What do our researchers think about the EOSC? An interview with Ottavio Quirico
Interview with: Ottavio Quirico, Associate Professor at the University of New England (UNE), School of Law, Australia; Honorary Lecturer, at the Australian National University, Centre for European Studies; former Marie Curie Fellow at University Panthéon-Assas (Paris, France) and Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy).
He has acted as a consultant to the United Nations. Research interests include: international relations; international law; EU law and politics; comparative law and politics; for more information on Ottavio Quirico, please visit this link.
by: Katharina Flicker, TU Wien
Researchers are at the very heart of the EOSC. What do our researchers say almost one year after the launch of the initiative? How do they think they will benefit from the EOSC? What are and what can be their roles? Let’s see what Ottavio Quirico, an expert in international law, has to say.
Facilitating open access and the circulation of ideas (interdisciplinarity)
KF: What does your work currently focus on?
OQ: International law and international relations, EU law and politics. I develop a systemic analysis of international relations, for instance, concerning the regulation of climate change, aiming to identify inconsistencies and improve the system. This research is mostly based on documentary sources (documents of relevant institutions and scholarly work) and fundamentally aims to provide policy advice.
KF: What routines do you repeatedly do, that could be automated?
OQ: Library catalogues automatically retrieve relevant sources and this works well. Maybe, an engine indicating institutions with research affinities can support collaboration.
KF: What (data) challenges are you facing in your research?
OQ: Not all resources that I need are open access. Sometimes, only specialized institutions have access to specific resources. In addition, I occasionally need to travel to access printed books. However, these are increasingly available online, although mostly not in open access.
KF: What is the meaning of open access and open science and how does it increase the value of your work as a researcher?
OQ: Open science facilitates access to scientific data for professionals and the larger public; it is a positive development as it helps to access resources anytime and anywhere. Open data is more problematic, it is important to recognize authorship and to clarify whether specific data, for instance, data embedded in graphs, are open data. However, in order to encourage researchers coming from my field to open our science, ideas need to circulate and dialogue is essential for developing collaboration and finding solutions to problems.
KF: Why do you think it is important to start a dialogue and develop collaboration?
OQ: It is important to discuss with colleagues from the same disciplines and other disciplines, and to have access to interdisciplinary resources, to develop ideas and find viable approaches, possibly solutions, to problems. It is fundamental that academics have a dialogue with colleagues from governmental and non-governmental institutions. Thus, if EOSC allows retrieving contacts that are active in a specific area of research, it facilitates collaboration and advances research.
KF: You mention that access to interdisciplinary resources is important. Please, may you also give an example here? How does your research benefit from interdisciplinarity?
OQ: In social sciences, at least political scientists, economists and lawyers need to talk to each other. For instance, it is only by discussing with economists and political scientists the problem of rolling back incentive schemes for investment in renewable energy that a lawyer can develop a correct perception of institutional problems and develop tailored answers for investment governance. Cross-fertilization is fundamental in all fields. Think, for instance, that Karl Jenkins took inspiration from the work of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio to compose the string concert ‘Palladio’.
KF: How will research look like in 5-25 years? What will be the effect and impact on research environments like infrastructures, services and policies?
OQ: Digital sources accelerate and facilitate access to resources and circulation of ideas. This is likely to increase in the next 5-25 years. Furthermore, facilitating access to resources and exchange of ideas improves interdisciplinarity, which is essential to broadening and developing different perspectives on problems.
KF: How could EOSC help you face these challenges and make your vision for future research environments come true?
OQ: Open access to resources and availability of digital versions of books would be highly beneficial. It would also be helpful to speed up publication processes. Currently, publishing in peer-reviewed journals takes time. However, publishing via online platforms might preclude publication in peer-reviewed journals. It would be helpful to find a solution, because the world evolves rapidly. In addition, it is important to facilitate collaboration on an interdisciplinary basis.
TU Wien is a partner in the H2020 project EOSCsecretariat.eu, delivering 360° support to the EOSC Governance. Specifically, it addresses the need for the set-up of an operational framework supporting the overall Governance of the EOSC.
EOSCsecretariat.eu contacts at TU Wien:
- Paolo Budroni
- Katharina Flicker
- Juliana Giroletti
- Andreas Rauber (PI)
- Barbara Sanchéz
- Bernd Saurugger