PROVIDING OPEN ACCESS DATA AND INFORMATION
The SASSCAL Data and Information Portal is an open online data and information portal that can be accessed freely using any web browser. It is a data, information and knowledge management and sharing system.
With this data portal, SASSCAL in collaboration with strong African and international partners from research, public service and private sector, will host, safeguard and make available data and information resources openly, yet ensure the integrity and ownership of the contributing parties.
Providing a platform for uploading data and information
The SASSCAL Data and Information Portal functionality provides researchers and scientists with a platform to share their data and information resources, while at the same time retaining the ownership and responsibility of their resource. To this end, the Portal is optimised in terms of providing an efficient data and information entry facility, but moreover, it is safeguarded by a fine-grained user access.
Enabling efficient data and information management and sharing
The SASSCAL Data and Information Portal allows for the management, analysis, visualisation, linkage and presentation of various types of data and resources, including time series data, geospatial data, space-time data, publications, documents and others.
The powerful search functionality of the Portal is supported and enabled by comprehensive metadata records for all resources, that the system makes available. The metadata model is based on ISO standards (e.g., ISO, 2005) and further adheres to specifications of gazetted metadata standards in the SASSCAL countries.
Open system for open data
The portal offers a fine-grained user permission control approach which allows the data owner to upload and update data but also permits setting up access permissions.
Notably, the resources hosted by the SASSCAL Data and Information Portal are not limited to the SASSCAL research outputs, but also extend to publicly accessible data from other sources relevant to SASSCAL researchers and stakeholders, including the research community, decision makers and the public.
The SASSCAL Data and Information Portal is based exclusively on open source solutions, while ensuring data interoperability and allowing extensibility. The system is based on a three-tier architecture with user frontends and server functionality for database operations. All data are processed on the server, putting less strain on hardware capacity at the end user’s side.