New training portal developed by Centre and University of Manchester

New training portal developed by Centre and University of Manchester

TeSS, an online training support system, developed by the Centre's research software engineer Dr Milo Thurston and Dr Aleksandra Nenadic, Niall Beard and Finn Bacall (University of Manchester), has been released by ELIXIR UK, the distributed infrastructure system for life-science information.

The new portal collects, disseminates and organises information about bioinformatics training events and materials from ELIXIR Nodes and 3rd-party providers such as the Birmingham metabolomics Training Centre. It currently contains more than 3,000 resources from 22 content providers.

Users can browse the training providers and resources they offer, create their own training packages, and design workflows to visualise learning pathways.

The portal also supports linking of TeSS contents with external resources, such as bioinformatics tools and data services in Bio.tools, and standards and policies in the BioSharing registry.

New technologies are generating huge amounts of life-science data, which scientists need to transform into new discoveries. However, few researchers have all the right skills to take advantage of this sudden data bonanza. ELIXIR-UK is responding to this challenge by coordinating European initiatives to train research scientists in computing, statistics and bioinformatics.

Chris Ponting, co-lead of the ELIXIR Training Platform, says, "TeSS enables users to discover training materials from multiple sources and combine them according to their specific needs".

The portal is a result of an extensive piloting phase by the researchers at the Centre (led by Dr Susanna-Assunta Sansone) and the University of Manchester (led by Professors Carole Goble and Terri Attwood). They explain, "We tested and refined the user interface and functionalities of the portal, working with ELIXIR Nodes and other content providers to ensure their training resources are described using a common standard (Schema.org and Bioschemas) and that the portal is automatically updated as they publish new materials".