bind with the "oa.comment" tags already in the system? Test this.
  • If you choose to use date tags, remember that an item tagged oa.feb.2009 will NOT come up in a search for oa.2009 items unless it's also tagged oa.2009. You can use year tags without using month tags. But if you use month tags, then also use year tags.
  • You needn't limit yourself to project tags. If you use personal tags as well, then you make certain items easier for you to find. You can use the project tools to create combo feeds of any subset of tags, including any combination of project and personal tags.
    • Your personal tags for OA-related content could (but of course needn't) follow the format of the project tags: "oa." followed by an identifier, all lower-case, no spaces.
  • Note that Connotea allows you to change a given tag to another, retroactively, for any items you tagged yourself. This is desirable if you discover, for example, that you've been using "oa.new." instead of "oa.new", "oa.policies" instead of "oa.policy", or "oa.neh" instead of "oa.nih". Changing the tag name will then mean that items you tagged will make it into the feeds where you intended for them to appear.
  • When tagging a blog post, Connotea sometimes recognizes the post title and uses it, but sometimes uses the blog title instead. In the latter case, it would help readers very much to cut/paste the post title into the title box on the tag dialog.
  • When you can, please add a short description in the description box. Without descriptions, readers will only see brief citations and links. The more we can digest the content for them, at the moment of tagging, the better. (I say "when you can"; I don't always have time myself.)
    • Likewise, if you see a tagged item without a description, and have a moment, please add a description.
  • If an item is OA-relevant but not new, tag it with any combination of subtopic tags. But omit the oa.new tag.
    • If an item is new but not OA-relevant (but relevant to some of your other interests), tag it with any combination of tags other than the project ("oa.something") tags.
  • Reasons to use the discussion forum
    • To agree on the best form of a tag (e.g. oa.licensing v. oa.licenses); or whether to continue with separate tags on the same topic
    • To persuade people who use disfavored tags to change them retroactively
      • When there's consensus on this, there should be another place to post the consensus; hard to find in a discussion forum; good use for OAD? for Connotea's Community pages?
    • to facilitate governance, or community control over the evolving ontology
  • When a conference has many OA-related presentations, or a journal issue many OA-related articles, and you don't have time to tag each individual presentation or article, then at least tag the page listing them. If you can, add a description saying that there's more than one piece to be found there.
  • Don't tag blog posts that merely cite and link to another story, perhaps with an excerpt. Tag the story itself. But when a blog post goes beyond the story --adding comments, translations, or other links-- then tag it as well.

Tips for readers

  • To see the Connotea tag library for any given tag simply use this URL (replacing the final "TAG" with the tag you have in mind):
  • To see the Connotea tag library for any given tagger, simply use this URL (replacing the final "USERNAME" with the tagger you have in mind):
  • If you use Google Chrome as your browser, then add the Connotea search engine to the built-in search engines (Options \ Default search \ Manage).
    • I use "cn" for the keyword and "http://www.connotea.org/tag/%s" for the URL. This allows you to jump to your browser search box (Control-L) and enter "cn oa.policy" to find all the items tagged with "oa.policy".
    • There is a similar method to add the Connotea search engine to Firefox, but I don't know what it is.
  • For finding past news, comment, research, etc. on OA, consider your usual search engines plus:
    • the Connotea search engine, whose index will be richer and richer as the project proceeds
    • the OAN searchable archive
  • If the feed is too austere for you, and you'd prefer to read the original sources without having to click through from each link in the feed, then subscribe to the feed in Google reader and add the GR "Next" bookmarklet to your toolbar. Clicking on "Next" will take you to the next unread item in the feed --not just the next citation and link, but the very page that was tagged.
  • If you're a tagger, then use Yahoo Pipes to create a version of the project feed which filters out the items you tagged yourself. Then you can benefit from the feed by using it to discover what other people are noticing that you didn't already notice yourself.

Tips for bloggers

  • If you get a tip from the OATP feed, credit OATP, just as you might credit another blogger. OATP isn't under an attribution license, so this isn't legally necessary. But it would help spread the word about OATP, which is highly desirable. If you do this, I recommend linking either to the Connotea tag library for oa.new or the OATP home page on OAD.