In this post, Julia Flanders and Scott Hamlin introduce the Text Encoding Initiative Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service project (TAPAS), which will launch in spring 2014, and invite the community to beta test the service.
For over 20 years, scholars of all kinds have been encoding transcriptions of scholarly and archival documents using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines, an XML language and community standard. Those who care about documents are drawn to TEI XML, because it allows for rich description and embedded analysis of humanities research materials. Of course, the inevitable question for anyone who wants to use TEI XML is: “What can I do with my TEI-encoded documents?” And the answer to this question is not as straightforward as it should be. Challenges often arise when it’s time to publish and share the encoded content, especially for projects at small and under-resourced institutions. The TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service (TAPAS) has emerged to answer that question and address those challenges.
When TAPAS launches during the spring of 2014, scholars and practitioners developing TEI encoded texts will have a place to store, transform, and share their work with others on the web. Members of the TAPAS community will be able to publish their TEI data through TAPAS, creating projects which house collections of TEI documents. Initially TAPAS will offer a simple standardized publication interface, but as the service develops it will offer greater configurability so that projects can create more inventive and individualized publications.
Once materials have been published through TAPAS, anyone will be able to access and work with TAPAS data in many different ways. TAPAS will offer a collection-wide interface through which those new to TAPAS can explore, find projects and texts of interest, analyse the TEI encoding used, and perform other corpus-level activities. Individual projects will also offer their own views of their data, through their published collections. A reader interested in a specific project might visit it directly and use its collection interface to search, browse, and read the materials it contains. TAPAS also plans to offer an API to the TAPAS data, to support third-party use of TAPAS data.
At launch, there will be two different types of accounts available. Anyone can sign up for a free TAPAS account, and upload and publish data through the TAPAS Commons. The Commons will serve as a public collection of TEI data and is a good way for teachers and TEI beginners to get started with TEI. Full TAPAS members can create projects and collections of their own and manage users in their projects. At launch, TAPAS membership will be available as a benefit of membership through the TEI Consortium.
Over the next few months, TAPAS is conducting a final series of beta tests and we are still looking for people to participate:
- Help us test the new and refined features of the service.
- Help us test the service in classroom use in spring 2014.
- Sign up as an early adopter to create working TAPAS projects and collections that demonstrate the features of the service.
To participate in any of these activities, please register here: http://bit.ly/ufjOFO. After the testing phase, we’ll be doing a formal launch, so anyone wanting to use or teach with TAPAS in the fall semester will be able to join at that point.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.