Realising the European Open Science Cloud - a reality by 2020

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Realising the European Open Science Cloud - a reality by 2020
12 Oct

Realising the European Open Science Cloud - a reality by 2020

The High Level Expert Group on the European Open Science Cloud (HLEG-EOSC) released its report “Realising the European Open Science Cloud” on 10 October 2016 outlining 15 specific recommendations for the preparatory phase for designing the European Open Science Cloud.

Covering Policy, Governance and Implementation these recommendations were defined to guide the actors of the European Data Infrastructure, European Cloud Initiative and the European Open Science Cloud Pilot (due to be launched in January 2017).

Recommendations foster best practices of global data findability, accessibility, interoperability and re-use (FAIR data) pushing for advancements in the way research is performed, researchers work together and how science is organised.

Creating the European Open Science Cloud is one of the key actions undertaken by the Commission as part of the European Cloud Initiative. The EOSC will answer the needs of researchers and their global their global scientific collaborators by integrating and consolidating e-infrastructure platforms, federating existing scientific clouds and research infrastructures, and supporting the development of cloud-based services.

A set of bold recommendations

Commissioner Carlos Moedas, the driver behind the EOSC, has made the realisation of this central infrastructure to support Open Research Data and Open Science in Europe one of his main priorities. "I asked the High Level Expert Group to provide advice on the governance and the funding of an Open Science Cloud and to be bold in their recommendations. Among other recommendations, they propose a deep rethinking of the way scientific data is funded and a sea change of the professional careers of what they call 'core data scientists'. Such recommendations deserve detailed consideration by the scientific community and other stakeholders."

Actions needed NOW

The data deluge and digital revolution are no longer new concepts but the pace at which these phenomena are advancing is not fast enough for the challenges facing data scientists and data managers as well as the producers of data themselves. As Barend Mons, Chair of the HLEG-EOSC states in the preface “The challenge is clear to us: if we do not act, there might be a looming crisis on the horizon. The vast majority of all data in the world (in fact up to 90%) has been generated in the last two years. Computers have long surpassed individuals in their ability to perform pattern recognition over large data sets. Scientific data is in dire need of openness, better handling, careful management, machine actionability and sheer re-use. One of the sobering conclusions of our consultations was that research infrastructure and communication appear to be stuck in the 20th century paradigm of data scarcity."


How does RDA make a difference and support the realisation of this infrastructure?

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is  a community-driven organization aimed at building the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing of data. The EOSC report highlights the RDA as a key constituency and underpins the importance of its coordination and collaboration with ESFRIs, pan-European and national research infrastructires, e-Infrastructures and national infrastructures.  RDA Global and its EU plug-in, RDA Europe  are committed  to tangibly contributing to the EOSC via the Working and Interest group activities and outputs. RDA has already produced 15 practical solutions to resolving many of the data interoperability challenges faced by the community today. Implementable solutions, like Dynamic Data Citation to support efficient processing of data and linking from publications;  or Data Foundation & terminology to ensure researchers use a common terminology when referring to data are some of the technical bridges that can be implemented in the European Open Science Cloud.


Read the report and understand how the future open science and open research data infrastructure will be shaped

The HLEG-EOSC members, chaired by Barend Mons, are Paul Ayris, Jean-Yves Berthou, Rachel Bruce (Rapporteur), Stefanie Lindstaedt, Anna Monreale, Yasuhiro Murayama (Observer, Japan), Caj Södergård, Klaus Tochtermann, Ross Wilkinson (Observer, Australia – RDA Council Member).