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ISCB SC Portal requirements specification

This document is derived from Questions and answers page. It represents the summary of opinions of SC Leaders regarding questions discussed in QA. If you feel that I have introduced a bias during the compilation, please correct.

Here: Portal and Website are used as synonyms.

Young researcher community in computational biology -- is the main target group of the ISCB SC Portal.

ISCB SC Portal(website) purposes can be defined as:

  • reportorial: website is a medium to spread information about SC and its activities; Newsletters is an important reporting tool;
  • networking: website is highly a available open source platform. Establishes links inside young researcher community and maintains a rapport with eminent computational biologists; Portal should gather all SC RSGs under one roof and serve a common open platform for RSG initiatives;
  • educational: website helps sharing experience; it is also a medium for webinars, seminars and tutorials;
  • career: website informs how to gain necessary leadership skills through active SC leadership. Website helps share and spread the information on career opportunities;
  • scientific: Website helps to maintain a high standard of international research by covering the scientific events organized by SC and serving as a platform for peer review process; Website might also provide means for scientific collaboration: teamwork, publishing results/application;
  • organizational: Website should help to organize the day-to-day activities of the SC: project management, chat meetings, publishing minutes, drafting documents;

Note: that this is not the description of what SC is, this is the description of what SC Portal purpose is. Portal should be considered a reflection of the SC. But Portal is first of all a medium, and SC -- is an organization. That is why definitions differ.

The existing website serves for more than two years, thanks to Parthi. The existing infrastructure also includes many other websites and services, like OWW, RSG sites, campfire, etc. And this infrastructure has flaws that were well identified by SC Leaders in QA discussion. I will highlight most important:

  • ISCBSC is constantly extending and now needs more features/services which have to be integrated into one system but not spread, to simplify maintenance;
  • It is not easy to update current website content and manage access rights for update;
  • Resources are hosted by Parthi or some 3rd party organizations;
  • Once the infrastructure is unified, the templates need to be redesigned to have an appealing look;

One very important point is that ISCB portal has undergone a total redesign process recently and now is prepared for launch. SC Leaders decided to integrate ISCBSC portal with ISCB portal but have not decided on integration procedure. We need your help here, please contribute!

As typical website usage scenario SC Leaders identified:

  • interaction: meetings, forums, chat
  • get an overview of the activities of the SC
  • webinars, courses, tutorials, lectures
  • collaboration, community projects, various RSG activities
  • job opportunities, fellowships
  • scientific calendar
  • conference management system