A portal for life science training resources

This week I’m attending a conference titled Collaborations Workshop 2019, run by the Software Sustainability Institute of the UK. The conference focuses on interoperability, documentation, training and sustainability. I’m blogging my notes from the talks I attend. All credit goes to the presenter, and all mistakes are my own.

Niall Beard from the University of Manchester presented a session on “TeSS: The ELIXIR Training Portal“.

TeSS is a life science research training portal that provides access to the training tools and platforms from various universities and other institutions around the world. TeSS provides metadata and a classification scheme for the items in the registry. The items are divided into two overarching categories: events and materials.

Getting data into TeSS

TeSS provides an online form for adding new training materials. TeSS also pulls in the material automatically, using things like:

  • Schema.org / Bioschemas
  • Website scraping, but that’s not an efficient  or reliable way of gathering data
  • XML schemas, but it’s tricky to get developers to use the XML schema to create content describing their site
  • And more

Schema.org provides a lightweight way of structuring online data. This is the most useful type of integration for TeSS, and is used by other content providers too. Schema.org has plenty of plugins that developers can use to apply the data to their applications.

Bioschemas.org is a community project that creates specifications for life science resources, and proposes those specifications for inclusion into Schema.org. The community is also working on tools to make bioschemas easier to create, and to extract and use the data.

Getting data out of TeSS

TeSS provides widgets that you can use to display TeSS content on a website, and a JSON API for interacting with TeSS programmatically.

Thanks Niall for a good overview of the TeSS training portal.

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 2 April 2019, in technical writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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