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Reflections on EOSC through the mirror of ARDC

Lessons learned to inform the development of EOSC through a placement with the Australian Research Data Commons

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Reflections on EOSC through the mirror of ARDC

  1. 1. Reflections on EOSC through the mirror of ARDC Sarah Jones Twitter: @sjDCC
  2. 2. The Australian Research Data Commons Image Ondrej Machart
  3. 3. What is the ARDC? A transformational initiative that enables the Australian research community and industry to access nationally significant, leading edge data intensive eInfrastructure, platforms, skills and collections of high-quality data. [It will become] a coherent research environment to enable researchers to find, access, contribute to and effectively use services to maximise research quality and impact.
  4. 4. Who is the ARDC? The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) is a company limited by guarantee, that was formed on 30 May 2019. Chose a membership based structure for the legal entity. The ARDC brings together three legacy initiatives: • Australian National Data Service (ANDS) • National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar) • Research Data Services (RDS)
  5. 5. The organisation is not the thing “The ARDC is not the Australian Research Data Commons” Rosie Hicks, ARDC Chief Information Officer
  6. 6. So who is the sector? Note that this is my interpretation of how stakeholders map together
  7. 7. ARDC governance DDeRP ARDC the Commons ARDC as legal entity is new. It is governed by a Board of Directors. DDeRP was envisaged in the 2016 research infrastructure roadmap but no formal governance was specified. ARDC has “Coordination & coherence” as capstone of its mission. Will first need to promote shared strategy and coordination amongst DDeRP, then generate sector-wide definition of the Commons.
  8. 8. Key differences in Australian context • Smaller, though not geographically • Directly funded organisations, not multiple projects • NCRIS programme and research infrastructure roadmap has strongly encouraged collaboration • ARDC [the organisation] has distributed funding to sector. Plan to become strategic partners, not funders in future. Mandatory 1:1 co-investment. • Unis & CSIRO play key role in operating infrastructure
  9. 9. So what can we learn from Australia? Image Mads Schmidt Rasmussen
  10. 10. Challenge of remit without authority… ARDC holds the overall remit for bringing the Commons into existence but doesn’t have an official mandate to coordinate DDeRP. Leads to lack of clarity as to who is responsible for what and some competing services emerging. EOSC EB/GB have remit to govern but ultimately have no say over H2020 project remits. Danger that conflicting priorities and viewpoints could undermine ability to coordinate Commons. Recommendation: The Executive Board should consult with the major INFRAEOSC projects (EOSCsecretariat, FAIRsFAIR, EOSC-Enhance etc) to ensure commonality in vision, approach and timelines.
  11. 11. Need for stakeholder engagement ARDC engagement strategy includes: • Staff in each State as liaison points • Summits to define priorities and work programme • Ongoing consultation Interact Recommendation: The activities within EOSCsecretariat WP3 (Stakeholder coordination) and WP7 (Stakeholder forum and events) should liaise with EOSC Working Groups to ensure a fruitful connection between the governance structure and all stakeholder communities.
  12. 12. Institutional & disciplinary commons CSIRO Managed Data Ecosystem (MDE) is akin to a Commons
  13. 13. Agricultural Research Federation AgReFed community defined minimum qualifying thresholds, based on FAIR, for data to be accepted into the network.
  14. 14. Petascale Campus Initiative at Melbourne • University wide initiative led by academics • Employing ‘data stewards’ to work across discipline and central services. Aim to ‘uplift’ skills by placing stewards in Schools/projects temporarily. • Staff have an ‘Academic Specialist’ grading. On academic scale but without same pressure to publish. Key step forward to supporting and recognising RDM career paths.
  15. 15. Lesson Lots can be learned from parallel initiatives in universities, disciplines and bodies such as CSIRO. Ensure broad stakeholder representation to learn from all groups.
  16. 16. Difficult questions I was asked Image Emily Morter
  17. 17. Why should people get involved? What are the benefits of EOSC for each group? Why would they want to offer services or use EOSC instead of what they do already? Recommendation: Don’t assume that EOSC has an automatic audience. Ensure research requirements are at the centre and that the services meet user needs. The Executive Board should review the value propositions being developed by the EOSCsecretariat project to engage each stakeholder group.
  18. 18. What do you do if someone pulls out? What contingency plans are in place if a key service provider or country withdraws? Recommendation: Ensure Rules of Participation are sufficiently open so multiple options are available and one service provider doesn’t have monopoly.
  19. 19. How will you achieve basic principles? “Underlying infrastructure needs to be developed, owned and operated publicly” Case of Nectar research cloud 2009-10 8 state-based computing nodes funded to develop Nectar Cloud. Aim to leverage existing capability. 2012-18 Changes in governance and uni leadership.  eRSA closed. Intersect became commercial. Others nodes left network. All insisted on own branded portals and since hardware was increasingly refreshed on University budgets, 90% now perceived as self-owned. 2019 ARDC investing in a capital refresh. Avoid falling into same trap again. Now buying access to compute and storage not buying compute and storage
  20. 20. Lessons from Nectar experience Balancing sustainable investment with community ownership and governance are tough nuts to crack.
  21. 21. My take homes Image Frame Harirak
  22. 22. EOSC governance is strong!
  23. 23. We can learn from other sectors Disciplinary / institutional commons e.g. CSIRO & AgReFed, as well as national or regional initiatives like ARDC Elinor Ostrom’s principles for managing Commons Defined Principles for how common resources – forests, fisheries, oil fields and meadows – can be managed successfully by the people who use them, rather than by governments or private companies ostroms-8-principles-managing-commmons
  24. 24. Three under-represented groups • Researchers • Institutions • International community Recommendation: The EOSCsecretariat project should share concrete plans for stakeholder engagement and dissemination with the Executive Board so it can ensure balanced representation across EOSC communities and targeted events to address under-represented groups such as researchers and institutions.
  25. 25. Let’s level the playing field! Current EOSC Working Group representation Diversity matters!
  26. 26. Thanks for listening! Questions?