- By Tom Emery
In the governance and engagement structure of the EOSC laid out here https://bit.ly/2MpPQWB, it is very unclear how the EOSC is going to actually monitor its scientfic impact and relevance. The selection of a board appears to be in a similar manner to existing infrastructure governance models and this greatly risks I highly insulated and self satisficing system. The EOSC in this way services the European Infrastructures and not science. These two things are assumed to be in alignment, when in reality they are not. There is a need for infrastructural expertise within the board but also a requirement for active and leading scientists to be included also.
The issue can be seen if an 'Excellence-based' assessment is made with regards to access to EOSC. Who determines this excellence? Who determines strategic priorities within EOSC? Increasingly the answers provided to these questions are dominated by a group of indivdiuals who are experts only in infratsructures and are dettached from the needs of scientists who are operating in research.
A key rule of engagement in EOSC is that researchers should use persistent identifiers and metadata throughout their work. This should be met with a reciprocal responsibility by EOSC to monitor scientific usgae, output and impact of the EOSC. I would urge there to be a clearly defined strategic aim of the EOSC with regards to scientific output and impact and associated KPI's. This is particularly important for under developed areas. The current strategic priorities of 'whatever works' and 'going at the speed of the fastest and not the slowest' risks overlooking areas (both geographically and by domain) where the biggest returns lie.