DARIAH’s input to the Open Consultation for the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

On the 20th of July, the EOSC Executive Board launched a large-scale open consultation on the EOSC Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). The aim of this consultation was to shape the strategic objectives, action areas, implementation priorities and partnerships for the 2024-2028 phase of the EOSC development. 

As a thematic enabler of the EOSC who connects the Arts and Humanities communities with the European Open Science landscape, DARIAH agrees that having a common vision about the future of the EOSC, that is equally shared across the research communities and infrastructure providers across Europe, is an absolute priority. 

We strongly endorse the vision and rich inventory of priority areas as defined in the consultation document. Below we put forward the key points of our response to the consultation – points that we recognize as critical factors in the success of the ESOC. Our input is a result of a consultation within the DARIAH Coordination Office and Board of Directors. 

1. Reshaping funding mechanisms for long-term sustainability of key research services 

Without sustainable funding mechanisms, designed for the long-term, services that are key to certain communities remain vulnerable to either collapse, or being acquired by proprietary actors. Only responsible funding mechanisms guarantee public, community control over such key services. 

2. Broadening the notion and role of thematic Research Infrastructures in the EOSC landscape  

DARIAH naturally and strongly endorses the vision of building the EOSC ecosystem on existing research infrastructures that are shaped from significant and long-standing investments of European and national ministries. Thematic or disciplinary organisations of actors and services serve as primary hubs of scientific innovation and therefore can be considered as key components in the EOSC ecosystem.

We believe that the open research culture can only be a reality, if it is  firmly embedded in the respective disciplinary cultures and therefore thematic Research Infrastructures are critical for the future of Open Science in Europe.

Although this has been recognized by many EOSC actors, we see no action areas or priority items that aim to support thematic services or outline a strategy for how best to align the nascent EOSC ecosystem with ERICs and how these two systems could best build on each other instead of duplicating  structures and work. 

Besides, using the terms ‘data infrastructure’, ‘e-Infrastructure’ and ‘Research Infrastructures’ interchangeably in the consultation document puts forward an implicit bias that RIs typically consist of federated data repositories. In many cases, RIs deviate from this model and, for instance, serve as intermediaries who provide smaller services that are crucial for the research communities. 

3. The success of any Research Infrastructure primarily depends on the communities who use them, shape them and are served by them.  

Among the Action Areas listed in the SRIA document, we cannot see an area that focuses on guarantees for community uptake of and trust building mechanisms towards the EOSC. Still, for us, it seems to be a key success criterion, ensuring that the primary target audience, research communities see the added value and will sufficiently populate the infrastructure. Only two of the proposed Action Areas (AA 11 Skills and Training and AA 12 Rewards and Recognition) are focusing on changing the research culture while the remaining 10 AAs are technical in scope.

DARIAH in the EOSC 
Rooted in a research community that has worked on its creation and development as a Research Infrastructure for almost 15 years, DARIAH supports the Arts & Humanities in contributing to and using EOSC data and services. DARIAH provides its expertise to co-design EOSC core and thematic services useful for research communities.
As a member of different projects – such as the SSHOC Cluster project, TRIPLE or ERIC Forum – or initiatives, DARIAH is already 1/contributing to the federation of infrastructures linked by the EOSC; 2/working on building a coherent and efficient EOSC landscape for SSH Research Infrastructures in the EOSC; 3/providing EOSC resources; 4/assessing existing services, data and tools to be onboarded in the EOSC catalogue.  In parallel with the infrastructural contributions, it is a strategic priority for DARIAH to build a strong open agenda for arts and humanities research that is firmly grounded in disciplinary realities. Our organisation supports the deeper and broader adoption of open research practices with Open Science services and also with regularly providing training facilities of different kinds. 

Cite this article as: Erzsébet Tóth Czifra Laure Barbot, "DARIAH’s input to the Open Consultation for the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)," in DARIAH Open, 02/09/2020, https://dariahopen.hypotheses.org/899.

Cover image credits: Pixabay, CC0.


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