OATP FAQ

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

How do I get started as an OATP reader?

  • To get started as a reader, just start reading the | primary project feed. (Here we link to the HTML version of the feed, which is organized like a blog with the most recent items at the top. It's open access of course. Bookmark it and visit whenever you want to catch up.)

How do I get started as an OATP tagger?

What's in the primary project feed?

  • The goal of the primary project feed is to include all new developments (news and comment) on all aspects of OA. In practice it includes just the new OA developments noticed and tagged by participating taggers.
  • We do a pretty good job in meeting our goal. But we could do better if we had more taggers, especially in countries, languages, fields, and niches not already well-covered. If you want to help out, consider becoming a tagger.

What's in the secondary project feeds?

  • OATP supports indefinitely many secondary feeds: one for each tag, one for each search, and one for each custom remix of our other feeds.

Is OATP crowd-sourced?

  • Yes in the sense that it welcomes contributions from as many skilled taggers as possible -- in every academic field, every part of the world, and every language group.
  • Yes in the sense that it aims to be comprehensive, and can only succeed when it takes advantage of the "many eyeballs" (and "many fingers") principle.
  • No in the sense that good taggers will need some training or feedback, and should follow the OATP tagging guidelines. No in the sense that new taggers must be approved by the hub owner.

The feeds are missing things. How can we make them more comprehensive?

The feeds are too voluminous. How can we make them less comprehensive?

  • Instead of subscribing to the primary feed of all new OA developments, on all OA subtopics, subscribe to just the secondary feeds on the subtopics you care about.
    • You can subscribe to separate secondary feeds separately or braid them together into a single "remix" feed.
    • You can create a remix feed from any boolean combination of other feeds. Here are some examples to get your imagination going: All items on OA in India. All items on OA anthropological research in French. All items on OA medical research and privacy. All items on open data in the humanities. All items on green OA and early career researchers. All items on business models for OA books. All items on OER recommended by user Zizi. All new items except those about open textbooks.
  • Subscribe to the feed of items recommended by a person you trust. Conversely, create a feed of items you recommend and encourage others to subscribe to your feed rather than the full primary feed.

How do I search the tagged items?

  • Use the TagTeam search engine for the OATP hub (at the bottom of the left sidebar). You needn't have a TagTeam account to do so. The search engine covers all OATP tag records back to the launch of the project in 2009.
  • For details on the search features and syntax, see the section of the TagTeam manual on searching. Preview: You can search tags, keywords, or both. You can run phrase searches, wildcard searches, or boolean searches. You can bookmark any search, create a new feed from the results of any search, or add the results of any search to a remix feed combining many different OATP feeds.
  • If you use Chrome, you can search OATP directly from the omnibox (the search and URL bar). Go to Chrome Settings, then to Manage search engines. Scroll to the bottom of the page. In the Add a new search engine text field, enter something like "OATP" or "Open Access Tracking Project". In the keyword field, enter "oatp". In the URL field, enter http://tagteam.harvard.edu/hubs/oatp/item_search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=%s&commit=Go. Then click Done. (If this technique is new to you, you'll be happy to know that Chrome can do the same thing with any other site-specific search engines, such as those at Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, and so on.) Once you've set this up and want to search OATP from Chrome, just enter "oatp [search string]" in the omnibox and Chrome will run the OATP search for you. This is fast and elegant. Because Chrome is harnessing the OATP internal search engine, your search string should use the same syntax you'd use with the OATP internal search engine. For example, to search for a tag like oa.policies, search for #oa.policies. You can also use quoted phrases, boolean operators, and so on.

Does OATP support user-defined tags?

  • Yes. See the OATP tag syntax for details on creating new project tags.
  • When OATP launched in 2009, it had only one official tag, oa.new. All the rest were user-defined. Now it has a longer list of official tags, in effect codifying the usage of its users into a standard vocabulary. But it continues to support user-defined tags and always will.
  • We developed TagTeam to support a vision of "folksonomy in, ontology out" and get the best of both worlds. As users introduce useful new tags, we can approve and recommend them, and add them to OATP's standard vocabulary. In addition, TagTeam lets us convert deprecated tags to approved tags, automatically, and OATP takes advantage of that power. For more detail on how TagTeam supports the automatic conversion of certain tags to other tags, see the section of the TagTeam manual on tag filters.

How can I tell whether an item has already been tagged?

  • First, you can search for it in OATP (see the earlier question on search). Second, if you're authorized to tag for OATP, then try to tag the item you're wondering about. If the tag form pops up blank, the item has not yet been tagged. If it pops up pre-populated with tags, then it has already been tagged. In the second case, you could withdraw, knowing that the item has already been tagged, or you could review the tags and add any new ones you think should be added.

How can I tell whether a tag is already in use?

  • To see whether it's ever been used at all, click on the Tags tab, sort the tags alphabetically, and look for the one you have in mind.

How can I deep-link to the OATP library of...

...all items tagged with a given tag?

...all items tagged by a given tagger?

...all items tagged with a given tag by a given tagger?

...all items tagged on a given date?

...all items that come up in a certain search?

  • Every OATP search has a unique URL. Fine-tune your search, and then save the URL from the word Permalink under the search box. If you prefer to save the URL of the RSS, Atom, or JSON feed for that search, then save the URL under those feed icons in the top right corner of the search page. Then share the URL at will.

Are OATP collections static or dynamic?

  • Dynamic. If you deep-link to an OATP library or feed, then people who click on the link later will get the up-to-date set of OATP items belonging to that collection (for example, items with a given tag or items that satisfy a given search). Hence, sharing the link to an OATP feed or tag library is a way to share a dynamic or continually-updated collection of resources on a specific topic.
  • For example, if you often blog about OA in your field, or run a project on OA in your country, then you could link to the OATP library on OA in your field or OA in your country. Then you could work (perhaps with others) to tag relevant items make that OATP library as comprehensive as possible. While the OATP library becomes more and more useful, the URL doesn't change, and you can share the URL through social media, email, web pages, or footnotes.

How can I use OATP for research on OA itself?

What's the difference between OATP and TagTeam?

  • OATP is a social-tagging project. Participants use tags for sharing new developments about OA and organizing knowledge of the field.
  • TagTeam is software to support social-tagging projects. It calls these projects hubs, and OATP is one hub within TagTeam.
  • OATP could run on almost any tagging platform, and when it launched in 2009 it ran on Connotea. However, existing tagging platforms did not have all the features OATP needed, and we developed our own, TagTeam. For more background on TagTeam itself, and the features we wanted that didn't exist on other tagging platforms, see the TagTeam home page.
  • While TagTeam was developed to meet the needs of OATP, it is now a general-purpose tool for open, social-tagging research projects on any topic.

Who's behind OATP?

Peter Suber launched OATP in April 2009. Until mid-2011, it was an overload project, like a blog. In mid-2011, it became one of the initiatives overseen by the grant-funded Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP), directed by Suber. Also see the HOAP front page for the HOAP funders, project principals, project coordinators, research assistants, and software developers.