Comment on behalf of FREYA project

Aug 05 2018

The FREYA project ( is building a robust environment for Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) into a core component of European and global research e-infrastructures, providing an essential building block of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Moreover, and equally importantly, the FREYA project will establish an open, sustainable, and trusted framework for collaborative self-governance of PIDs and services built on them.

The FREYA team notes that the importance of persistent identifiers is recognised in the proposed detailed rules of participation for service providers, under the heading "Machine-readable metadata".  Looking more closely, however, the meaning of this requirement is that services themselves should be identified by a common and persistent identification scheme. That is very sensible, but does not recognise the importance of the services making use, where appropriate, of persistent identification of research entities/resources, nor the benefits of a core set of metadata relating to those entities.  Certainly it must be the case that the scope of services in the EOSC will be very broad, and that restrictive assumptions about their nature and workings should be avoided, yet "quality of service" is singled out as a rule, with an "agreed minimal set of quality guidelines", and it does not seem too much of a stretch to imagine a rule such as "coherent identification and referencing of research entities and resources" on the same level.  The benefits of PIDs as a uniform exchange layer between data and services are too well-known to need repeating here.

As a further observation, the presently proposed rules of participation do not seem to include the aspect of governance of the services. Governance in general is another broad topic within the set-up of the EOSC—represented as a seperate work package within EOSCpilot—and the same caveat applies about avoidance of excessive assumptions about the nature of the services, their origins and how they will be maintained and developed. Nonetheless one might expect this aspect to arise from "Relation to users", but that particular requirement seems to be of a much more specific nature: "Transparency concerning data management mechanism used to store-process-publish". Nonetheless in the case of FREYA the governance of PID-related seervices is of central importance, through the so-called ‘PID Commons’, and it might be expected that certain classes of related and generic services (possibly the "core resources"?) would have some rules relating to their governance.