Talk:SW OPortal Discussion
We might do a cost/benefit analysis for ESIP maintaining an ontology portal. The cost of maintaining a portal is the cost of a server and its connection to the Internet, plus the cost of someone to occasionally patch the software and update the portal software (currently based on Stanford's Bioportal). The benefit is harder to characterize, but might be estimated as follows.
Suppose a researcher in earth science gathers data that is intended to be preserved and shared. The data is "more valuable" if it uses standard terms and concepts, which would be found in an existing ontology, which would be found at an ESIP portal. The data is also more valuable if it is organized logically, that is, if its terms and concepts are organized according to an ontology. The researcher could create his/her own ontology, which might take several person-months. The cost of the person-months is $X. Suppose there are N such researchers in the world.
The ontology portal is worthwhile if Annual Maintenance Cost < N * $X
Researchers would have to be convinced to pay a fee to ESIP for using the portal, thereby offsetting its maintenance cost. The fee would have to be included in the budget for their grant.