EOSC Rules of Participation: An Overview

EOSC Rules of Participation: An Overview
18 Aug 2018

EOSC Rules of Participation: An Overview

18 August 2018

Recently, there's been a lot of buzz around the rules of participation and its implications for the operation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

With EOSCpilot being heavily involved in proposing and trialling a governance framework for the EOSC, the project plays a key role in forming these rules through the Open Consultation that was recently concluded. To better understand the EOSC Rules of Participation and its possible implications on how EOSC will run as well as the steps that need to be taken to get there, here's EOSCpilot's quick overview on the EOSC Rules of Participation. 

EOSC Rules of Participation: What is it, exactly?

The rules of participation define the rights, obligations and accountability of the various EOSC actors (notably data producers, service providers, data/service users) against:

  • Agreed tools, specifications, catalogues and standards (EOSC shared resources) and applicable methodologies (framework for FAIR research data)
  • Adopted principles for regulating transactions in the EOSC (e.g. financial mechanisms and procedures, agreements/bylaws established by the EOSC governance framework)
  • Applicable legal frameworks (e.g. GDPR, copyright rules, Data Security and Cybercrime, dispute resolution and redress mechanisms, e-commerce directive)

However, there is room and need for differentiating the rules applicable to different EOSC actors depending on their maturity and role and taking into consideration:

  • Specificities of different scientific disciplines
  • Diversity and level of readiness of infrastructures and services at discipline, Member States and EU level (research infrastructures, e-infrastructures) and the differences in their established rules and processes
  • Variety of service providers and users that will be involved in the EOSC (e.g. public vs private; horizontal vs specialised)
  • Changing needs and practices regarding the implementation of the rules, in particular concerning compliance with existing legal frameworks (e.g. GDPR) and emerging ones (e.g. free flow of data)

5 Actions to Launch the 1st EOSC Rules of Participation

There are 5 steps to produce the rules of participation. As of writing this on 13 August 2018, we were at Step 2 with Step 1 being covered in the EOSC Implementation Roadmap released earlier this year.

  1. Scope the Rules of Participation, identifying the main topics that should be covered and setting out the key principles
  2. Draft the set of rules and consult stakeholders in the Open Consultation
  3. Mandate the Governance framework to elaborate further the draft set of rules
  4. Finalise and publicise the Rules of Participation
  5. Foster and monitor uptake and compliance of (relevant) rules by the various EOSC stakeholders

These activities will be leveraging on the work of EOSCpilot, the EOSC High Level Expert Group, EOSC-hub, OpenAIRE, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and INFRA-EOSC-05(a) projects. 

Post-Consultation: Adopting and Enforcing the Rules of Participation

After the initial recommendations on the rules of participation were drafted by the High Level Group for EOSC for scientific users and service providers in the EOSC and after the closure of the Open Consultation of stakeholders, which ran in the EOSCpilot's own portal, the next step is to analyse the responses.

EOSC's Governance Structure, which will be established by the end of 2018, will further elaborate the rules of participation through a dedicated working group along with stakeholders, with the support of the INFRA EOSC-05(a) project (Support to the EOSC Governance RIA):

  1. The Executive Board proposes the final EOSC Rules of Participation to the EOSC Board for adoption.
  2. The EOSC Board adopts the Rules of Participation and publishes and disseminates the final rules
  3. The Governance framework fosters and monitors the uptake and compliance of the (relevant) RoP by the various EOSC stakeholders

Milestones and Timeline of EOSC Rules

Below is the expected timeline for the EOSC Rules of Participation. It is expected that a first set of rules would be available in the beginning of 2019 with the final set of rules being planned for the end of 2019.

Q2 2018: Scoping and guiding principles for the EOSC rules of participation and launch of the stakeholder consultation

Q3 2018: Draft the set of rules and consult stakeholders

Q4 2018: Mandate the Governance framework to elaborate further the draft

Q1 2019: Initial EOSC rules of participation (by the Governance structure)

Q4 2019: Final EOSC rules based on the development of the federating core (e.g. shared resources, compliance and governance frameworks) Regular monitoring and annual reports on uptake of and compliance with EOSC rules

Q4 2019: Foster and monitor uptake and compliance

While voting on the proposed EOSC Rules of Participation is now closed, there's still time to contribute to the discussions in "forum" part of the Open Consultation. You can join the conversations or propose new topics to better cover all aspects of the Rules of Participation. Have your say and go to the Consultation Platform now!