FAIRDOM Webinar – Niall Beard, ELIXIR-UK – Building a training material portal: ELIXIR TeSS, BioSchemas and metadata scraping

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Date(s) - Thursday, January 19th, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Niall Beard representing ELIXIR-UK. He will be talking about “Building a training material portal: ELIXIR TeSS, BioSchemas and metadata scraping”. 

For any discipline, identifying high quality training materials is difficult. They are often spread across different institutional websites, personal blogs, or stored in archives. This means you have to know exactly what you are looking for, and where to find it. However, for many, training occurs when the person knows little about the subject they wish to train in. This makes it difficult to know what material they need to look for. Once it is identified, it is also difficult to know what quality others within the community rate that material. To solve this problem for European Bioinformatics, we have generated the TeSS Portal. TeSS aggregates links to disparate training materials and events scattered around the institutional websites of ELIXIR Nodes and other content providers (GOBLET, Software and Data Carpentry, EBI TrainOnline, Genome3D, on-course, and more.), making them centrally discoverable and searchable. Training resources within TeSS can be collected and arranged into packages and/or training workflows, forming graphical representations of scientific pipelines in order to organise resources into easily navigable views. Aggregation of training content happens automatically through a set of custom-made nightly-run scraper scripts. Scrapers use a number of techniques to extract information: HTML-scraping and APIs had been the predominant methods, but are either temperamental or scarcely found respectively. More recently we have focused on parsing structured schema.org mark-up data. The TeSS team, through the Bioschemas group, have been heavily involved in developing schema.org specifications for Life science training resources and promoting their adoption”

To sign up to the webinar series please visit:


The webinars will run on the third Thursday of each month at 2pm GMT. 

To find out more about the webinar series you can visit:


And to find out more about Niall Beard and his webinar you can visit:


We’re looking forward to seeing you there!