The starting point for content development is the selection of topics. The agreed 15 set topics to be covered in national portals and help to make an initial selection. Information for incoming researchers should cover all the areas mentioned in the Services Commitment. Information for outgoing researchers should be available and at least provide links to the other national EURAXESS portals, either directly or through the European EURAXESS portal.
Going into further detail, the use of advisory groups can help to identify important aspects for incoming or outgoing researchers and ensure that the most frequently asked questions have been answered. Advisory groups can include external experts, users, network members or other interested parties; see the Norwegian example (Norway 1) for further information on advisory groups. User research can identify important topics and unanswered questions, thus helping us meet researchers’ needs (see User research).
A good way to select topics according to their importance is the use of card sorting exercises. These can be performed by outside actors as suggested in the Portuguese example 1 or by EURAXESS staff as was done in Estonia. Card sorting helps you to see beyond the existing structures and topics.
User-friendly language is an important part of creating a high-quality portal and several countries have a number of tips for text development. The examples from Austria (example 3), Italy (example 1) and The Netherlands (example 7) give good guidelines for writing website content. Look for general rules for writing texts in your national language (if available) or in English.
The use of links depends on the style of the portal and the availability of English-language information on government organisation websites. Possible options are being a one-stop shop, like Croatia chose to do (see Croatia 2) or linking to outside sources who are information providers, as was done in Turkey (see Turkey 2). If you provide external links, you must check their quality regularly (see Quality control). If an external link leads from an English-language page to information in another language, the target language needs to be clearly identified on the national portal. Links should be available to the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their recruitment and to other national portals through the European EURAXESS portal.
Additional features increase the value of the portal for incoming as well as outgoing researchers. Germany has developed a funding database aimed at gathering information about all funding programmes in Germany (see Germany 3). Other used features include gathering researchers’ feedback through specific forms (i.e. Researcher’s Say). We also advise using centrally developed content items, such as the EURAXESS videos and magazine.
Co-operation with other information platforms or resources can lead to increased visibility while also improving the information available on the national portal. See the example of the Spanish portal (Spain 1) for more ideas in this area.