EOSC Stakeholder Forum Report - Soap box session for Intermediaries, Research communities & Libraries

19 Dec 2017

EOSC Stakeholder Forum Report - Soap box session for Intermediaries, Research communities & Libraries


The driver for the session was to allow stakeholders from research performing organisations, academic institutions and research libraries to discuss amongst themselves some key elements of Open Science and the way the EOSC enables them. Most of the session participants belonged to organisations that do not participate directly in the EOSCpilot project.



Very valuable input was provided by this group. It was collected and fitered and is structured below according to the questions asked.

1. Vision

1.1 Characteristics of the EOSC that will make the difference to what is available today

The EOSC is an infrastructure to support open science, bringing together existing, fragmented infrastructures in a federated and decentralized way, driven by researchers needs.

It enables access, sharing and reuse of various research outputs, not just data, creating many new opportunities for multidisciplinary dialogue and collaboration.

To make the difference to what is available today, the EOSC should create a culture of openness and should promote career rewards and incentives for open behaviours.

The EOSCpilot should communicate more to researchers. It should better express and demonstrate benefits of openness, and ensure researchers are aware of the various tools and platforms that already exist.

The EOSCpilot activities go in the right direction but some important economic factors and players, such as those related to the publishing, hardware and software industries, seem to be missing.


1.2 How open should EOSC be?

Openness is not unconditional. Access to research outputs should be freely available to all, but issues related to the business models need to be addressed.

The EOSC should be "as open as possible, as closed as necessary". This means that there may be variable levels of openness, in service and SLA, in data, in rules of participation, etc.

For the EOSC to be effective it needs to coordinate/cooperate with all other organizations involved in RDM – e.g. Liber, OpenAIRE, Research Data Alliance, EUDAT, etc.


1.3 How will EOSC support multidisciplinary research? How to enable this?

  • By bringing libraries into communications – although library shouldn’t be the only player in bringing the message into the university.
    • Support generic metadata, ontologies, standardised metadata sets.
    • Promote skills on data stewardship, as well as IT and technical skills starting from schools and up to higher education.
    • Train the trainer.
    • Raise awareness: provide case examples, best practices exchange, address societal challenges.


2. The EOSC will create an environment for researchers to be effective in publication dissemination, long-term preservation and reuse, etc. How do you see your role as users/enablers in fostering the uptake of the FAIR principles in your environment?

Research Institutions and Libraries are enablers. They develop and support institutional policies and tools that promote and encourage FAIR principles. They see the need to provide incentives to FAIRness of research results. Support interoperability and data stewardship. They can act as point of contact.

Universities support levels of compliance to FAIR principles and provide skills and practical guidelines for their application in concrete cases.

All stakeholders should contribute to cultural change, raising awareness, and stress benefits to productivity from applying FAIR principles.

EOSC could provide sandbox training environments that can be employed during institutional training exercises. Include FAIR in training. Build on MANTRA training courses.

Bring research councils on board (not yet the case in every EU country).    Funders to require verifiable and actionable DMPs.


3. Can you think of effective alternatives to the current evaluation and reward systems and how would you see your role as users/enables in advocating for the establishment of alternative incentives?

The group identified some of the main barriers towards Open Science, namely,

  • Losing control of data and not being credited
    • Allow for citability of data
    • Traceability of access – link to usage
    • Same for software
  • Open to misuse and misinterpretation


The following incentives have been mentioned:

  • Evaluation of “research objects” (publication+data+network) not just publications
    • Work on next generation metrics to continue and to balance several criteria/indicators including research integrity, Nagoya, and many other indicators
  • Reward also scientific negative results
    • Make it easy for researchers to cite publications and data (DOI)
    • Make negative results citable and discoverable
  • Put weight on data management plans, open APIs and open formats. Make these mandatory for research funding.
  • Make Data Management Plans effective – check during performance of research
  • Incentivise behaviours and outputs that build transparent processes.


Other recommended initiatives at various levels include:

  • Need evaluation panels. Funders and learned societies have a crucial role to play in this respect.
  • National rankings of institutional data openness – will encourage universities to encourage researchers
  • Publishers can make it mandatory that data is made available
  • Harness the enthusiasm of younger researchers.


Open Science is not another sort of science, is yet another aspect of current science. Don't oppose open and excellent science, excellent science and open science is the same thing, so discussion is needed what this means in a specific discipline – what is the actual impact of open science at the operational level (actual research process).

Some people did not understand the relevance of this question for the EOSC.


4. Role of Research Producing Organisations, Academic Institutions and Research Libraries in promoting and supporting the EOSC take up?

Organisations in this group play an intermediary role. They act as liaisons, brokers, enablers of semantic interoperability and linked open data, trainers, curators.

Some participants challenged the question and wanted to discuss how the EOSC helps institutions rather than the other way around.



It was suggested that:

  • We need to define more clearly what the EOSC is, to explain better to this group of stakeholders how it is different from other organizations/infrastructures.
  • The EOSC Websites needs to make very clear and prominent what the EOSC can offer to researchers. Universities need to understand clearly what it offers before they will promote it.
  • The EOSC needs clear contact points in each country who can explain what it can do.