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Working Groups

Strategy, Governance and Sustainability

As large, multidisciplinary infrastructures, OSCs around the world will face challenges of governance, funding, sustainability, rules of participation, inclusivity, making their value proposition, and engagement with researchers and existing research infrastructures and other e-infrastructures. The specificities of national and regional circumstances mean that the approaches of each OSC to these issues will often be relatively bespoke. Nevertheless, there is much to be learnt from the exchange of experiences and strategies between initiatives. The WG will likely proceed by providing a forum to exchange information and identifying a discrete number of topics to explore in more detail. Possible initial questions include but are not limited to: What are the governance and accountability structures? What are the mechanisms for funding core OSC infrastructures and how does the OSC present its value proposition in order to sustain operations? What are the rules of engagement for public and private institutions?

Policy and Legal

Statements of principle and policy instruments at national and transnational levels have sought over the last 20 or so years to encourage and support emerging Open Science practices and to create a ‘level playing field’ in which scientific outputs are Open by default. Regional policy, as in the European Union, and international instruments, such as the recent OECD Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding and the forthcoming UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, are particularly significant. Different national concerns affect data policy priorities: nevertheless, to avoid the development of large silos and to achieve the potential of global Open Science, there is interest among OSCs to seek alignment of their policies, and where possible their legal frameworks. The WG will likely proceed by exchanging information about Open Science policies before exploring any areas of divergence. Possible questions include but are not limited to: What are the key policy instruments adopted by the OSCs? To what extent do these align and do they map well to major international statements of principle or policy? Are there any areas of policy misalignment that could hamper cooperation among OSCs and projects supported by OSCs? What are the most significant issues of legal interoperability to be addressed?

Initial arrangement

The GOSC Initiative will be led by an international advisory board followed by a steering group for the design and implementation of all the tasks. An international program office is on its way to help fulfil daily governance tasks assigned by the AB and SG. Initialized working groups, namely the Strategy, Governance and Sustainability, Policy and Legal, Technical Infrastructure, Data Interoperability have been established to carry on detailed work planned within the project. Another four early showcases (Space physics: Incoherent scatter radar data fusion and computation, Biodiversity and Ecology: An open cloud service for camera trap data management and intelligent analysis, Earth sciences: SDG-13 climate change and natural disasters, Population health: Sensitive data federation analysis model in population health) are also arranged to demonstrate the maturity of the GOSC testbed and lead to open discussion and call for broader engagement in the long run.

Technical Infrastructure

Open Science Clouds necessarily build on existing global e-infrastructures, including provision of high-speed academic networks, high performance computing, cloud computing, and so on. Among the objectives is to facilitate connectivity among international e-Infrastructures at national, regional, and global level, provide lightweight federation solutions and improve interoperability between different systems, and support international research collaborations. There are numerous important topics for e-infrastructure cooperation, alignment and interoperability, including: network connectivity and protocols, secure Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI), and mechanisms for federation of computing and other services.

Data Interoperability

One important objective for OSCs is to enhance support for research that addresses the fundamental challenges of our age (including global sustainability, disaster risk reduction and so on). Such research topics often require an interdisciplinary approach and the ability to combine data from across traditional domain boundaries. Many OSCs explicitly aim to support and enhance the services provided by established Research Infrastructures, while also seeking to break down the silos that may inhibit data sharing and interoperability. The FAIR principles provide a framework for convergence and a number of topics can usefully be addressed to pursue alignment and interoperability among OSCs. These include but are not limited to: the emerging FAIR Digital Object Framework; the use of structural and provenance metadata to facilitate machine-actionability across data; and the alignment and development of good practice for semantic artefacts (including scientific vocabularies). The EOSC Interoperability Framework may provide a good starting point for discussions around how to align and how OSCs can contribute and engage with global efforts to address the I (interoperability) and the R (reusability) of FAIR.