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- The realisation of the EU’s commitment to making scientific research more efficient and cost-effective. It will establish better links between different institutes and organisations across Europe, making it faster and easier to share all types of data, tools and services.
- A virtual environment with open and seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data across borders and scientific disciplines, by federating existing scientific data infrastructures currently dispersed across disciplines and Member States.
- A decentralised System-of-Systems (SoS) based on a collaboration and coordination of components independently provided and managed by local, regional, national and international organizations. The EOSC will demonstrate the usage of existing digital infrastructures in a combined manner, across disciplines and borders, to realise both the goals of FAIR principles for sharing data and equivalent principles to sharing software, methodologies and all aspects of the research lifecycle. It will determine the interoperability needed for an efficient use of IT services and equipment, and of our scientific data - what obstacles are we facing and what solutions are already available and can contribute to building a data and knowledge-based economy in Europe.
2. How are the recommendations of all the different projects/discussion groups/committees on the future of the EOSC taken into account? How is duplication avoided?
The EOSC will be composed of many different projects and, discussion groups; each likely to generate its own recommendations or preferences. The key is to identify commonalities in approaches and convergence points upon which data and services can be shared and merged. Early identification of common components or issues will help identify and reduce duplication, but it will also provide the opportunity and allow to identify partners who also strive to generate a mutually satisfactory and sustainable solution.
- No. EOSC will rely on existing infrastructures and allow users to work in multiple ecosystems owing to the interoperability of EOSC systems.
- Users will see the EOSC as an entry point to find, access and use services from multiple infrastructures.
- EOSC will not replace existing infrastructures but will identify ways in which these can be linked together seamlessly, allowing the sharing of data and services.
The EOSC is driven by communities and various ‘use cases’, in which both researchers, research organisations and Universities play a pivotal role in guiding the work.
Open Science is the philosophical stance adopted by the EU, centred around creating an environment open to sharing of knowledge and fostering collaboration. Further information can be found on the European Commission website available here.
All contributions are welcome and can come in a variety of forms: - services, data or access to other tools, or compute facilities. Further guidelines specifying how to engage will be developed during the pilot phase and made public in due course.
1. Several options of AAIs (authentication and authorization infrastructures) have been proposed and applied by different projects and communities. How are you going to select the right solution for the EOSC?
AAI is hugely important for the interoperability of e-infrastructures, services and data. It is a process by which authorised users get access to the resources in accordance with the appropriate ‘clearance’ levels, to ensure that sensitive data can only be viewed and accessed by those with a permission to do so. AAI Interoperability has been a difficult problem to solve and several European projects and working groups have been dedicated to this task for several years now. The work is still ongoing. As a result, there are different mechanisms to authenticate users and to grant appropriate access levels. In EOSC, it is likely that there will be different ways ‘into’ the system, but once the access is granted, users would seamlessly possess access to other resources as well. This would enable them to easily access data and services, regardless of AAI mechanism they registered with in the first place (checkin, iam, or b2access, for example).
- The EOSC will federate existing resources across national data centres, European e-infrastructures and research infrastructures.
- The EOSC can be looked at as a ‘plug-and-play’ environment, where e-infrastructures will feed into the EOSC and where users can access federated resources through a single point of access.
- In theory, communities may provide in-kind resources rather than ask for a fee, depending on the situation of the community/site. For instance, some may have significant compute capacity but not enough storage, while others the other way round. Communities may contribute to support and develop services they are using in collaboration with the ‘service owner’. The final arrangement will depend on policy decisions of national governments and/or the European Commission.
The EOSC is intended to encourage and support Open Science practices and procedures – making the artefacts, processes and tools involved in science (research) appropriately open. While much of the work needed to achieve this is technical, a lot can also be accomplished by developing and applying appropriate policies. The EOSC is developing policy recommendations aimed at all stakeholders (e.g. funders/ministries, research infrastructures and research performing organisations) to help reduce the barriers to the creation of the EOSC, and harness opportunities to develop and adopt best practice within it.
The EOSC Policy Framework consists of policy recommendations derived during the course of and for the needs of the EOSC. It focuses on four policy areas that were identified as of great importance to the EOSC: information/data, skills, services and infrastructures. Based on these policy areas, it addresses issues of Open Science and Open Scholarship (particularly IPR, access policies for services, interfaces and other resources, KPIs/Metrics and Rewards/Incentives), Procurement, Ethics and Data Protection; it also aims to reflect on the policy-making process and practices performed by the EOSC stakeholders.
3. Why is the EOSC Policy Framework necessary? What is the difference or relation to the EU/EC Directives and Communications to Member States?
EOSC aspires to become the driver for Open Science in Europe, easing access to and management procedures of research data in particular. To achieve being an Open Infrastructure and enable the free flow of data, it should have the necessary administrative and legal prerequisites in place as well. The EOSC policy framework continuously responds to the internal activities in other work packages (e.g. FAIR training in WP7 skills and training, Rules of Participation in WP2 governance), as well as external events, such as the GDPR. It is worth noting that the EOSC Policy Recommendations is in line with the updated Recommendation by the EC on access to and preservation of scientific information. Moreover, in the updated Recommendation by the EC, the policy areas concerning provisions for research data and Open Science (OS) infrastructures recognise the EOSC as the European digital federated infrastructure and service supplier.
No. The EOSC is not a government, funder nor an international organisation. The policy recommendations, that are being developed by the EOSC project, are intended for EOSC stakeholder groups only, such as Funders/Ministries, Research Infrastructures and Research Performing Organisations to develop and apply.The EOSC will have governance and operational structures, whose functions, however, will include developing and approving standards and procedures for the EOSC and will apply to EOSC suppliers and users.
No. The EOSC does not have the mandate to impose policies, nor is this its function. The EOSC Policy Recommendations is a framework for the EOSC stakeholders to use in accordance with their own needs. Rules of Participation (RoP) (to be published in July 2018) are mandatory for the EOSC stakeholders. See ‘Governance’ for more information on Rules of Participation.
The EOSCpilot policy recommendations are aimed at encouraging the creation, development and support of the EOSC, whereas the RoP are concerned with the “conduct” of EOSC suppliers and consumers. In principle, RoP are more fine-grained/detailed policy elements, connected to and enhancing the policy/ies in force.
7. How does EOSC supports policy making and implementation according to its policy recommendations/framework?
The support for policy making and implementation in the EOSC is twofold: it involves technical services being developed or specified during the course of WP3 Policy Work Package of the EOSC project, as well as consultation with Open Access (OA) and Open Science (OS) experts. These are/could be:
- The Policy Toolkit , which is a collection of third party tools accessible via the EOSC website. It will include information about policy-specific resources (e.g. guidelines) and third-party tools (e.g. SHERPA services), which facilitate both policy making, i.e. the procedure of policies development, and the operational implementation of Open Science at institutions (e.g. through appropriate research data management). The Policy toolkit was designed primarily for use by the EOSC stakeholders. However, it can also be used by external affiliators/users interested in OS Policies implementation.
- Policy Registry provides the specifications for an Open Science policy validation and registration service. The Policy Registry aims to facilitate the (semi-)automatic interpretation and assessment of policies. It is intended to be used by third parties, who wish to supply their services as part of the EOSC, enabling them to validate compliance with the EOSC policy requirements. Additionally, the Policy Registry is designed to store data on policies and provide aggregate statistics to the Open Science Monitor.
- (Open) Science Monitor is a dynamic mechanism capturing OS trends and demands based on a two-way communication between the monitor and the user. The OS Monitor produces statistics from measuring aspects of openness and FAIRness of open science resources, such as publications, research data, software/code, educational resources, scholarly communication and citizen science activities, trends and impact on Open Science, including policy compliance. It is intended for use by stakeholders, who want to have a better understanding of their organisations’ and/or researchers’ OS activities, while also being able to report on levels of openness and FAIRness pertaining these activities.
- OpenAIRE NOADs’ network is responsible for advocacy and national support of the long tail of science in aligning OA and OS policies both with the EU/EC mandates (Horizon2020, Open Research Data Pilot) and with national laws and regulations by communicating and collaborating with relevant stakeholders; also supporting research lifecycle activities, e.g. through guidance on writing Data Management Plans (DMPs).
Yes. In this context,and the EOSCpilot project is working with the education and training community through workshops, to define what kinds of skills EOSC needs to help build, and how that may best be achieved. One of the main demands identified so far is support for train-the-trainer approaches, and to help maintain the human networks among trainers, that will help match training supply to demand.
The pilot is experimenting with some face-to-face and online approaches, to fill identified skills gaps. These gaps include the technical skills needed to set up, describe and maintain virtualized digital research workflows, and their outputs. But they also include the soft skills to develop policies on FAIR outputs, build trust, and form the good collaborative relationships, that services depend on. In the first year of EOSCpilot, the Skills WP focuses on scoping the training needs and coordinating training delivery for Science Demonstrators. The second year focuses on broader consultation with Research Infrastructures and Institutions, as well as and piloting of webinars and skills workshops. More information on these may be foundYou will find details of these as they become available on the EOSCpilot website.
The EOSCpilot Skills Framework consists ofIt has two main elements: – competences and capabilities. The competences are applied through skills acquired by individuals. The capabilities identify responsibilities for research teams and organisations, to apply those skills in developing, providing and using EOSC services, and more broadly in the stewardship of FAIR research outputs. The Skills Framework aims to help individuals match those skills to their own needs, and find relevant training and learning resources. It will also help the organisations intending to develop, provide or use EOSC services to plan skills development for their researchers and professional groups who support them. For more information please visit the EOSCpilot website Skills Section.
4. Competencies and skills have already been defined- so what is the EOSCpilot adding to this more specifically?
The project is applying and synthesizing existing frameworks, adding a more distinct focus on data stewardship - the competences to ‘make data FAIR and keep it there’. The EOSCpilot competences are drawn from other frameworks, that focus variously on data science, open science, and the ‘information age’ data literacy skills, that define the basic common knowledge needed for the effective use of the EOSC. The EOSCpilot competences are in a living document, that we welcome your input on - please comment here [google doc]
Cataloguing already existing resources has emerged as a key priority for stakeholders. There is a wide range of resources already available, and a large number of relevant portals including FOSTER, EDISON, and more discipline-specific outlets from the Research Infrastructures, such as ELIXIR. Moreover, EOSCpilot is working on harvesting standard sets of metadata from individual resources and services (and from datasets), making it possible to query across infrastructures from a single point. We are also consulting the community about how FAIR criteria may be applied to training resources. Please let us know your thoughts on this [ can we have a discussion page for this? to be confirmed ]
1. What is your approach to have a clear picture of existing services offered by the e-Infrastructures and service providers, thus to increase their discoverability, understandability (capabilities, capacity, technicalities) and use?
- The goal of the EOSC is not to aggressively engulf the full set of services available through all European e-infrastructures and research infrastructures. The EOSC will not (nor will be able to) proactively list and maintain descriptions of existing services.
- It is expected that such infrastructures would enter the EOSC federation by itself on a voluntary basis, based on its commitment of resources and on the capacity to comply with its rules. These are expected to define the extent of their involvement in the federation, regarding the data sets and services they would contribute to the EOSC, and subsequently describe this offer.
- In this sense, the EOSC aims to provide the fundamental, enabling infrastructure to facilitate the federation, reuse and interoperability between services and data providers, that choose to offer and consume EOSC mediated resources.
- The scope of these resources is potentially very extensive, as they might include technical services, such as analytics and computational services, cloud services, thematic services tuned to particular research disciplines, e-infrastructure and middleware services, such as access identity management. In addition to this, knowledge resources, such as datasets, storage, digital library and archives; access services, such as a service catalogue and portals; scientific instruments and facilities; and facilitation activities, such as training, software development support and consultancy should be considered.
- Accommodating such a broad scope, the science demonstrators (SDs) play an essential role providing insight into the specifics of the required services and how thesey can be matched with existing infrastructures and technologies.
- The EOSC service catalogue will provide an overview of all these available services, containing the service descriptions provided by the service providers.
- The EOSC Implementation Roadmap foresees that the EOSC might offer five main types of services for European researchers (which are currently provided to specific scientific communities but limited by the contexts of disciplines, national boundaries or both.):
- A unique identification and authentication service and an access point and routing system towards the resources of the EOSC.
- A protected and personalised work environment/space (e.g. logbook, settings, compliance record and pending issues).
- Access to relevant service information (status of the EOSC, list of federated data infrastructures, policy-related information, description of the compliance framework) and to specific guidelines (how to make data FAIR, to certify a repository or service, to procure joint services).
- Services to find, access, re-use and analyse research data generated by others, accessible through appropriate catalogues of datasets and data services (e.g. analytics, fusion, mining, processing).
- Services to make their data FAIR, to store them and ensure long-term preservation.
- A multi-layer approach is envisioned for EOSC services to facilitate gradual adoption. By analogy to the earth’s structure, we could classify these layers as follows:
- An inner core set of services that would comprise all the services needed to integrate and enable access to the various resources federated in the EOSC:
- Service management tools - Service catalogue, service portfolio, service repositories, etc.
- Federating tools - Accounting, monitoring, etc.
- Access, trust and identity - Federated AAI.
- An outer core would comprise other services provided centrally for the rest of the EOSC, but which are more customer-facing:
- Discovery & reuse - metadata & data catalogue, marketplace
- Processing & analysis - HTC/HPC platform, data analytics
- Data management, curation & preservation - PID service, storage services
- Access, deposition & sharing - publishing and depositing services, annotation services
- Finally, services in the mantle would comprise the vast majority of EOSC services, essentially customer-facing services being provided by both generic and discipline-specific infrastructures and made open for use beyond their initial customer base:
- Discovery & reuse - (Meta)Data catalogues & collections
- Processing & analysis - HTC/HPC platform, data analytics
- Data management, curation & preservation - long-term archives, digital libraries, etc.
- Access, deposition & sharing - publishing and depositing services, annotation services
- Scientific instruments and facilities - research infrastructure instruments and facilities
- Consultancy & training - service management (e.g. FiTSM), FAIR certification, etc.
- Conform to Principles of Participation
- To lower the barrier and enable gradual adoption, multiple compliance levels for services joining the EOSC are envisioned. Depending on the commitment of resources and on the capacity to comply with the EOSC rules, service providers are expected to define the extent of their involvement in the federation.
- The Service will need to be registered in the EOSC service catalogue, and at a minimum provide structured information about the offered resources. EOSC will define the minimum level of components to be provided, and service providers will describe their service.
- The EOSC Service Management Framework provides multiple levels of federation to enable different “commitment” levels for services provider integration with the EOSC Service Catalogue. At a minimum, a service description will need to be provided containing structured information on aspects of the service such as:
- Quality indicators
- FAIR indicators
- Licenses / Terms of Usage / Access Policies
- Curation & preservation policies
- Access methods
- Federation will apply mostly at the resource delivery level, rather than at the infrastructure level. This facilitates EOSC-fying resources selectively and lowers the barrier for participation.
- In the case of data / metadata resources, specific interoperability requirements will need to be met to enable the findability and accessibility of the provided resources / datasets.
- EOSC allows service providers to show that they can provide a service offering, which is compliant with the needs of the European research community.
- By entering the EOSC realm, the first beneficiaries will be the users of your community.
- Make use of EOSC services / resources.
- Broaden the set of services / access to data you provide to your users.
- Moral or even legal obligation to contribute to open science.
- Rules of Participation / Principles of Participation can be found as a draft here.
See “3. How can I make my services available in EOSC?”
By making them available as EOSC resources. See “(3) How can I make my services available in EOSC?”
- From “The European Open Science Cloud Architecture: Anatomy and Physiology”:
The design of the system architecture is based on some initial assumptions. Among them are:
- functionalities are provisioned as-a-service, i.e. they are made available by an online service operated by a provider, that takes care of the technical and organisational approaches, that it needs to deliver its functionality;
- EOSC is regulated by a set of Principles of Engagement. All the services included in the EOSC Service Catalogue (hereafter named “EOSC Services”) should satisfy these principles;
- the EOSC system is modelled as an open and evolving System of Systems (SoS), where the component systems providing services include existing and emerging Research Infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures) and other types of Service Providers;
- EOSC services provision is based on an open and evolving set of EOSC Nodes spread across several organisations and regions;
- EOSC Services should promote and support FAIRness, e.g. the data managed by EOSC Services should implement the FAIR principles, some EOSC Services should be explicitly envisaged to enable users implementing FAIR principles.
- We plan it as System of Systems - Operational Independence, Managerial Independence, Evolutionary Development, Emergent Behavior, Geographic Distribution
EOSC Stakeholders can play many roles including those of end-users, service providers, service developers, suppliers, system managers, system owners, funders etc. The Rules of Participation (to be published in July 2018) will focus on stakeholder roles and participation rules more specifically.
2. How an organization can become a service or data provider within the EOSC? (about the principles of participation)
EOSC services should be registered in the EOSC-complaint or compatible service catalogue visible to the global EOSC gateway. (Recommendation 1 of the Principles of Participation). Service providers can apply for “EOSC labels”, which will indicate compliance with certain standards or technical specifications. The combination of compliance with standards and technical specifications is a measure of the overall compliance with EOSC. The EOSC Compatible, in this sense, indicates that the service meets the requirements and can be included in the EOSC portfolio.
3. What are EOSCPilot, EOSC declaration and the latest, Commission Staff working document (Implementation Roadmap for the EOSC)? What is the relationship between them?
The EOSCpilot project has been funded to support the first phase in the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The European Open Science Cloud will offer a virtual environment with open and seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data. The EOSC Declaration and its principles are guiding the implementation of the EOSC. They are the tangible outcomes of the EOSC Summit of 12 June 2017 endorsed by the undersigning stakeholders found in the List of Signatories, who also committed to specific actions in order to implement it (Action List). As such, the Declaration does not commit the European Commission and Union institutions. The implementation Roadmap for the EOSC gives, on the basis of the consultation, an overview of six action lines for the implementation of the EOSC: a) architecture, b) data, c) services, d) access & interfaces, e) rules and f) governance. The document will serve as a basis for further consultation with the Member States, the European Parliament and other relevant stakeholders regarding the next steps to take.
EOSCpilot is supporting the first phase in the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). It will:
- Propose and trial governance frameworks for the EOSC and contribute to the development of European open science policy and best practice.
- Develop a number of demonstrators functioning as high-profile pilots that integrate services and infrastructures to show interoperability and its benefits in a number of scientific domains, and
- Engage with a broad range of stakeholders, crossing borders and communities, to build trust and skills required for adoption of an open approach to scientific research.
Science demonstrators (SDs) are pilots in the EOSC. These are short projects proposed by research groups and institutions, whose aim is to showcase current cloud initiatives and their inclusion in the EOSC framework, in addition to providing outreach material on genuine use cases. They contribute to the EOSC by providing feedback, as they are making use of the infrastructure that is going to be built. In such way, the EOSC enables the cloud collaboration among the Science Demonstrators and the broader scientific community.
Our work is driven by communities and various “‘use cases”, in both of which researchers play a pivotal role in guiding this work. Researchers are the primary users of the EOSC, and the role of Science Demonstrators, in particular, is to involve existing and active research communities in the discussions around the EOSC requirements on one side and to test services and facilities on the other.
Scientific communities have the moral (and sometimes also legal) obligation to make research outputs publicly available as publicly-funded research should be open in principle, and even more so when funders mandate it. FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) enable openness and collaboration among researchers and research communities, and collaboration is the core goal of the EOSC. In addition to this, making research outputs open and FAIR increases their visibility and findability, and several studies already demonstrated how openness boosts citations.
Many resources could help you identify the best repository to deposit your data. Please note that generally you are encouraged to deposit your data even though they couldn’t be available immediately in an open way (there should be options for keeping data closed or behind an embargo). The B2FIND initiative and the re3data registry are valuable sources to browse, if you don’t know where to deposit your research data. Moreover, in case you cannot find any suitable repositories, you can always consider using Zenodo, a multi-disciplinary repository provided by CERN and OpenAIRE.
Ask your shepherd who will point you to the appropriate channel for help.
The EOSC is going to be a decentralised System-of-Systems (SoS) that federates existing infrastructures and services available by all participating institutions at local, national and international level. While we are waiting for this federated infrastructure to become a reality and to enable Science Demonstrators to fully work, the EOSC will facilitate the use of a working environment with EOSC-linked resource providers for researchers to operate on.
The EOSC catalogue of services and service providers will make clear each party’s ability to support the handling of sensitive and restricted data. To make sure your data can be freely disseminated without endangering anyone, though, you might consider using some data anonymization tools (like Amnesia), that will help you anonymise personal information from your data.