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Nov 28, 2022
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Building EOSC. Together.

Nov 28, 2022

By Franziska Krauss, Network Outreach and Engagement Officer and Giulia Malaguarnera,  Outreach and Engagement Officer 

In order to get a better understanding of the national perspectives on some of the key components of EOSC Future Project, OpenAIRE collaborated with EGI, EUDAT and GÉANT to bring together our national networks and get feedback on selected Key Exploitable Results (KERs). We invited KERs champions of EOSC Future, who are leading these tasks, to meet representatives of national e-infrastructures within a two-day webinar series in mid-October. After short presentations on their KERs, the representatives from more than ten countries introduced their infrastructures, shared their perspectives, the challenges they faced on a national level.

Regarding the KER on EOSC Core – Spiros Athanasiou from HELIX (Hellenic Data Service) explained that while HELIX embraces the EOSC AAI and would consider working with a more mature EOSC helpdesk version, onboarding to the EOSC Resource Catalogue should be simplified. Research infrastructures should have to make as few adjustments as possible for their content to be displayed in the EOSC Catalogue:

If EOSC lowers the expected effort and entry barriers for national research infrastructures, our cost-benefit analysis improves. Make it easier and faster for us to join EOSC!  Spiros Athanasiou  

Luděk Matyska, the representative of e-INFRA CZ, stressed that in the Czech Republic, EOSC is understood as a federation of FAIR data and related services. With regard to the technical implementation of EOSC, Ludek called for functioning services instead of yet another set of pilots to test new functionalities. 

Focussing on data should be the key factor.  Ludek Mtyska 

Ian Bird from CNRS presented the KER on EOSC Exchange and highlighted the necessity for EOSC Exchange to become “valuable enough that it is recognized as the place where people want to publish their data and services”. Evangelia Chrysina, the representative of Inspired-RIs, a research infrastructure for structural biology in Greece, pointed out the ideal case for her research field: “Ideally, researchers would only have to visit one platform to know which data and services are available”. An extensive mapping of already existing repositories and initiatives would be necessary to reach this goal.

In Poland, EOSC could help shape a different research culture, said Roksana Wilk, representing Cyfronet: “The general mindset should shift, so that reusing data, software and services are perceived as natural and easy. EOSC could be a facilitator for that shift.”

The technical guidelines to ensure that reusing research products and services does actually become natural and easy are laid out in another KER, the EOSC Interoperability Framework. A discussion developed among the webinar participants on how prescriptive these guidelines should be in order to achieve interoperability. A set of clear technical requirements was called for – but those requirements cannot be enforced by EOSC Future. 

Paolo Manghi, OpenAIRE's CTO, explained:

“We try to include and integrate guidelines that already exist and are being used in the communities. Aligning different existing guidelines should not happen by definition, but only where it makes sense.”

The first part of the second day of the webinar series focused on upskilling research communities as well as on Open Science monitoring. After Jon Shepherdson from CESSDA presented the EOSC Knowledge Hub, Helen Clare from JISC expressed that notwithstanding the political barriers that are in place for the UK to associate with Horizon Europe anytime soon, there is a need in the UK for materials on EOSC and services:

“Let’s focus on quality materials we can point to and reusable materials we can contextualise and make them most relevant for the different countries”. Helen Clare

Donatella Castelli from CNR gave an insight into the Italian training landscape: With the ICDI Competence Centre Task Force, there is a network in place to support the Italian community on Open Science, FAIR principles and on the Italian participation in EOSC. But with regard to specific training on the exploitation of EOSC and its services, Italy would expect more support from EOSC. Donatella also stressed that training must be shaped according to the needs of the target audience: 

“It would help us to learn how training courses are designed and targeted for specific research communities. There can’t be one generic approach, but the course design must be adapted to different communities”. Donatella Castelli 

We concluded our event with a session on shaping and tracking policies via Open Science monitoring. Natalia Manola, OpenAIRE's CEO, emphasized why it is important to track Open Science activities: 

“EOSC is a system of systems and has many facets. It is crucial to align – while countries and institutions adapt and adopt in different paces and in different ways, we need to go from diversity to convergence by learning from each other.” Natalia Manola

After Gareth O’Neill from TGB introduced the EOSC Observatory and Volker Beckmann presented the  EOSC Steering Board Survey, Ilire Hasani-Mavriqi laid out the Austrian approach to tracking Open Science activities: Within the EOSC Support Office Austria, which functions as the operational node of the EOSC Mandated Organisation Austria, two working groups were established to conduct monitoring activities: One on the Austria Country Profile to monitor EOSC building processes in Austria, the other on KPIs, which develops measurable indicators to make the success of EOSC visible on the national and European level.

Biljana Kosanovićfrom the University of Belgrade and our NOAD in Serbia, shared the activities and challenges of tracking Open Science in her country/  Serbian Open Science monitoring data is available in the OpenAIRE Observatory. In addition, the launch of a new monitoring platform is planned for the upcoming year. In general, the awareness of the importance of Open Science could be higher in Serbia, explained Biljana, especially among decision-makers and concluded that  Funding is not always available to the extent that would be needed. 

Bringing together EOSC Future KER champions with representatives of national infrastructures opened up broad discussions, covering diverse topics, needs, requests and ideas to move EOSC development forward. And we aim to keep up this exchange: For the near future, we plan to go more in-depth on the new EOSC Future release of functions and services and initiate a better and broader dialogue on EOSC Future KERs with national stakeholders.

Stay tuned for more!

Presentations and recordings are available here