ExPaNDS and PaNOSC position paper on EOSC

A communication following the SRIA consultation

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is Europe’s virtual environment for all researchers to store, manage, analyse and re-use data for research, innovation and educational purposes. It will give Europe a global lead to ensure that scientists reap the full benefits of data-driven science.

The construction of EOSC started in 2015 and today, at the end of 2020, many building blocks are in place and a number of on-going EOSC projects, among which ExPaNDS and PaNOSC, endeavour to enrich the EOSC ecosystem. Yet, uptake by the scientific communities remains low and many aspects of EOSC remain conceptual and are still of limited practical value to our research communities.

With the creation of the EOSC Association and the new Horizon Europe framework programme taking shape, we believe that it is timely to put the scientific user community at the centre of the EOSC construction, knowing that the scientific uptake will be the main KPI for measuring the success of the EOSC.

The SRIA defines a number of important action items for making rapid progress on the construction of EOSC. However, we feel that even more emphasis on making it user centric, easily accessible and with transparent access rules would be beneficial for a rapid uptake.

In this spirit, we would like to suggest the following user-oriented actions the EOSC governance could consider:

  • The data produced by our instruments at PaN facilities are a valuable resource for long term re-use. However, our data policies typically guarantee only a 5-10 year preservation period. After that, it would be valuable if the EOSC would take over the responsibility for finding facilities/services for storage and curation of FAIR data to keep it available for further long-term use.
  • EOSC should be more than a federation of FAIR data repositories. Services which encompass data visualisation, analysis and simulation in a reproducible fashion with easy to use cloud resources are essential to our scientific user community and should be part of the services provided by the EOSC portfolio enabling and fostering data re-use.
  • The EOSC landscape being very wide, we would appreciate the support of the EOSC Association in stimulating synergies between current and future EOSC related projects. The Association could be the focal point between projects to share information and optimise project outcomes.
  • Connecting our user community to the EOSC is part of our thematic projects. However, the support of the EOSC Association in providing a forum for giving the scientific communities a mandate to steer the direction of the EOSC would greatly help. ExPaNDS and PaNOSC are complementary H2020 projects to implement FAIR data management and connect their user communities to the EOSC. Both projects bring together 16 Photon and Neutron Research facilities in Europe generating petabytes of scientific data.  

PaNOSC has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 823852. ExPaNDS has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857641.