Community engagement: The ‘last mile’ challenge for European research e-infrastructures

Koureas, Dimitrios; Arvanitidis, Christos; Belbin, Lee; Berendsohn, Walter G.; Damgaard, Christian; Groom, Quentin John; Güntsch, Anton; Hagedorn, Gregor; Hardisty, Alex; Hobern, Donald; Marcer, Arnald; Mietchen, Daniel; Morse, David R.; Obst, Matthias; Penev, Lyubomir; Pettersson, Lars B.; Sierra, Soraya; Smith, Vincent Stuart and Vos, Rutger Aldo (2016). Community engagement: The ‘last mile’ challenge for European research e-infrastructures. Research Ideas and Outcomes, 2, article no. e9933.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.2.e9933

Abstract

Europe is building its Open Science Cloud; a set of robust and interoperable e-infrastructures with the capacity to provide data and computational solutions through cloud-based services. The development and sustainable operation of such e-infrastructures are at the forefront of European funding priorities. The research community, however, is still reluctant to engage at the scale required to signal a Europe-wide change in the mode of operation of scientific practices. The striking differences in uptake rates between researchers from different scientific domains indicate that communities do not equally share the benefits of the above European investments. We highlight the need to support research communities in organically engaging with the European Open Science Cloud through the development of trustworthy and interoperable Virtual Research Environments. These domain-specific solutions can support communities in gradually bridging technical and socio-cultural gaps between traditional and open digital science practice, better diffusing the benefits of European e-infrastructures.

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