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Open Science

G7 Science Ministers committed to giving incentives for open science and to providing research infrastructures on the basis of FAIR data

The G7 Science Ministers met in Venaria (Italy) on September 28th and they discussed how the G7 nations could lead efforts to materialise the benefits of the Next Production Revolution. In this context, the G7 Ministers also recognized that technological and societal developments are transforming research towards paradigms of open science. They stressed the importance of incentivising and rewarding Open Science activities and providing global research infrastructures which would allow for an optimal re-use of data on the condition that we can make this data FAIR(Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usuable).


Final report of the working group on ‘Skills’ is available

The report called "Providing researchers with the skills and competencies they need to practice Open Science" is rooted in the policy for researcher career development and (like the Rewards report) closely linked with ERA Priority 3, an Open Labour Market for Researchers.

In the report the working group defined Open Science skills needs for researchers in order for skilled talent to be able to publish under Open Access, to manage (open)data, to conduct professional research and engage with citizen science. From the results of an Open Science survey conducted among Researchers at all career stages, an overview of the current Open Science skills provision landscape is given.

On top, a European Skills and Qualifications Matrix for Open Science is proposed, highlighting the importance of introducing and integrating (accredited) skills training for researchers at all career stages.

The importance of embedding Open Science in ERA policy is treated and the specific cases of the Innovative Doctoral Training Principles and the European Framework for Research Careers are presented.

The report will be discussed at the Open Science Policy Platform meeting on 13 October 2017.


Final report of the working group on ‘Rewards’ is available

The approach of the working group is firmly rooted in the context of researcher career development and closely linked with ERA Priority 3, an Open Labour Market for Researchers. The report provides information on OS in relation to ERA policy, researcher assessment and career framework, describing different aspects of OS, including Open data, Open Peer Review and Citizen science. The limitations of the current recognition and reward process are presented, with suggestions on how to alleviate these and how new paradigms can be envisioned and implemented.

An illustration of taking a comprehensive approach to researcher assessment using the Open Science Career Assessment Matrix (OS-CAM) that recognises OS is developed. There is a brief analysis of the ERA partnership policies and how OS can be promoted through the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R).

The report will be discussed at the Open Science Policy Platform meeting on 13 October 2017.


Towards a Horizon 2020 platform for open access publishing

In May 2016, the Competitiveness Council Conclusions called for full open access to scientific publications in Europe by 2020.

Wishing to lead by example, the European Commission has already made open access an obligation for its Horizon 2020 grantees. However, further steps to facilitate 100% open access to Horizon 2020 related publications are needed; this is why the Commission has been investigating the possibility to fund a platform for Horizon 2020 beneficiaries to publish open access, additionally to the currently existing options to fulfil their open access in Horizon 2020.

This platform will allow rapid, open access publication of

  1. Horizon 2020 related pre-prints which meet basic criteria on authorship, non-plagiarism and ethical conduct and
  2. Horizon 2020 related peer reviewed articles

Furthermore the platform will contain mechanisms for open/collaborate/public peer review and a suit of innovative ('alternative') metrics (the latter being one of the eight priorities of the Open Science Agenda). Use of this platform will be free for Horizon 2020 grantees.

This platform is thus not intended as a repository but will deliver a fast, cost efficient and high quality publishing service which is fully open and fit for the 21st century. At the same time, the Commission cannot infringe on the scientific freedom of researchers. This is why the platform will be offered as a complementary service and it use thus not compulsory.

The success of the platform will not only depend on the technical infrastructure but primarily on the quality of the scientific publication service provided. An analysis of the tools available to the Commission to implement such a platform concludes that a robust service, on par with the highest quality standards of scientific publishing can only be provided by outsourcing the implementation of the platform through a fully transparent public procurement process. Such an action has therefore been included in the draft Work Programme 2018. The aim is to publish this call, including a detailed terms of reference, in the fall 2017.


New High Level Expert Group on EOSC launched

On 21 June 2017, the European Commission set-up the new High Level Expert Group European Open Science Cloud. Its mission is to advise the Commission on the measures needed to implement the European Open Science Cloud.

The new group, chaired by Silvana Muscella, is composed of ten high-level experts from different European countries and two third-countries (Australia and US). Together, they have a complementary set of expertise related to various key aspects of the set-up of scientific data clouds, including standardisation, certification, procurement, delivery of federated services, business models, management, governance and funding of national and European research data infrastructures and e-Infrastructures.


Setting of an Expert Group on the Future of Scholarly Publishing

DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD) is setting up an Expert Group on the Future of Scholarly Publishing in order to support the research and innovation policy development on Open Science. The group’s tasks shall be to assess emerging and alternative open access business models with the aim of establishing how an economically viable transition towards open access can be achieved. An important element of the group's work will be establishing general principles for the future of open access publishing and scholarly communication.

The group shall consist of up to 12 members that can be either:

  • individuals appointed in a personal capacity, who will act independently and in the public interest
  • organisations, which will have to be registered in the Transparency Register.

Interested individuals and interested organisations are invited to submit their application to DG RTD.


First report from the High Level Expert Group

11 October 2016

The Commission has published today the first report of the Commission High Level Expert Group on the European Open Science Cloud (HLEG EOSC).

The Report recommends to close discussions about the ‘perceived need’ of a science cloud and to take immediate action on the EOSC in close concert with Member States, building on existing capacity and expertise. They also recommend writing clear Rules of Engagement for access to the EOSC and for the provision of services based on research data (e.g. TDM, data analytics, etc.). But the implications of the report reach further in several aspects of Open Science policy more broadly. They recommend framing the EOSC as the EU contribution to a future, global Internet of FAIR Data and Services underpinned by open protocols.

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European Open Science Cloud

19 April 2016

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Giving a major boost to Open Science in Europe, the Commission today presented its blueprint for cloud-based services and world-class data infrastructure to ensure science, business and public services reap benefits of big data revolution.

By bolstering and interconnecting existing research infrastructure, the Commission plans to create a new European Open Science Cloud that will offer Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their data across disciplines and borders. This will be underpinned by the European Data Infrastructure, deploying the high-bandwidth networks, large scale storage facilities and super-computer capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud.