Promoting Open Science within the federal scientific community

Marc Gérard

Content Developer @ Belnet
Tue, 05/28/2024 - 11:43

Belnet has added a new project with FedOSC, which aims to promote Open Science practices within the scientific community and especially in publicly funded research. And with Sam Kauranne, Product Manager and chief responsible for implementing the FedOSC project, a new colleague.

The Federal Open Science Cloud, in short FedOSC, is a two-year project ordered by the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo) which will be executed by Belnet. This project leans on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), an initiative of the European Commission, for which Belnet is the mandated national representative of Belgium.

The broad goals of both FedOSC and EOSC are to promote the practices of Open Science within the scientific community, especially in research funded by taxpayer money. Open Science not only implies open access to the articles and publications resulting from research projects, but also making accessible all the data produced during the research project.

A data access procedure

These publications should follow the FAIR data principles. FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. FAIR data enables other researchers to find already existing research data, and to reuse it for their own research, which might be on an entirely different topic.

Data being FAIR does not mean that all data has to be downloadable for anybody in the world. An access request and authorisation process is normally implied, in which the requester may need to specify the purpose of the request to receive the data. The access policies follow the principle “As open as possible - As restricted as needed”.

Goals of the FedOSC project

Some of the main goals of the FedOSC project are to create an inventory of all the existing research data within the Federal Scientific Institutes and to open a federal level node in Belgium within the EOSC framework.

Within the FedOSC project, Belnet will further improve some of its existing services, notably DMPOnline and Orfeo, and will launch new services that will form the basis of the federal node.

The project began last April

Product manager Sam Kauranne is the main responsible for giving shape to the FedOSC project. Sam started at Belnet in this capacity as of 1 April 2024 after having worked 10 years in the Institute of Natural Sciences, which is one of the 15 federal scientific institutions. These institutions are next to Belspo the primary stakeholders of the FedOSC project.

One of his first tasks is to do a tour of all the federal scientific institutions, which is on-going. The visits are done to gather understanding of the current state of data management and Open Science activities in each institution, and to gather requirements of which services would exactly be most useful to support their path towards Open Science.

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