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EOSC Declaration: OpenAIRE's Response

OpenAIRE welcomes and endorses the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Declaration and the vision of European Open Science. As stated in the EOSC summit on 12.6.17 OpenAIRE has often emphasised that while EOSC develops a European research data commons, the scope should be broader. In our view and experience, EOSC must take a holistic approach and address all stages of scientific knowledge production, sharing and dissemination as integral parts of the Open Science agenda. More specifically, and to be effective and successful, EOSC must support Open Science through the entire research lifecycle, from conception of research ideas all the way to publication and peer evaluation, and include all research tools, artefacts and services used or produced in-between, including for example, software, instrument and infrastructure specifications, protocols and methods.
A pan-European infrastructure that supports open scholarship, OpenAIRE make research outputs and processes discoverable and reusable across Europe. Its large socio-technical network comprises of 34 National Open Access Desk (NOAD) who work to support the practical implementation and monitoring of open science policies, including open access to publications and research data. At a national level therefore this outreach is able to bring topics of open science and open data culture into local agendas. NOADs are uniquely placed within institutions and research libraries or national data institutions thereby providing a vital link to and understanding of research communities and promoting future EOSC services. In this context, OpenAIRE fully endorses the idea of leveraging existing structures within the member states to provide a seamless European research infrastructure.
Action list of the 'coalition of the doers'
As a member of the ‘coalition of doers’, OpenAIRE confirms its commitment to the following activities:
Data culture
European science must be grounded in a common culture of data stewardship, so that research data is recognised as a significant output of research and is appropriately curated and preserved throughout and after the period conducting the research. Only a considerable cultural change will enable long-term reuse for science and for innovation of data created by research activities: no disciplines, institutions or countries must be left behind.
OpenAIRE commits to support and implement the “O” in EOSC by promoting policy, technical and best practice alignment at institutional, national and European level. By engaging institutions and research libraries OpenAIRE provides support measures for good data practice (FAIR and openness where possible), and nourishes a culture of responsible research the whole data lifecycle. This will especially affect the ‘long tail of science’, which is mentioned many times in the EOSC vision, but often neglected in practice.
The necessary skills and education in research data management, data stewardship and data science should be provided throughout the EU as part of higher education, the training system and on-the-job best practice in the industry. University associations, research organisations, research libraries and other educational brokers play an important role but they need substantial support from the European Commission and the Member States.
OpenAIRE employs a vigorous “train the trainers” programme to improve the skills of all actors involved in research: research communities, university/library/laboratory/national infrastructure personnel, funders and policy makers. The programme addresses technical, policy and legal issues related to open and FAIR data and practices and can be integrated in EOSC.
FAIR Data governance
The design and implementation of FAIR principles must be built upon inclusive stakeholder participation (e.g. researchers from different scientific disciplines, EU Member States and the European Commission). Policy will go hand in hand with the implementation of technical and human resources, and a social infrastructure including education and training. To make FAIR data a reality, it is imperative to engage stakeholders and relevant multipliers, based on a solid stakeholder engagement strategy, on inter-institutional arrangements, well-established frameworks and decision making flows. Data governance needs to be agreed upon and the division of responsibilities be charted, ensuring transparency, representativity and accountability. European and national scientific research organisations, publishers and other actors must align their data-related business processes, responsibilities and expectations to achieve commonly agreed goals.
Through its established network in 34 countries OpenAIRE may assume the role of a national implementation network for FAIR. Engaging stakeholders and multipliers in a participatory FAIR Data governance process is of key importance for a community based decision-making process.
In addition, OpenAIRE leverages contact with national funders for an early stage buy-in into open science policies and services, thereby embedding EOSC open science policy processes at a national level.
Implementation & transition to FAIR
Implementation of FAIR principles requires careful prioritisation and orchestration. The FAIR Data Action Plan 2018-2020 is an important collaborative instrument for the embedding of FAIR principles in the first phase of the EOSC. The plan will not necessarily suggest any specific technology, standard or implementation solution. For an even transition of data from different levels of maturity to FAIR, existing activities to make data FAIR (e.g. GO-FAIR) must be complemented by new initiatives that embed FAIR principles in all the phases of data life cycle.
OpenAIRE already addresses the implementation of and transition to FAIR data by
  • Facilitating a grass-root implementation network for FAIR data involving institutional, national and thematic data repositories. Of particular interest is the use and uptake of the OpenAIRE’s Interoperability Guidelines for data providers towards the creation of FAIR data catalouges, as they expose and make available all kinds of research artefacts leading to a more comprehensive research environment.
  • Implementing a European Open Science Monitor (Observatory), a framework and a corresponding platform to provide key metrics for different aspects of Open Science, of which FAIRness of (meta)/data is part. Such a monitoring service (targeting libraries, national infrastructures and research communities) will play a key role in the transition to FAIR.
Research data repositories
Trusted research data repositories play a fundamental role in modern science. Scientist must be able to find, re-use, deposit and share data via trusted data repositories that implement FAIR data principles and that ensure long-term sustainability of research data across all disciplines. Data repositories must be easy to find and identify, and provide to users full transparency about their services.
OpenAIRE promotes and actively supports the use of institutional, national or thematic repositories as a means for open access to publications and data and provides a catalogue of their content. Working with other stakeholders in this domain (e.g., WDS) , we will promote good practice guidelines for repository managers (already doing it through the OpenAIRE guidelines for metadata, and our validation services) and will include certification mechanisms as these are defined by the EOSC community.
Data Management Plans
A key element of good data management is a Data Management Plan (DMP); the use of DMPs should become obligatory in all research projects generating or collecting publicly funded research data, based on online tools conforming to common methodologies. Funder and institutional requirements must be aligned and minimum conditions for DMPs must be defined. Researchers' host institutions have a responsibility to oversee and complete the DMPs and hand them over to data repositories.
Through its NOADs network OpenAIRE promotes to European funders the use of Data Management Plans  to make them an integral part of their policy agenda, while providing training for researchers, librarians and research administrators on how to embed them into researcher workflows.  In synergy with other infrastructures OpenAIRE currently explores a prototype for an online DMP service that primarily addresses the FAIRness of data aiming at a) a seamless linking of funders-institutions-repositories-computing facilities around Europe, and b) a production of automated monitoring tools.
User needs
Users should see the EOSC as a one-stop-shop to find, access, and use research data and services from multiple disciplines and platforms. Services and functionalities shall be user driven and determined by clear use cases. Intermediary users and other brokers of end-users' demand – IT departments, umbrella associations, community networks – should assist data scientists and ICT specialists in the identification of key requirements for EOSC services.
OpenAIRE places institutions and research communities at the forefront and engages them in a participatory or co-design process. Reaching out to many different players who have a key stake in the research process (e.g., experts in research communities, repository managers, institution research administrators, funders, publishers), OpenAIRE will be a broker of such requirements and propose ways on how these are transformed to EOSC services.  
Service deployment
The EOSC shall support different deployment models (e.g. Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service), to meet the needs of communities at different levels of maturity in the provision and use of research data service. The EOSC shall support the whole research lifecycle by strong development at platform level that facilitate the provision of a wide set of software, infrastructure, protocols, methods, incentives, training, services. Software sustainability should be treated on an equal footing as data stewardship.
OpenAIRE provides “Open Science as a Service” tools, i.e., a suite of services that allow research communities to build their own thematic data portals based on existing OpenAIRE publishing best practices. These tools address all research artefacts, publications, data, software, protocols, methods, etc., thereby promoting the stewardship and support of all research .
Thematic areas
The EOSC shall promote the co-ordination and progressive federation of open data infrastructures developed in specific thematic areas (e.g. health, environment, food, marine, social sciences, transport). The EOSC will implement a common reference scheme to ensure FAIR data uptake and compliance by national and European data providers in all disciplines.
OpenAIRE's “Open Science as a Service” tools will embedded open science and FAIR data principles and functions as a default.
Governance model
A long-term, sustainable research infrastructure in Europe requires a strong and flexible governance model based on trust and increasing mutuality. As interdisciplinarity is one of the main objectives of 9
OpenAIRE commits to a long-term and sustainable EOSC governance model via its upcoming legal entity whose participatory own governance structure will play a key role in Europe’s national coordination for open science. The National Open Access Desks will engage with relevant key stakeholders at member state level to ensure that the open science agenda and its implementation is fully embedded in the National or regional Data Services and subsequently in EOSC. In addition, OpenAIRE leverages national contact with funders for an early stage buy-in open science policies and services, therefore mapping EOSC open science policy processes at a national level.
EU-added value and coordination
The EOSC must implement policy hand in hand with technology. Condition of national and European measures is required to link the initiative to national strategies, to maximise the added value of inter-disciplinarity by making data FAIR, and to preventing duplication of efforts and investments. Over time, coordination will provide European added value by minimizing overlap
OpenAIRE’s dual capacity as a social and technical infrastructure is readily able to provide the link to and follow up on national policies and initiatives in order to steamline with European/EOSC policies and contribute to a more seamless European research environment.
Global aspects 
The EOSC will be European and open to the world, reaching out over time to relevant global research partners. It will increase the global value of open research data and support stakeholder engagement, including researchers and citizens. It will gradually widen the initiative to federated network of infrastructures and nodes from global research partners. The EOSC Stakeholder Forum will have an important role in this sense.
OpenAIRE’s international synergies with similar or “mirroring” networks of repositories for open science around the world will be utilized towards building a global network.
Open Science publishing
OpenAIRE will facilitate the transition to Open Science publishing paradigms, which encourage publishing of all kinds of research artefacts and experiments in such a way research activities are transparently assesable and reproducible. To this aim OpenAIRE will provide services supporting research communities and RIs at depositing (when repositories are not available), interlinking, sharing, and brokering any kind of research artefacts, namely publications, datasets, software, and “other products” (e.g. research packages/objects, protocols, methods). OpenAIRE will promote good practice and incentives for publishing and sharing provisional results via other platforms to maximise impact, and involving wider stakeholders in the peer review process.
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