The EOSC-Pillar National Initiatives Survey, coordinated by the University of Vienna, assessed the current state of national initiatives regarding topics such as familiarity with FAIR data principles, open research data and services, in order to support their harmonisation and ultimately their integration into the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

To achieve this purpose and to gain a comprehensive picture of the European infrastructure landscape, the survey team contacted about 2.200 institutions across the five EOSC-Pillar countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Italy. 688 organisations filled out the survey, totaling a 31% response rate. The full edition of the questionnaire and method report is openly available for reuse (licensed under CC BY) in the AUSSDA Dataverse under https://doi.org/10.11587/VOSVGK. The dataset for scientific reuse will be published under the same DOI in summer 2020.

The survey targeted four groups:

Funding bodies and Universities

Across the five countries, 26 funding bodies responded to questions on their perception and expectations regarding EOSC. Most of them are familiar or very familiar with EOSC and the FAIR data principles, and believe that EOSC will have a positive effect on their organisations.

113 representatives of universities responded to questions on EOSC and FAIR data. Here we can see that familiarity with EOSC is considerably lower overall, while most respondents have a generally high knowledge of FAIR data principles. EOSC-Pillar further asked universities which regulations they have adopted regarding FAIR data.

Research and E-Infrastructures

Many research and e-infrastructures responded to the survey, providing a lively and updated look at the current landscape in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy. Of the 228 research infrastructures and 318 e-infrastructures, a wide majority stated their high familiarity with FAIR data principles, while many of them are still not very confident when it comes to the EOSC, with noteworthy exceptions in Italy and France.

Nevertheless, most infrastructures that are at least slightly familiar with EOSC expect it to be a force for positive change in their future plans. This is especially true for e-infrastructures in Italy and research infrastructures in Belgium. The role of EOSC-Pillar and the other EOSC regional projects is also to disseminate knowledge about EOSC and open science culture, helping organisations all around Europe see the benefits and positive impact of the European Open Science Cloud.

Our experts discussed the first results of the National Initiatives Survey in an informative webinar on the 3rd of April 2020. Did you miss it?

You can watch it and consult the slides here!