Open science in Europe: state of play

Sergio Andreozzi on the final report from the Open Science Policy Platform and the EGI contribution

Over the last decade, the discourse on open science has grown considerably and has become a primary topic among the various actors involved in research production and dissemination. The EC has played a key role in mobilising the European research community towards defining policies and adapting more open practices (e.g. open access as default policy for research results coming from H2020).

To progress towards a more open science, in 2016 the EC established the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP), a group of 25 experts from the community to support policy formulation and implementation. I had the honour to be part of this group as representative of the EGI Federation.

The group operated under two mandates. The first mandate focused primarily on defining policy recommendations for eight challenges of open science: rewards, next generation metrics, European Open Science Cloud, future of scholarly publishing, research integrity, citizen science, open education and skills, and FAIR open data. The recommendations have been mapped to nine stakeholder groups and have been documented in the OSPP-REC report published in 2018.

The second mandate of the OSPP focused more on the implementation where the represented stakeholders had to mobilise their communities towards taking action for addressing the identified recommendations. This translated into defining “Practical Commitments for Implementation” (PCIs) and assessing the progress.

The EGI Federation has contributed to open science implementation in many ways. As a distributed infrastructure supporting international research collaborations, the main purpose is to offer a platform that allows to tackle the different challenges in sharing and analysing large scale data.

From the technical perspective, the focus is on adopting  open source technologies, open interfaces and open data formats. For instance, the EGI Check-in service now supports ORCID. Also, FAIR principles for data have been translated in the proposed SHARP principles for services.  From the organisational aspect, the federation is open to all and managed according to the FitSM open standard. An ongoing effort is also being pursued to select, adopt and report open science indicators related to the infrastructure. With regards to training and skills for open science, EGI is contributing a number of training courses in the context of the EOSC-hub project. Last, but not least, the EGI Federation is a key player in the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud, one of the eight identified challenges. The contribution is both in the building of the EOSC Federating Core and also in providing research-facing services.

The OSPP recently concluded the work with the final report “Progress on open science: towards a shared research knowledge system”. The document summarises the work of the OSPP over the two mandates, provides a status update on the implementation of the recommendations and the various PCIs from the stakeholders. It closes by drawing the vision for a Shared Research Knowledge System enabling the creation, contribution, discovery and reuse of research knowledge more reliably, effectively and equitably. Overall, it was a great opportunity to share this journey with this brilliant and diverse group of experts.

Sergio Andreozzi is Head of Strategy, Innovation and Communications at the EGI Foundation.