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The problem

New modes of scientific analysis and scholarly communication need a safe and user-friendly environment to analyse data and other research outputs such as scientific articles and monographs. For example, 'machine actionability' (the ability to find and read texts and data through the use of computers) is needed. Besides a physical infrastructure, data scientists and other experts are needed to further develop the use of this infrastructure and to enrich, analyse and handle the massive data inputs.

The solution

  • Align practices in Europe and beyond, and work towards a sustainable federated European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) that aims to accelerate and support the current transition to more effective open science and open innovation in a Digital Single Market. It should enable trusted access to services and systems and promote the reuse of shared data across disciplinary, social and geographical borders.
  • Encourage the development of e-infrastructures as a service, by making sure that the various ICT components are aligned and provide a joint service. This should be done by building on the success of existing systems, while reducing current fragmentation through the creation of an ecosystem of infrastructures. 
  • Put in place an open infrastructure supporting open access to publications based on work in progress to secure proper governance, technical interoperability, financial sustainability and exit strategies. 



Concrete actions

  • European Commission and national authorities: explain that a European Open Science cloud will be an infrastructure service for society as a whole, and set up effective and inclusive governance.
  • European Commission and national authorities: set up concerted funding initiatives to develop data expertise in Europe. Assess what is needed in the infrastructure landscape (hardware, computing, storage, software, services, governance, etc.).
  • National authorities, research funders, Research Performing Organisations and e-infra organisations: set up and manage local and national e-infrastructures and facilitate researchers in the selection and use of services. Explicitly address the issue of financial viability and user-friendliness of the services.
  • National authorities, research funders, Research Performing Organisations, e-infra organisations and publishers: support work in progress and further develop Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructures to set up concerted mechanisms and fund initiatives to maintain a register of key open access services that address sustainability, governance, usage and interoperability. Publish the recommendations on funding and risks in a workshop in order to derive a generic approach for such services in general.
  • National authorities, research funders, Research Performing Organisations and e-infra organisations: set up rules of engagement for all contributors (users, e-infrastructure providers, funders etc.) in the European Open Science Cloud. For e-infrastructure service providers this includes certification schemes. 
  • European Commission: via the structure of the European Open Science Policy platform, set up a task force to agree on a business model, including a transition plan towards that model, for the European Open Science Cloud. Align with other existing working groups that are examining business models for cloud services. Set up pilots to test proposed models. 



Expected positive effects

  • Ability to make full use of data-driven research, including by computers;
  • An efficient infrastructure to capture the big data challenge;
  • A huge acceleration in the reuse of scientific data, with significant positive effects on science and the economy;
  • Academics and professionals can start to take Open Access infrastructures as a starting point and focus on increasing open access to publications.



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11 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    The participants of the innovation track of the Presidency Conference on Open Science provided their feedback on the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science via https://trello.com/b/gjLeuMuM/amsterdam-call-for-action-on-open-science-draft. On Action item 6, the following remarks were made: 

    • Don't spend more money but use existing infrastructure in Europe (both institutional and company owned) to make open science mandatory for scholarly communication
    • Fund/stimulate interoperability of tools

    On behalf of our participants, Marina Noordegraaf

     

  2. Anonymous

    In my view, an important issue is not mentioned here: infrastructures should not be funded like a project but need a (very) long term perspective.

     

    Georg Botz

  3. What is missing here is acknowledgement of the fact that there is no level-playing field when it comes to economic development & technological innovation, or to matters that are politically & ideologically sensitive.

    When setting up common e-infrastructures at the European level one must recognise that there may be a need for a “tit-for-tat” attitude. For example, if the US government makes scientific results open only for US-citizens, that may be (although it does not need to be) a reason for adopting a similar stance. Likewise, sharing economically valuable data should be done on the basis of parity. In this respect the role of companies, especially those that operate on a global scale, needs scrutiny. As does the behaviour of governments that systematically attempt to deny their citizens access to data that are politically or ideologically sensitive.

    Openness and sharing should be the default, but naïveté should be avoided.

    Martin Stokhof, on behalf of the Open Access Working Group of the European Research Council


    Proposed changes:

    The problem

    New modes of scientific analysis and scholarly communication need a safe and user-friendly environment to analyse data and other research outputs such as scientific articles and monographs. For example, 'machine actionability' (the ability to find and read texts and data through the use of computers) is needed. Besides a physical infrastructure, data scientists and other experts are needed to further develop the use of this infrastructure and to enrich, analyse and handle the massive data inputs.

    The solution

    • Align practices in Europe and beyond, and work towards a sustainable federated European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) that aims to accelerate and support the current transition to more effective open science and open innovation in a Digital Single Market. It should enable trusted access to services and systems and promote the reuse of shared data across disciplinary, social and geographical borders.
    • Do so in ways that acknowledge that with regard to economic development and technological innovation the global action space is not a level-playing field and that governments, companies and other stakeholders may have conflicting interests. Sharing of data and results should be done on a basis of parity.
    • Also acknowledge that research data and research results may be politically and ideologically sensitive and that, for that reason too, the global action space is not homogeneous. Implement strategies for sharing data and results in such a way that such political and ideological hurdles are avoided as much as possible.
    • Encourage the development of e-infrastructures as a service, by making sure that the various ICT components are aligned and provide a joint service. This should be done by building on the success of existing systems, while reducing current fragmentation through the creation of an ecosystem of infrastructures. 
    • Put in place an open infrastructure supporting open access to publications based on work in progress to secure proper governance, technical interoperability, financial sustainability and exit strategies. 



    Concrete actions

    • European Commission and national authorities: explain that a European Open Science cloud will be an infrastructure service for European society as a whole, and set up effective and inclusive governance. Encourage sharing the EOS with other actors in the global action space on the basis of parity.
    • European Commission and national authorities: set up concerted funding initiatives to develop data expertise in Europe. Assess what is needed in the infrastructure landscape (hardware, computing, storage, software, services, governance, etc.).
    • National authorities, research funders, Research Performing Organisations and e-infra organisations: set up and manage local and national e-infrastructures and facilitate researchers in the selection and use of services. Explicitly address the issue of financial viability and user-friendliness of the services.
    • National authorities, research funders, Research Performing Organisations, e-infra organisations and publishers: support work in progress and further develop Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructures to set up concerted mechanisms and fund initiatives to maintain a register of key open access services that address sustainability, governance, usage and interoperability. Publish the recommendations on funding and risks in a workshop in order to derive a generic approach for such services in general.
    • National authorities, research funders, Research Performing Organisations and e-infra organisations: set up rules of engagement for all contributors (users, e-infrastructure providers, funders etc.) in the European Open Science Cloud. For e-infrastructure service providers this includes certification schemes. 
    • European Commission: via the structure of the European Open Science Policy platform, set up a task force to agree on a business model, including a transition plan towards that model, for the European Open Science Cloud. Align with other existing working groups that are examining business models for cloud services. Set up pilots to test proposed models. 


    Expected positive effects

    • Ability to make full use of data-driven research, including by computers;
    • An efficient infrastructure to capture the big data challenge;
    • A huge acceleration in the reuse of scientific data, with significant positive effects on science and the economy in the European space, and possibly beyond;
    • Academics and professionals can start to take Open Access infrastructures as a starting point and focus on increasing open access to publications.
  4. Anonymous

    I'd like to suggest the following action to be considered – again, as a way of helping to ensure that the target for all research to be made OA, can be achieved.

    • Concrete actions

      National authorities, research funders, Research Performing Organisations and e-infra organisations: set up subject based repositories – based on the Europe PMC model – to ensure that all research publications which arise from funding across Member states are findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR principles)

    Robert Kiley, Wellcome Trust

  5. Anonymous

    Knowledge Exchange Response

    to action item number 6 (Set up common e-infrastructures) of the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science

    The underpinning vision of the Digital Single Market, of which EOSC is an essential part, is the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital; the access and online services available for citizens and business at fair competitive conditions; and the protection of consumer and personal data.

    Therefore the EOSC – envisioned as a federated globally accessible environment where researchers, innovators, companies and citizens can publish, find and re-use each other´s data and tools for research, innovation and educational purposes - must enable open and transparent movement of knowledge, funding of [human and technical] infrastructure to optimally leverage existing resources, and optimise future investment in a trusted, sustainable and just value for money model.

     

    In short the ambition is to close the value loop between Open Science, the Digital Single Market and the Public Interest. The value loop engages many stakeholders (e.g. research communities; research projects and H2020 projects (both data intensive and long tail); public data centres and service providers; commercial service providers, small and medium-sized enterprises; industry; society/citizens; EC, member states, councils, and more). Ideally the EOSC should meet all stakeholders’ needs to fulfil their role(s) in the research process.

    Therefore stakeholder’s demand (for required infrastructure and services), supply (of infrastructure services, research output) and the funding of these need to be given due and balanced attention if the EOSC is to be a success and become sustainable. Each required part of the value loop needs to exist, with clear responsibility, incentives, business model and visible benefits.

    In order to do so we recommend to give close attention to communication, to inform and involve all stakeholders and to target quick wins. It is important to aim to meet tangible challenges, be these contributions to new knowledge, innovation or ease of access and collaboration, or enhanced funding and business models.

    The ambition of the EOSC is to ensure that research is improved, answers to grand challenges accelerated, knowledge transfer increased, innovation and productivity sped up, and have citizens engaged in research and innovation. Europe enjoys a rich set of research infrastructures which are critical to the delivery of the EOSC. Collaboration across these parties, be they disciplinary or cross-domain infrastructures, public or private, in the traditional research domain or beyond, is crucial.

    Therefore to fulfil the ambitions of the EOSC it is essential that the development and implementation of the concept is more inclusive than it is now. We observe that currently talks and considerations on the EOSC are largely focused within the traditionally engaged stakeholder group of infrastructure and service providers that serve the needs of specific research communities. It is important to realise that the full range of stakeholders mentioned above should be engaged in establishing and will benefit from the EOSC.

    Our recommendation is that any action towards closing the value loop in a realistic and sustainable way should follow an inclusive approach in which research, SME’s and industry, public sector and society are brought in close concert.

    With a more inclusive approach the EOSC will be able to support the researcher in the entire research workflow and improve and accelerate communication of ideas and objects (inspiration!) in all phases of the research lifecycle to all - traditional and other - stakeholders and actors. Thereby fostering better research, increased collaboration, public engagement and innovation based on a sustainable financial model.

    On behalf of Knowledge Exchange

    Bas Cordewener

     

     

  6. Anonymous

    I find the title of this section misleading. The issue is not to set up ever new infrastructures but to employ and further develop the existing ones in a better way (complementing them with new initiatives where really necessary). So perhaps the title could be changed, as a minimum not only using the words 'set up' but also 'develop', 'manage' and 'maintain'. Proposed new title: 'Set up, develop, manage and maintain common e-infrastructures'

    Dagmar Meyer, Brussels

     

  7. Anonymous

    Michael Matlosz, President Science Europe:

    There is a more profound need to reconsider how existing research data infrastructure is funded, to develop business models for sustainable entities (not only based on project funding), and to define and assign responsibility for maintaining the data produced during projects (operations around curation, storage, archiving, sharing).

  8. Anonymous

    We suggest to replace “Put in place an open infrastructure supporting open access to publications"  by “Continue to support open infrastructure supporting open access to publications and supporting (open) data management”

     

    Inge Van Nieuwerburgh for VLIR the Flemish Interuniversity Council

  9. Anonymous

    Natalia Manola on behalf of OpenAIRE:

    We would propose to change the title to: Establish common e-infrastructures, federating existing and new services, systems and e-infrastructures

    The solution:

    As there have been efforts for the past 10+ years, we would see fit to teplace the following text:

    “…Put in place an open infrastructure supporting open access to publications based on work in progress to secure proper governance, technical interoperability, financial sustainability and exit strategies.”

    with:

     “Support, expand and enhance existing open infrastructures at local, national and European levels, securing proper governance, technical interoperability and financial sustainability.”

    Additional Concrete actions:

    European Commission and national authorities: ensure that EOSC has the foundations to branch out to other e-Infrastructures as research should not be seen in isolation from the other open data initiatives (e.g., Open Education Material, Public Sector Information data, cultural heritage data)

  10. Anonymous

    In our experience in developing research e-infrastructures, most recently around the development of a national infrastructure to support data sharing, we would agree with other comments that a user-demand analysis would be an essential underpinning of a shared service and/or infrastructure. We would agree that consideration would need to be given to issues of interoperability with other common services and data portability. As Bas Cordewener notes, the aspirations of the open science cloud should have wide participation from public and private stakeholders to have a greater chance of success and to ensure scientific impact.

    The principles from Cameron Neylon, Jennifer Lin and Geoffrey Bilder should be developed and adopted: http://cameronneylon.net/blog/principles-for-open-scholarly-infrastructures/ we believe these are the basis of the idea on rules of engagement and we believe action on this in members states, across Europe and more widely is needed for sustainable infrastructure for scholarship.

    Pleased to see the action on European Commission and national authorities: set up concerted funding initiatives to develop data expertise in Europe. Assess what is needed in the infrastructure landscape (hardware, computing, storage, software, services, governance, etc.). Skills in software could be emphasised see here http://www.knowledge-exchange.info/event/software-sustainability . This recommendation is very much in line with work underway in the UK and so should complement those efforts. The UK e-infrastructure groups and uk open research data forum are considering actions in this area but more grist to the mill is welcome.

    We note the term cloud is meant much more broadly than the commercial cloud provision such as AWS etc. ( although we acknowledge that working with such providers is an important part of the picture) but it would be useful to qualify the use of the term cloud; in the EOSC it includes all sorts of services and tools and the use of the term can be easily misinterpreted and limit understanding and scope of the necessary research infrastructure for open science.

     

    David Kernohan, Jisc, UK

  11. Anonymous

    The 1% solution to facilitate the transition to OA

    In the break out session on Infrastructure for OA publications, the main discussion was about sustaining and governing some of the key infrastructure services that support OA publishing. One thing came up that isn’t reflected in the ‘Call for Action’, that we think deserves serious consideration: the idea that libraries can play a key role in the transition to OA, by making a small part of their acquisitions budget available for the collective funding of OA services and library-side funding models.

    We called this the 1% solution: if a group of libraries would come together to reserve 1% of their acquisitions budget for OA services and initiatives seeking funding for OA publications, this would create a new momentum towards OA and could potentially develop into a transitional model to achieve a fully OA infrastructure.

    So, instead of many different OA initiatives each seeking support from individual libraries, the idea is that libraries can join forces to decide which initiatives meet library needs and deserve collective funding. To develop the model, we suggest it should be adopted by an international association representing libraries and the academic community promoting OA, such as LIBER, or SPARC/SPARC Europe. They could launch a campaign for the 1% solution, thereby promoting a more efficient and effective transition to OA.

    Eelco Ferwerda, OAPEN Foundation / DOAB

    Lars Bjørnshauge, SPARC Europe / DOAJ