OATP introduction

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Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP) » Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » Introduction


The Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) is a crowd-sourced project running on free and open-source software to capture news and comment on open access (OA) to research.

It has two missions:

  1. to create real-time alerts for OA-related developments, and
  2. to organize knowledge of the field, by tag or subtopic, for easy searching and sharing.

OATP publishes a large primary feed of new OA developments, and hundreds of smaller secondary feeds.

  • The primary feed contains all new items (new within the last six months) noticed and tagged by our taggers. Following the primary feed is the best way to stay on top of what's happening in the world of OA. It's published in eight file formats to suit readers with different needs. The most popular abridged version of the primary feed is the Twitter feed, and the most popular unabridged version of the primary feed is the email feed.
  • The secondary feeds are more specialized. OATP publishes a secondary feed for each tag, for each search, and for each user-created boolean combination of any of the other OATP feeds. You can easily make a secondary feed to suit your precise interests, and follow just the subset of the news you most care about. You can also make a feed of the items you recommend as the most worth reading, to share your judgments and expertise with others.

Every feed has a unique and self-explanatory URL. For example, the URL for the feed of all items tagged with "oa.policies" is http://tagteam.harvard.edu/hubs/oatp/tag/oa.policies.

Naturally, all the OATP feeds are OA.

OATP aims to cover OA comprehensively, and can best do that with taggers in every ecological niche — by topic, academic field, country, region, and language. Hence, please consider tagging for OATP and helping us recruit other taggers.

OATP runs on TagTeam, open-source software developed specifically for OATP and now available for open, tag-based research projects on any topic. See the OATP hub within TagTeam. TagTeam stores all OATP tag records for deduping, export, preservation, modification, and search.

TagTeam's flexible search engine is a powerful way to facilitate your own research on OA. And conversely, your own research on OA can be a powerful way to enhance OATP, for yourself and others, by tagging items not previously tagged or improving upon the ways they were previously tagged.

OATP supports user-defined tags as well as an evolving ontology or standard vocabulary of project-approved tags. It takes full advantage of TagTeam to automate the conversion of deprecated tags to approved tags.

OATP was launched by Peter Suber in 2009, and until the summer of 2018 had grant funding to cultivate the tag vocabulary, refine the tagging conventions, grow the database, and develop the underlying software. After August 2018 it will leave its incubation or start-up phase and enter its all-volunteer phase.