EOSC Portal - A gateway to information and resources in EOSC
We at EOSC Enhance are thrilled to share with the EOSC community some thoughts on the latest activities we have carried out through the spring of 2021, since the previous entry of our Dev Diary.
Over the past couple of months, we have opened up to providers and users with dedicated virtual meetings to gather relevant feedback about the new features and functionalities implemented in the EOSC Portal, and especially to collect requirements towards the next EOSC Portal release due in autumn 2021.
We have also defined the EOSC Enhance Key Exploitable Results, seven core contributions to the long-term journey of the European Open Science Cloud, that will be further elaborated towards the end of the project in the next six months.
As usual, you can find useful materials on how to navigate the Portal, onboard resources, exploit a range of different features, and many other actions, on the Using the Portal section.
Without further ado, let’s take a look back at the main public activities organised by the EOSC Enhance team!
In our constant quest to enhance the user experience, we held a first public meeting on 17 March to introduce the main updates for end users, presented by Bartosz Wilk (CYFRONET).
He explained how to discover resources via the EOSC Portal Marketplace, how to navigate the improved interface for provider and resource information, and finally how to access the resources themselves. We also had the chance to take a better look at the user space, and at how to provide feedback via the platform.
This presentation was followed by an interactive poll session led by Roksana Wilk (CYFRONET), asking the audience for opinions and insights on the latest changes and for their expectations concerning the future developments of the Marketplace. The meeting concluded with a rich Q&A involving the audience, from which we have extracted several of the most interesting outcomes at this link.
In addition, between late April and early May we held an open survey targeted at the EOSC community, to look more closely at the individuals who populate and co-create the EOSC ecosystem, understand who they are, where they come from and what they need the most in their everyday research activities.
More than 40 users provided responses and several of them also expressed the wish to further contribute to the development of specific user personas. Thanks to this knowledge, the EOSC Enhance team managed to capture other expected short-term enhancements that can be introduced in the next EOSC Portal release in autumn 2021, or long-term ones that can be passed onto the next project coordinating work on the EOSC Portal.
A new feature for users has been added: the Recommender System, which suggests relevant resources based on users’ preferences and making it easier for them to find exactly what they are looking for.
This is based on the user’s order history, as well as similarities among users and between resources, on key features such as scientific domains or categories. A so-called “Pre-Agent” computes recommendations and collects information through user clicks. It will evolve into a more advanced system in the upcoming months, contributing to improve the user experience on the Marketplace.
The virtual meeting format was a success, so we decided to replicate it on 11 May with a dedicated session for service providers, where we welcomed more than 70 participants.
The meeting opened with a brief overview of EOSC Enhance offered by Federico Drago (Trust-IT Services), who also touched upon the next steps and upcoming alignment with the INFRAEOSC-03 project EOSC Future, as well as on the possibility for providers to submit promotional to promote their resources.
This was followed by an in-depth presentation by Jorge Sanchez (JNP) about the EOSC Portal specifications and processes, explaining the well-established concept of the EOSC as a system of systems. Jorge highlighted the key documents available to organisations already onboarded as providers, and to those that wish to do so, such as the EOSC Profiles. The relevant Providers documentation can be found on the EOSC Portal website.
George Papastefanatos (University of Athens) closed the first half of the meeting by outlining the main features of the Providers Dashboard, allowing providers to onboard resources, consult statistics, exploit APIs to manage their resources, as well as submit feedback to the development team.
As for the previous virtual meeting, this one featured an interactive session on sli.do and a dense Q&A, through which providers were encouraged to share their feedback, so as to contribute to future enhancements to the EOSC Portal experience.
One particular requirement which emerged from the session was the need for onboarding entire existing catalogues into the Portal, which is something that the EOSC Enhance team is already working on, to be tested in collaboration with such projects as NI4OS-Europe and EOSC-Synergy.
The public phase of the EOSC Enhance requirements gathering activity has been really eventful up to now, and we are looking forward to working on the most relevant requests coming from the EOSC community.
Over the next few months, one of our key activities will be the alignment with EOSC Future, as well as with the many new initiatives in the EOSC ecosystem and the EOSC Association, in order to further improve the EOSC Portal and bring it to more and more research communities.