FAIR and Open Science

Oct 1, 2021 Ver este post en Español

Open Science means that scientific research and its dissemination is available across multiple disciplines, regardless of profession, location, or expertise. So, for everyone to participate and be a part of Open Science, we must have adequately trained people to properly share it further.

This article talks about the European Science Cloud in correlation with the FAIR principles and Open Science, the main recommendations of the European Science Cloud for a more FAIR world, and the policies relating to the digital skills necessary for growth and innovation.

The European Science Cloud Together with FAIR and Open Science

Together with digital skills, the FAIR principles and Open Science are all the cornerstones of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). EOSC is an open, multi-disciplinary, federated environment for processing and hosting research data to support EU science. It’s meant to provide European researchers, citizens, innovators, and companies a place to find, publish and reuse data and the tools and services necessary for research, innovation, and educational opportunities.

The Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) principles guarantee the validity and reproducibility of published data and significantly improve the reuse of scholarly data. Read our Orvium and the importance of the FAIR principles in scientific data article to find out more.

With the growing amount of data around us, and although these principles improved the reuse of scholarly data, there are still not enough adequately trained people to meet the current demand for FAIR and Open Science needs.

There is a lack of Open Science and data expertise including, but not limited to legal, data ethics expertise, and intellectual property rights. Additionally, the research community is not prepared or correctly equipped to explore the opportunities presented in an interdisciplinary environment. That’s why developing and using digital skills is becoming increasingly important in the research community.

What is EOSC doing?

An EOSC network of skilled professionals is necessary to bring forth a culture change. Change entails sharing outcomes and empowering individuals and institutions to maintain, develop, and grow EOSC competencies, capabilities, and skills. For this change to occur, extensive learning and training across different disciplines and roles must happen. Therefore, the EOSC Skills and Training Working Group (WG) came about in 2020, focusing on four main priorities:

  1. Developing the next generation of FAIR and Open Science professionals - presenting a framework of any skills or training pertinent to the different roles within the EOSC ecosystem
  2. Collaborating to enhance digital skills for FAIR and Open Science in Europe - making training activities and programs available through the concept of competence centers
  3. Building a trusted and long-lasting knowledge hub - allowing access to learning and training resources and any additional related tools as part of a sustainable infrastructure Influencing national Open Science policies by supporting strategic leaders - analyzes the digital skills required for the Member States and associated countries to provide recommendations on supporting EOSC in national policies and strategies.

What Are the Main Recommendations for a FAIR and EOSC World?

To maximize research impact internationally and achieve the vision of EOSC, significant work is still required from a wide variety of stakeholders to overcome barriers and maximize vital skills and training developments. The main recommendations of the EOSC Skills and Training Group (WG) are as follows:

  • create initiatives based on the different roles within the EOSC ecosystem (data scientist, citizen, researcher, research software engineer, EOSC trainer or educator, data steward or librarian, data curator, policymaker, and EOSC enabler) to train, reward, and recognize the skills, frameworks, and career paths necessary to support further development of FAIR and Open Science

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  • align and coordinate relevant skills curricula, along with training frameworks, to ultimately deliver university-level FAIR and Open Science skill learning
  • encourage the concept of competence centers
  • further integrate FAIR and Open Science courses with university qualifications
  • create a learning and training catalog with the recommended WG specifications for development
  • develop an EOSC skills program that does the following:
  • increases coordination of European and national policies, networks, and     programs supporting the skills necessary for FAIR and Open Science
  • develops and promotes an EOSC Skills and Training Ambassadors program to guide national policymakers
  • advocates for the inclusion of training and skills of FAIR and Open Science into major European and national funding programs.

The Policies on Digital Skills

As new practices or infrastructure emerge, learning and training resources need updating because they become practically obsolete. A key challenge for Europe in increasing FAIR and Open Science practices is to have the necessary highly and appropriately skilled people with excellent knowledge of digital skills to use, share, deliver, and analyze FAIR data, applications, and services or tools. That’s why coordination with EOSC is much needed.

The list of digital skills necessary for each person is dependant on the role they have, but can include:

  • understanding how to assess the FAIRness of services when searching for and producing research data (researcher)
  • communication and training skills to transmit and educate technicians and researchers on the Open Science, EOSC ecosystem, and FAIR concepts and services, including their added value to research communities (EOSC enabler)
  • the ability to retain and acquire the knowledge necessary to use, implement, and onboard EOSC-related services (EOSC software engineer)
  • must have a deep understanding of the FAIR principles and the ability to use services for data preservation and publication (data curator).

FAIR game? What Will the Future Bring?

Open data is important to communities and groups of people everywhere, no matter your location. The FAIR principles (and not only) are a way to protect and safely reuse that data to ultimately support interdisciplinary collaboration and guarantee access to research.

Orvium understands and does exactly this together with OpenAIRE, FAIR, Horizon2020, and others and offers an Open Access platform. We help researchers disseminate their work, increase their visibility, and help spread the latest breakthroughs. Read more about openness and how it’s a must for the research system in our article.

Don’t forget to check out our platform to see how we get involved in the community.


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