In 2016, the European Commission launched the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Now, a group of ‘early mover’ EU member states is preparing the GO FAIR initiative, which is a proposal for the practical implementation of the EOSC. The DTL FAIR data team is actively involved in GO FAIR, but its scope is much broader than the life sciences. In other words, GO FAIR is not a DTL-only activity.
GO FAIR proposes the completely inclusive, open, and practical implementation of the recommendations of the EOSC High Level Expert Group through a federated approach, making optimal use of initiatives and infrastructures that already exist in the EU member states. The Netherlands has initiated and co-leads the early development of the GO FAIR initiative. Professor Barend Mons (DTL) and Professor Erik Fledderus (SURF) will lead GO FAIR’s preparatory phase with a growing group of representatives from other countries.
Three pillars of GO FAIR
GO FAIR consists of three interconnected pillars:
- GO CHANGE aims to instigate cultural change to make the FAIR principles a working standard in science and to reform reward systems to incorporate open science activities.
- GO TRAIN is about locating, creating, maintaining, and sustaining the required data expertise in Europe through training and education. The aim is to have core certified data experts and to have at least one certified institute in each Member State and for each discipline to support implementation of data stewardship.
- GO BUILD deals with the need for interoperable and federated data infrastructures. In addition, it is about the harmonisation of standards, protocols, and services, which enable all researchers to deposit, access, and analyse scientific data across disciplines.
GO FAIR Collaboration
GO FAIR helps to build an EOSC that is accepted by the Member States. Close collaboration with the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP) and its working groups is of great importance. The OSPP should be responsible for the expert policy level input to the European Commission on how to further develop and practically implement Open Science policy as a dynamic, stakeholder-driven mechanism for bringing up and addressing issues of concern for the European science and research community and its representative organisations. The GO FAIR initiative should underpin these efforts through a conglomerate of executive instances that deliver on the pillars of implementation. In addition, close cooperation with activities in other regions (e.g., NIH Commons) will have benefits for all and will help to build an Internet of FAIR Data and Services.