The European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) has just published its first report and recommendations. It calls for immediate action to build the EOSC, in close collaboration with Member states.
“The challenge is clear to us: if we do not act, there might be a looming crisis on the horizon,” wrote Barend Mons, Chair of the High Level Expert Group, in an introduction to the report. “Scientific data is in dire need of openness, better handling, careful management, machine actionability and sheer re-use.”
The report also notes a number of key factors, if the EOSC is to be effectively developed. They include the following:
- New modes of scholarly communication (with emphasis on machine actionability) need to be implemented;
- Modern reward and recognition practices need to support data sharing and re-use;
- Core data experts need to be trained and their career perspective significantly improved.
“Long gone is the era of the lonely scientist in the lab. Recent advances such as the discovery of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves, decoding of complex genetic schemas, climate change models, all required thousands of scientists to collaborate on ideas and, crucially, on data. And that implies that research data are findable and accessible and that they are interoperable and re-usable. In essence, this is what the Open Science Cloud is about: an open and trusted environment where research data can be safely stored and made openly available,” said European Commissioner Carlos Moedas.