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GOSC Working Groups

The Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) initiative will encourage cooperation, alignment, and ultimately interoperability between existing and emerging Open Science Clouds (OSCs). GOSC aims to do this through a combination of thematic Working Groups (building on existing experiences and addressing key areas of shared interest), and a set of detailed Case Studies that will demonstrate how international collaborative research communities and projects can be supported by Open Science Clouds.  

The thematic Working Groups (WGs) should address areas of potential alignment and interoperability. The following initial WG topics are proposed:

As appropriate the WGs will build on existing work, with a particular focus on issues of cooperation and alignment between OSCs in relation to each of these topics.

We invite expert participants who are involved in OSCs as well as additional experts who might not be directly involved in an OSC, but who would contribute valuable insights and knowledge.  

Interested in joining one or more of the thematic Working Groups as a member or co-chair? Please SIGN-UP here. 

Operation of the Working Groups and Case Studies

The WGs and Case Studies will be composed, on a voluntary basis, of experts from the various OSC initiatives as well as other experts in the field.  It is intended that each WG and Case Study should have 2-4 co-chairs. The initial lifespan for the WGs and Case Studies will be two years, after which they may be renewed, redirected or retired according to progress.  It is felt that the matrix approach (thematic WGs, community-focussed Case Studies) is a useful way of breaking down the problem space and important to have focussed and usable outputs.  Nevertheless, it is also clearly important to ensure that there are regular opportunities for communication and engagement among the WGs and Case Studies.  This will be insured by open working practices and regular opportunities for joint activities (as per the timeframes below).


Initiating the Working Groups

To initiate the WGs, we propose to:

  • Invite at least one representative from each of the OSCs to each WG.
  • Invite additional experts, stakeholders (as necessary and where additional input may be needed): e.g. members of CODATA Data Policy Committee; experts on e-infrastructure or on metadata, semantics etc.
  • Allow interested and expert volunteers to join the WGs.
  • Invite volunteers as co-chairs for the WGs.
  • Assemble preliminary membership and co-chairs following the June launch meeting and start regular virtual meetings.
  • Aim in early discussions to narrow down focus and identify an early set of tractable objectives and outputs, which will be presented and discussed at virtual SciDataCon in Oct/Nov 2021.

Working Group Plans

Among their early activities, once co-chairs have been identified and members recruited, WGs should focus their activities and prepare a WG Plan which should be concise and practical. The primary purpose is to help the WG prioritise and organise its activities. They are also helpful in communicating the value and significance of the activities.  We recommend that the WG Plans follow the following template.

Common Template for Working Group Plans

  1. Mission Statement: presenting the case for the WG, why it is important and its overall goals.
  2. Objectives: briefly stating the specific measurable objectives of the WG and how these contribute to the mission and goals.
  3. Tasks: the specific activities that the WG will undertake to achieve its objectives.
  4. Deliverables: concrete outputs and achievements.
  5. Working Arrangements: The plan should state any agreements on way of working, including: regularity of virtual meetings, use of collaborative platforms, document management.
  6. Resources: the plan should list the resources, including: Co-Chairs, Members, Secretariat Support.

Timeframes for the WGs and Case Studies

WGs and Case Studies should hold regular virtual meetings and should proceed with their work and the preparation of outputs, with a view to the following milestones. These are based around events at which WGs and Case Studies will be asked to report on progress and will have the opportunity to hold workshops to advance their activities.

The following schedule of activity, reporting and public discussion of progress is proposed:

  1. From 28 June 2021: WGs and Case Studies formed, co-chairs identified and approved by the GOSC SG, outputs scoped.
  2. Oct-Nov 2021: GOSC Workshops as part of fully virtual SciDataCon 2021. WGs and Case Studies discuss and refine their mission, objectives, planned outputs and progress.
  3. 19-21 Oct 2021: EGI Conference (fully virtual), WGs and Case Studies (where on appropriate topics) report on and communicate activities to global eInfrastructure community.
  4. June 2022: GOSC Workshops as part of International Data Week 2022, Seoul, Republic of Korea. WGs report on progress and outputs.
  5. Sep 2020: International Symposium on Open Science Cloud, Beijing, China. WGs reports on progress and outputs.
  6. Oct 2022: GOSC Workshops as part of 2nd FAIR Convergence Symposium, Leiden, Netherlands. Selected presentations on WGs progress.
  7. Q4 2022: EGI Conference, report on progress and outputs to global eInfrastructure community
  8. Q2 2023 (TBC): WG report on final outputs as part of first International Symposium on Open Science Clouds.  WGs renewed, redirected or retired.

Additional Observations

  • The WGs and Case Studies do not have to be symmetrical in size, activities and organisation. They should do what is useful for each topic and what works for the people involved.
  • It will be better to identify small topics for cooperation and alignment, than aiming to address the whole range of issues suggested by each theme. 
  • In doing so, the WG or Case Study should identify tractable and useful outputs. The precise scope and nature of these is for the WG or Case Study to determine. Examples include recommendations for alignment between OSCs.
  • Among the objectives of the WGs is simply to establish a forum for cooperation on these important issues.