EOSC Stakeholder Forum Report - Principles of Engagement in the EOSC

19 Dec 2017

EOSC Stakeholder Forum Report - Principles of Engagement in the EOSC

The first consultations have led to proposing, as a basis for further discussion, one main Principle of Engagement for all service providers, accompanied by a series of domain-specific Principles.


Suggestion 1: The main Principle of Engagement for all service providers is that EOSC services shall be registered in the appropriate EOSC Service catalogue.


Suggestion 2: Domain-specific Principles allow to specify service description (availability, functionalities, maturity, support, terms of use, contractual framework, etc), as well as service requirements (quality & performance, sustainability, access policies, data portability, compatibility, etc). Seven specific Principles of Engagement were proposed for discussion:


  • Machine-readable metadata: All services must include machine readable metadata and be identifiable by means of a common and persistent identification. Minimal information should be provided to the appropriate catalogue to allow users to assess the service providers (e.g. quality indicators, FAIR indicators, licences, etc).
  • Terms of Use/Access Policies: All EOSC services must have Terms of Use and/or Access policies displayed publicly online and/or via the EOSC Service catalogue(s).
  • Portability: The legal and technical infrastructure should enable the portability of data and services. Service providers (e.g. tools service providers) should enable the deployment and execution of their service by users in compatible cloud instance.
  • Access costs and charging model: Service providers may apply user charges/fees, which could vary by type of service, type of service provider and location of users. This information must be made clear to users online and via the appropriate EOSC service catalogue. Underlying costs could be indicated, e.g. for data-related services, service providers could indicate maintenance costs, curation, stewardship, etc
  • Quality of service: Service providers should conform to the quality guidelines that are being developed within EOSC. Services that provide “Excellence-based access” - where research groups are allocated resources based on competitive processes - should operate with transparent expert peer-review.
  • Relation to users: Service providers must convey information on data management mechanisms they use to store-process-publish content. If applicable, service providers
    • must publicly indicate if they provide the users with the means, and list them, to apply FAIR principles to research data.
    • must publicly indicate if they offer the mechanisms, and list them, to ensure sustainability and reproducibility of data.
    • must publicly disclose details on what data about users is collected and how the user statistics is tracked, managed and used for service improvement.
    • must publicly indicate if they offer the mechanisms to apply data protection rules according to the General Data Protection Regulation, especially in terms of Data Protection by Design and Data Protection by default, using relevant shields and information.

All services must be accompanied by corresponding support and training material and possibly a helpdesk.


The panel discussion was driven by four questions:

  1. Do you agree with the lightweight and inclusive approach with minimum service specifications, and add incentives to promote EOSC values/principles over time?
  2. Which minimal set of information would you need to select/consume an EOSC service ?
  3. Which additional principles would be key for you & your community?
  4. From your point of view, is the proposed approach suitable for promoting open science?



  • Andrew Smith (ELIXIR): there is a high level of variation that needs to be taken into account by the Principles of Engagement.
    • variation of services provided (EU projects, permanent services)
    • variation in organisation type and permanence (Research Infrastructures / Projects)
    • variation in how service providers are integrated
    • variation in how services run by providers are evaluated/monitored
    • variation in pricing policies

This leads us to expand the consultation to a larger number of stakeholders, in particular Research Infrastructures via clusters. Additional input is also required from users to include industry.

  • Damien Lecarpentier (EUDAT) suggested generic concepts:
    • EOSC needs to be open to all players
    • Principles of Engagement define the conditions to participate
    • Possibility of several catalogues or one single, and internal (core) services (See section 4.2.3 of the governance framework draft document: http://eoscpilot.eu/content/d22-draft-governance-framework-european-open-science-cloud)
    • The catalogue(s) should be inclusive
      • Service providers could offer certain services under EOSC
      • Services should be described in a standardised and transparent way
    • Some services could be further promoted (e.g. as EOSC+ services)
  • Jorge Sanchez (European e-Science Services Gateway - eInfraCentral)
    • Challenges of cataloguing: Diverse vocabulary, various standards, level of adoption of SM practices, different processes to manage service portfolios, different maturity, numerous ways of representing services to the users on the web, no adopted APIs for exchanging service-related information, status of service catalogue of RIs: diverse and variating in several ways.
    • Need: a common reference model (vocabulary, structures related information about service related information, harmonized views on service representations, functionality on the service gateway, common approach to automated processes for harvesting service related data, common approach to service performance monitoring).


  • Conclusions to the panel discussion:
    • Principles of Engagement have to take into account an environment of multiple catalogues/registries.
    • Technical interoperability is already taking place in many different projects.
    • The Principles of Engagement must serve the communities needs, in particular domain-specific Research Infrastructures’ needs.
    • The Principles of Engagement should include specific requirements related to “People-as-a-Service”.
    • Importance of the role of portability between the services.

Further consultations will be undertaken to include the feedback of a larger number of Research Infrastructures. A survey is planned through the piloting task of the EOSCpilot Governance WP2 and the draft of Principles of Engagement will be presented for feedback at various conferences and workshops organised during the first half of 2018.