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 open-source software
  • to capture news and comment on open access (OA) to research
  • in every academic field and region of the world.

It has two missions:

  • create real-time alerts for OA-related developments, and
  • 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 accommodate readers with different preferences. The most popular abridged version of the primary feed is Twitter, and the most popular unabridged version is email.
  • The secondary feeds are more specialized. OATP publishes a 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 customized secondary feed to fit your precise interests, to bring you the subset of the news you most care to follow. You can also make a feed of the items you recommend as the most important, or 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.
  • As you'd expect, all OATP feeds are OA (free of charge and free for reuse).

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. Please consider tagging for OATP and helping us recruit other taggers. For more detail, see our handouts on why and how to start tagging for OATP.

OATP runs on TagTeam, open-source software developed specifically for OATP at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, 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 research on OA. And conversely, your 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 phase and enter its all-volunteer phase.