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Open Science perspective highlighted at e-IRG workshop in Riga

Ilmars Slaidins gave a short summary of the Open Science perspective presented at the e-IRG workshop, held June 3, 2015 in Riga at the Baltic HPC & Cloud Computing Conference 2015 on June 4, 2015 in Riga. At the e-IRG workshop the policy problems related to e-Infrastructures were addressed: how to supply Open Science initiatives with support measures from e-Infrastructures?

One of such initiatives is related to the e-Infrastructure Commons. The aim is to integrate all the e-Infrastructure services so that there is no separate network, HPC nor software services but it has to be all integrated and provided for researchers.

How can we open up science, starting from Open Data, Open Software, Open Infrastructure? There are many political issues, according to Ilmars Slaidins. For example, if we have a computer in one country and people from abroad or from other organisations would like to use it, how can we deal with the financing of this activity, with access authorisation and so on. There are a lot of problems to solve.

This is the reason why the European Commission is proposing different political initiatives: how can we open up science to support the development of science? This means that if one scientist has done some research, he might be willing to share his data with others. The other scientists simply continue the research on the same day, doing additional analyses and getting new results.

One of the points is that maybe citation will not only happen in papers but could also be applied to data sets. This is not yet recognized in the scientific community, Ilmars Slaidins explained. When it will come to the situation that data sets could be equally cited as papers, people will be more open to share data sets. There are still many problems though. This was discussed at the e-IRG workshop.

There were not only guests from the European countries but there were also people from the United States of America, including the general secretary of the Research Data Alliance, Mark Parsons, with a very good presentation. There were participants from Canada, Russia and South African Republic. Colin Wright was from the South African Republic and Ilmars Slaidins talked to him. He said that he was really happy to attend the workshop and to listen to the presenters from the European and other countries because in South Africa, they experience exactly the same problems. It was interesting that he was recognizing that they have the same problems as everywhere else around the world.

The e-IRG workshop partners really hope that it will go on. The workshop was very successful. The e-IRG Group which is directly related to the development of e-Infrastructure policies was very satisfied with the fact that new people joined the workshop from the part of the HPC and other infrastructure segments. The e-IRG partners saw an opportunity for a good exchange by communicating with and involving more people.

It is not so easy to share contacts between the computing people and the people from other science disciplines and to link them. We have to work all together. This is the issue about the e-Infrastructure Commons. Now, we have TERENA, the European network organisation, which has joined with DANTE in the GEANT Association. Hopefully, other organisations as well will follow. Maybe in the future, we will have some kind of e-Infrastructure community organisation, Ilmars Slaidins concluded.

Ilmars Slaidins was the co-chair of e-IRG, responsible for the local organisation of the e-IRG workshop in Riga.  Later this year, the e-IRG will publish an official Workshop report. Meanwhile, you can have a look at the Workshop presentation slides and recordings of the presentations.