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ABOUT EOSC


The EOSC is:

  • An open and trusted environment for managing research data. It will be a facility at the service of European researchers that will allow them to make the most of open science.
  • The concept of EOSC originates in the 2016 Commission Communication “European Cloud Initiative - Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe”.
  • The EOSC aims to federate existing and emerging data infrastructures and to provide European researchers with world-class data infrastructures and cloud-based services.
  • The EOSC portal is the universal access channel through which all European scientists will be able to access, use and reuse research outputs and data across disciplines.

The EOSC will take advantage from the contribution of many projects (including RDA Europe, EOSC-hub, OpenAIRE, eInfraCentral and EOSCpilot) and discussion groups; each likely to generate its own recommendations or preferences. The key is to identify commonalities in approaches and convergence points as to how 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 opportunities and allow to partners who also strive to generate a mutually satisfactory and sustainable solution to be identified.

  • 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, rather shall identify ways in which these can be linked together seamlessly, allowing the sharing of data and services.

  • 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.

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 action line and 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 coming months and made public in due course.


POLICIES


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 EOSCpilot project worked on the EOSC Policy Framework, that 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.

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 has been conceived taking into account the developments occurring within the EOSCpilot project (more details on the EOSCpilot website), as well as external events, such as the GDPR.

The EOSC Policy Recommendations described above are in line with the updated Recommendation by the EC on access to and preservation of scientific information.

In particular, 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 EOSCpilot 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 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 EOSCpilot 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).


SKILLS


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 ]


SERVICES


  • "The hub would relay the resources and the services of data infrastructures funded at EU, national and regional level. Service and resources might be both generic and thematic-specific. The progressive federation over time of existing service providers in the EOSC would provide a single, coherent access channel to EOSC services at European level that meets researchers’ needs for data sharing, management and computing." (more details in the Commission Staff Working Document on the Implementation Roadmap of the European Open Science Cloud)

  • 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.
Here are the steps to help you prepare:
  • 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
    • Etc.
  • 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.

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, there will be a unique identification and authentication service and an access point and routing system towards all the resources of the EOSC.


ARCHITECTURE


The EOSC architecture is described in the Commission Staff Working Document on the Implementation Roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud as follows: "In terms of architecture, the EOSC would essentially comprise a federating core and a variety of federated research data infrastructures committed to providing services as part of the EOSC". Find out more in the document.


GOVERNANCE


EOSC Stakeholders can play many roles including those of data producers, service providers, data and service users.

The Rules of Participation would set out in a transparent and inclusive manner the rights, obligations and accountability of the different stakeholders taking part in the initiative (e.g. data producers, service providers, data and service users). The groundwork for the design of such rules is being laid primarily by the EOSCPilot project funded by the Work Programme 2016 and the work of the High Level Expert Group on the EOSC, while the EOSC Declaration sets the general principles.

More information on the Rules of Participation for data and service providers is available in the section "Rules of Participation" of this website.

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 presents the outcome of the exploration of appropriate governance and financing mechanisms for the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) in the form of a possible implementation Roadmap, as foreseen by the Communication on the "European Cloud Initiative" gives, on the basis of the consultation, an overview of six action lines for the implementation of the EOSC: with possible action lines and timelines resulting from the wide stakeholders’ consultation.
Those lines includes: a) architecture, b) data, c) services, d) access & interfaces, e) rules and f) governance.
The Council Conclusions on EOSC confirm that the EOSC should be a pan-European federation of current and planned data infrastructures, respecting the governance and funding mechanisms of its individual components. Membership of this federation would be on a voluntary basis: making the EOSC inclusive and open. It calls the European Commission to establish a three-tier governance structure including governmental policy-makers and key European stakeholder organisations, as well as the wider stakeholder community.
The EOSCpilot project has been funded to support the first phase in the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

EOSCpilot is supporting the first phase in the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).
EOSC-hub brings together multiple service providers to create the Hub, a single contact point for European researchers and innovators to discover, access, use and reuse a broad spectrum of resources for advanced data-driven research.

The project mobilises providers from the EGI Federation, EUDAT CDI, INDIGO-DataCloud and other major European research infrastructures to deliver a common catalogue of research data, services and software for research.

EOSC-hub collaborates closely with GÉANT, EOSCpilot and OpenAIRE-Advance projects to deliver a consistent service offer to research communities across Europe.

EOSCpilot will provide the trial governance frameworks for the EOSC and contribute to the development of European open science policy and best practice.

They will be implemented by EOSC-hub and other EOSC projects, in particular OpenAIRE and FREYA, as well as other future projects funded under INFRAEOSC programme.

The EOSC portal has been jointly developed and maintained by the eInfraCentral, EOSC-hub, EOSCpilot and OpenAIRE-Advance projects funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme with contribution of the European Commission.