Transnational Radio Knowledge Platform – Database User Guide

This guide is intended for users of the Transnational Radio Knowledge Platform ( It explains how to browse and contribute to the asset database.

At the core of the Knowledge Platform is a curated database with specific content related to transnational radio. Users are able to freely browse the available material (audio, text documents, video, images, interactive media) using predefined filters like language, genre or a free-text search. Rich metadata and an interactive annotation timeline for audio/video assets enable a deeper understanding and contextualization of the material. Where IP rights allow it, audio/video can be streamed or downloaded even without a login. For rights-restricted assets, interested researchers may contact the TRE team to get a login with more comprehensive access for scientific use.

1. Getting to the database section of the Transnational Radio Knowledge Platform

To load the asset database, click the top menu Link labeled “Database”.

2. Browsing the database: Basics

There are some naming conventions that you should know:

  • Asset: A single entry in the database. In the search listing below, a row in the results table represents one asset.
  • Match/Result: When you do a search or use the facet/collection filters, you will see a list of assets that matches your search criteria.
  • Collection: Assets can be added to so-called collections, which enable users to curate assets along specific research topics or scientific uses. An asset can belong to multiple collections.

Technically, the database is a web application embedded in the TRE website, so you may see a short message that says “checking authorization” or similar. After the database application is loaded, you will see the screen below. You can do a couple of things here:

  1. For TRE members and contributors: Log in to your account to edit/add content, change your email/password.
  2. Free-text search field: Enter your search term and press Enter, or click the loupe button.
  3. This number will show you the total results for your current search (free-text + collections + facet filters).
  4. Go to the next result page, or control how many results per page you want to see.
  5. Browse existing collections: click a collection name to only see assets from that collection.

3. Narrowing down results with facet filters

Beside searching for specific words in the free-text field, you can also narrow down results with the facet filters that appear after you entered a search term. In the example below, we search for the very generic term “radio”, which leaves 32 matches from the initial 79 assets. You can now use the filters to further narrow down these 32 results. The section labeled “Facets” allows you to filter for language, genre and subject of assets in the database. The small number in the black circle indicates how many results there are for each filter option. In this example, just one match from our search for “radio” is in English. Clicking on the filter option of your choosing will leave only the results that match both your search term and the active facet filter option – in this example, only one asset matches the search term “radio” AND the language filter “English”.

4. Browsing collections

Collections work similarly to facet filters, but their labels are not related to the asset content itself. While the facet language filter shows the language of the asset itself, a collection like “Berlin Aesthetics Workshop” may hold assets that will be discussed at this event. Similarly, a collection labeled “Nordic radio history” can list all assets that are somehow related to this research area. Like facet filters, the collection listing shows you how many assets it currently has.

Attention: When you click on a collection name, the list will just show you assets that are in this collection AND match the current search. In the screenshot below, you can see that the collection “aesthetics” contains one asset – but since I have searched for the term “station”, I get zero matches, because the one asset within “aesthetics” does not contain the term “station” as well. While this allows you to search for specific items within a large collection, please be aware that you might need to reset your other filters if you want to see all assets of a collection.

5. Viewing an asset

To see all available metadata as well as any files for an asset, click anywhere on its row within the search result listing (indicated by the orange box). While the “Open” button to the right does the same, it opens in a new browser tab, which unfortunately breaks the navigation functionality. We're working on a fix for that.

6. The asset page: Playback, files and metadata

  1. Go back to the search listing, including your last search term and filter settings.
  2. Start a new search for a free-text search term.
  3. If the asset contains audio/video files, you can play them here.
  4. View or create annotations for the files in this asset (cf. chapter “Working with annotations” in this User Guide).
  5. All files that have been uploaded for this asset. You can see the file type, and click the link to download the file to your computer.
  6. All available metadata for this asset. Not all fields are mandatory, so there might be some blank lines.
  7. List of all collections this asset is associated with. You can click on a collection to see all assets from that collection.

For a detailed explanation of the metadata fields, please see the chapter “Entering asset metadata”.

7. Logging in to the database

TRE members as well as contributors can log in to do the following:

  • Edit/create asset files, metadata and settings
  • Add to or remove assets from collections
  • Mark collections as favorites to always show them on top of the collections list
  • For administrators: View, add or remove users, edit their profile (name + email) or change their password

At the moment, only administrators can create accounts or reset passwords.

To log in:

  1. click the button labeled “Log in” on the upper right
  2. Fill in your email and password. Check “remember me” to remain logged in on your computer (when you use another computer, you will have to login again)

After you're logged in:

  1. Click the menu button in the upper right (where the “log in” button was before) to see all available menu options. These may vary depending on your accounts' permissions.
  2. Your favorite collections are marked with a small star, and will always be at the top of the collections list. Click “Edit favorites” to change this.
  3. Click on a collection name to toggle favorites on/off. A small star indicates that a collection is currently marked as your favorite. Click “Done” when you're finished to save your favorites.

8. Creating an asset with files and metadata

To create a new asset:

  1. click the menu button in the upper right (cf. step 3 of “Logging in”), and choose “Create Asset”.
  2. The new asset will have an automatically assigned identifier, which is a long string of numbers and letters. Enter a title in the metadata section to replace this.
  3. Upload a file: Choose one of the available file types (video, audio, image or other), then choose a file from your local computer. Once the upload has finished, audio/video will automatically be converted into playable formats. All files you upload will appear in the files section. You may upload multiple files of all types related to this asset.
  4. The “Edit” buttons will bring up the edit form where you can enter metadata for this asset (cf. chapter “Entering asset metadata”).
  5. Add this asset to an existing or new collection. Once you start typing in the text field, you will see a list of all existing collections that match the text you entered. To add the asset to an existing collection, click on the collection name from the results list. To create a new collection, keep typing its name and click add.
  6. This setting determines whether the asset files will be visible for all users, or only for logged-in members. This is necessary if files are rights-restricted (or if their rights situation are unclear).
  7. Delete the whole asset including metadata and any uploaded files. Attention: There is no way to recover deleted assets!

9. Entering asset metadata

After you click the “Edit” button on an asset page, you will see the metadata edit form below. To save your changes, click the green “Save” button (cf. 1) or cancel all edits with the red “Cancel” button. Fields with a brown exclamation mark triangle have to be filled before you can save your edit.

Entry conventions for each metadata field

  • Title: The original title of this asset (book title, production title, etc). If there is none, pick a concise descriptive title.
  • Language: Select the main language of this asset. Click “Select an Option” to see a list of all available languages. You can narrow down the list by typing in the field above (cf. 2).
  • Author: Enter the author(s), main creator or similar.
  • Channel: If this was broadcast on a specific channel, please name it.
  • Abstract: A short description of the assets' content, e.g. a key findings of an article or a one-sentence summary of a radio piece.
  • RightsHolder: Who holds the copyright over this asset?
  • Genre: The format or genre of the asset, e.g. “Journal Article” for a text asset, or “Talk Show” for a radio broadcast.
  • PublicationStartDate: When was this asset published? See note below
  • Contributor: Name people who contributed in the creation of this asset, e.g. studio technicians or similar.
  • Source: Where did you get this asset? If applicable, a hyperlink to the original source is preferred.
  • Subject: Enter a concise keyword for the content of this asset: What is it about? Examples are “British History”, “Cayman Islands”, “Arab Spring” etc. It might help to do a quick search in the English Wikipedia to see if there's a page on the keyword.
  • Identifier: ISBN, web URL … anything that is a unique reference number in a standardized cataloguing system.
  • Description: A more detailed description of the asset and its context. Also suited for directions, comments or similar info that didn't fit in any of the other fields.

Note for PublicationStartDate: Since you can upload multiple media types for one asset, we don't have separate forms for each media type. Unfortunately, media types have differing needs when it comes to their publication date: While a text file only needs a publishing year to comply with scientific standards, the exact time of a radio broadcast might be valuable and important information for an audio file. So we try to maintain the following convention: When you don't know any part of the publication date except the year, simply enter the first of January 00h:00m, and write a short comment about this in the description field. If even the year is uncertain, enter an approximate year and note that in the description as well.