The annual EOSC Symposium is the premier event in the EOSC calendar and unites stakeholders around intense discussion over three full and stimulating days.  The 2019 event took place in Budapest from 25 to 27 November and was co-organised by the EOSCsecretariat project and the principal eInfrastructures initiatives EOSC-hub, GEANT, OpenAIRE and PRACE in collaboration with the EOSC Governance Board, and the EOSC Executive Board and its Working Groups.

As is customary, the programme format incorporated topic-focused breakout and plenary sessions, oriented around social themes, and a poster gallery. The FAIRsFAIR team actively contributed to five sessions around FAIR practices, FAIR metrics, FAIR skills and training, the certification of FAIR services, and semantic interoperability across infrastructures.

The proceedings from these sessions and the key takeaways from the ensuing discussions are presented in the report below.

Contributors and Editors:  Mustapha Mokrane (DANS), Lennart Stoy, Bregt Saenen (EUA), Helena Cousijn (Datacite), Sara Pittonet, Tracey Biller (Trust-IT)


Action Towards FAIR in Practice

26th November 2019, 11.30 - 13:00, Breakout 1 | Room: Helia conference hall

Chaired by: Sarah Jones & Liisi Lembinen, EOSC FAIR WG & Ilona von Stein, Angus White, FAIRsFAIR

Link to session agenda:

The objectives of this session were  to share perspectives and practical suggestions to improve FAIR practices, to identify how communities are being supported in FAIR data stewardship, and to identify synergies in the support measures for FAIR practice planned or already developed by the EOSC projects. The discussion session followed three lightning presentations:

Key Takeways

Regarding the most common difficulties encountered in implementing the FAIR data principles - which include low awareness or unwillingness to share data - participants suggested introducing incentives, improving the structure of research evaluation, and promoting the role of data stewards as support staff. 

It was agreed that success stories involving data sharing in the  research context would be collected for presentation at the 2020 EOSC Symposium.


FAIR Metrics - Requirements and Use Cases on FAIR Data Assessment in European Digital Repositories

26th November 2019, 14:30-16:00, Breakout 2 Session: FAIR Metrics, | Room Orion

Chaired by: Anu Devaraju, MARUM; Edit Herczog, RDA FAIR Data Maturity Model WG; Mustapha Mokrane, DANS; Konstantinos Repanas, European Commission |  Architecture WG,  FAIR WG, Rules of Participation (RoP) WG

Link to session  agenda:

The objective of the session was threefold:

  • To identify and discuss ongoing and planned FAIR data assessment implementations by different communities,and the  opportunities and challenges they face
  • To raise awareness of the RDA FAIR Data Maturity Model WG and the FAIRsFAIR data assessments pilots
  • To facilitate communication between FAIR metrics ‘developers’ and user communities particularly in terms of identifying desired metrics and a multiple stakeholder approach

The session commenced with  three lightning talks: 

The lightning talks were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Konstantinos Repanas from the European Commission, research infrastructure representatives Barbara Magagna, Environment Agency Austria (ENVRI-FAIR), and Eleni Toli (NI4OS Project), David Carr, representing open research funder  Wellcome, and  Varsha Khodiyar from publisher Springer Nature.

These are some of the observations which emerged from the panel discussion after a brief presentation from each of the moderators:

  • The role of funders:  There is potential for a leadership role for funders working together to suggest a consensus approach to building on existing FAIR initiatives - and accelerate efforts towards automation.
  • FAIR metrics recommendations: top-down vs bottom-up:  Developing, publishing, and promoting a set of inclusive FAIR criteria is the first  step towards data quality management. These criteria must be calibrated by community and researchers cannot be obliged to deposit their data in a particular repository though they may receive recommendations from publishers or funders. There is a need for both domain-specific and local institutional repositories through which users can obtain better support. The  focus should be on sharing command standards/vocabularies between communities. 

Key Takeways

  • There are many users aiming for FAIR data (e.g. researcher, data provider, RI, publisher, funder, repository certification body), but the challenge is to bring them together to translate FAIR into practice.
  • There are similar developments on FAIR data assessment across projects and initiatives. It is unclear how they can be streamlined or reused to avoid any duplication of effort.
  • While manual assessment of FAIR data can raise awareness and encourage self-monitoring and improvement, it is  unlikely to be sustainable due to scalability problems. Automatic assessment will likely be the way to address scale issues.
  • FAIR criteria/indicators should be inclusive and take into account community requirements.


EOSC Skills and Training - Towards a Roadmap for an EOSC training resources catalogue and cross-project training activities

27th November 2019, Breakouts 3 and 4 | Room: Panorama

chaired by: Natalia Manola, EOSC-EB Member

Links to session agendas:  Breakout 3: Skills development for EOSC - Competences

Breakout 4: Training infrastructure for EOSC - Delivery -


Two sessions chaired by EOSC Executive Board Member Natalia Manola were dedicated to EOSC training resources and cross-project training activities.

The objective of Breakout Session 3  Skills development for EOSC - Competences was to gather information on existing training initiatives within stakeholder communities, integrate expert views and insights on training needs, and articulate a common understanding of the competences needed for EOSC. It was expected that the results of the session would bootstrap the efforts of the proposed Working Group on skills and training.

Following introductory presentations by Natalia Manola and Lennart Stoy which defined the key concepts underpinning clear exchanges between EOSC Working Groups and FAIRsFAIR Work Packages, delegates heard the following presentations:

The objective of Breakout Session 4  Training infrastructure for EOSC - Delivery, organised by The Community of Practice for Training Coordinators (CoP) was to bring training experts and stakeholders together to provide recommendations and proposed actions towards a roadmap for the realization of an EOSC pervasive training infrastructure and resources catalogue, feeding into the work of the proposed Working Group on skills and training.

Following an introductory presentation in which Natalia Manola proposed a format for the EOSC Catalogue and invited discussion from the floor, delegates heard the following presentations and were able to ask questions of the speakers:

Key Takeaways 

  • Training and skills are important for EOSC. This holds true both for service providers seeking to link their services to EOSC and for researchers making their research data FAIR. 
  • Many initiatives or projects already provide training for different aspects of FAIR data and open science. A role for EOSC could be to develop certain minimum standards and disseminate them.  An open question is how this relates to the iterative approach and the idea of the ‘minimum viable EOSC’.
  • Practically speaking, an EOSC infrastructure for training (e.g. a registry) could be one way to facilitate access to trainings and training resources. Various projects do this already, but scaling these models is a challenge on its own.


FAIR Services Certification - Services to support FAIR data: Recommendations and actions

27th November 2019, Breakout 3, 11:30 - 13:00 Session FAIR Service Certification | Uranus  chaired by Francoise Genova, Observatoire de Strasbourg |  Architecture WG,  FAIR WG,  Rules of Participation (RoP) WG

Link to  session agenda:

This break-out session was organised by the EOSC FAIR Working Group. The objective of the session was to gather feedback from attendees on the certification of services which support FAIR data.

The session commenced with three lightning talks: 

The following observations arose from the presentations:

  • The EOSC-Nordic project offered training and support  to the EOSC Community in the use of the FAIR evaluator developed by Mark Wilkinson and applied to measuring the FAIR maturity of over 100 repositories.
  • In a series of workshops held in 2019, community feedback was gathered on how data services could better support FAIR data and a FAIR ecosystem. The seven priorities emerging from the investigation were PID services, ontologies, metadata, data stewardship, FAIR alignment, and collaboration.
  • Regarding the  seven themes emerging from the FAIRsFAIR evaluation, the question of  who needs to take which action remains. Some heterogeneity between stakeholder groups was noted.
  • Complementary to FAIR, SHARP (Sustainable, Helpful, Accessible, Reusable, Professional) services were proposed. 
  • Assessment could be based on FitSM. EOSCHub is already structured according to FitSM protocols.
  • There is a need to allow for different levels of FAIRness within a repository at dataset level.

Services are a key component of a FAIR research ecosystem. Several efforts are underway to ensure FAIR services are part of the European Open Science Cloud.


Impact of Requirements of FAIR on Technical Architecture - Towards Sustainable Semantic interoperability

27th November 2019, 11:30 - 13:00, Breakout 3 | Room Orion

chaired by: Jean-François Abramatic, EOSC Architecture WG | Related EOSC WGs: Architecture WG, FAIR WG

LInk to session agenda 

Dedicated to presenting the first of three reports on FAIR requirements for persistence and interoperability, this session focused on identifying domain-specific standards and practices and gaining an understanding of the situation in a wide range of research domains. With a view  to creating the basis for continued work on sustainable technical implementation of the FAIR principles on a broad level, reference was also made to relevant work performed outside of the EOSC and ESFRI frameworks. 

Following an introduction by Jean-François Abramatic of the EOSC Architecture WG, delegates heard the following presentations:


Key Takeaways

The main contribution from FAIRsFAIR to the discussion was linked to the results of the first out of three reports on FAIR requirements for persistence and interoperability that the FAIRsFAIR work package “FAIR Practices: Semantics, Interoperability, and Services” was delivering at the time of the conference. Solutions relevant for the implementation of FAIR are evolving and often are community specific, while there are commonalities and gaps regarding semantic interoperability affecting different communities. In this first report the FAIRsFAIR team focused on identifying domain-specific standards and practices and in getting an understanding the situation in a wide range of research domains. The team also looked at relevant work done outside the EOSC and ESFRI frameworks to locate other relevant stakeholders, when it comes to creating semantic interoperability. Desk research, surveys and expert interviews were performed to create the bases for continued work on sustainable technical implementation of the FAIR principles on a broad level and to improve understanding of the current variety in FAIR data standards. 


NB: The report D2.1 Report on FAIR requirements for persistence and interoperability 2019 has been published on 29 November 2019 and is currently available for community review here