Digital skills for FAIR and open science: Report from the EOSC Skills and Training Working Group

Digital skills for FAIR and open science: Report from the EOSC Skills and Training Working Group

Digital skills for FAIR and open science: Report from the EOSC Skills and Training Working Group

17 Feb 2021

Digital skills for FAIR and open science are a cornerstone of the EOSC’s operations and future. An EOSC network of skilled professionals is essential to bring a culture change for sharing research outcomes, and to empower individuals and institutions to develop and maintain EOSC competences, capabilities and skills.

The EOSC Skills and Training Working Group provides a framework for building competence and capabilities for EOSC, focussing on four priority areas that form the major sections of the newly released report on Digital skills for FAIR and open science:

  • Developing the next generation of FAIR and open science professionals: Presents a framework of ten EOSC actors (roles and related skills) in the EOSC ecosystem for whom skills and training is relevant.

  • Collaborating to enhance digital skills for FAIR and open science in Europe: Reviews organisational approaches to implement training activities and programmes, through the concept of competence centres and provides suggestions of ways in which EOSC could assist in increasing training alignment and/or coordination. 
  • Building a trusted and long-lasting knowledge hub of learning and training resources and related tools: Provides insights for an EOSC federated training catalogue as part of a sustainable training infrastructure that supports EOSC actors.
  • Influencing national open science policy for skills by supporting strategic leaders: Analyses the framing of digital skills required in EOSC in the wider European agenda for skills, to provide recommendations for Member States and Associated Countries on how to support EOSC in national skills policies and strategies.

Our gap analysis demonstrates that significant work is still needed by a wide variety of stakeholders to not only achieve the vision of EOSC, but to maximise research impact internationally. Whilst this report identifies the next steps to overcome barriers and leverage opportunities to maximise vital skills and training development, a major focus is needed to continue to advance this area in the future. Our recommendations on next steps are as follows:

Main Recommendations

  • Utilise the Framework of Actors in the EOSC Ecosystem in the development of initiatives, skills, training, reward and recognition frameworks and career paths necessary to support further development and mainstreaming of FAIR and open science.
  • Coordinate and align relevant skills curricula and training frameworks by generating a consensus on a core European higher education curriculum to deliver FAIR and open science skills at university level.
  • Encourage and support the competence centres approach as a framework for increasing coordinated provision of aligned training to support FAIR and open science.
  • Facilitate increased integration of FAIR and open science courses with university qualifications.
  • Build a learning and training catalogue utilising the specifications for development recommended by this WG to maximise interoperability.
  • Include learning and training resources in the EOSC Interoperability Framework (EIF).
  • Develop an EOSC Skills and Training Leadership Programme to:
    • Increase coordination of European and national policies, programmes and networks supporting the skills elements of FAIR and open science.
    • Develop and promote an EOSC Skills and Training Ambassadors programme to advise national decision-makers.
    • Advocate for the inclusion of skills and training of FAIR and open science into major European and national funding instruments. 

Our report includes suggestions on policy and implementation foci for a range of stakeholders to facilitate advancement in this area.  

Policymakers & funders Universities & research organisations Competence centres EOSC Association EOSC projects
Understand the importance of addressing gaps in provision of digital skills for FAIR and open science

Identify actors/roles that need to be supported in the EOSC ecosystem

Consider diversity of employment and training needs of staff

Identify knowledge to be taught and skills to be learned 

Understand range of roles that initiatives must address

Ensure projects consider appropriate roles for both their staff and users

Consider how to support competence centres and encourage collaboration

Consider how to establish competence centres

Learn about governance, business models and alignment approaches of other competence centres

Consider how to encourage and support competence centres approach

Ensure projects consider FAIR and open science training

Recognise the need for investment in hubs for training resources

Know how to provide and access learning and training resources

Learn how to maximise interoperability, FAIRness and usage of learning and training resources

Facilitate interoperability and discovery of learning and training resources

Identify and engage key stakeholders, and build learning and training catalogues according to their goals and actions

Identify actions to advance national policies on FAIR and open science

Consider how to encourage and/or implement national approaches

Understand the importance of aligning with national programmes and policies

Identify ways to increase international alignment

Not relevant


Download the full report

See the full list of EOSC Executive Board Outputs