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Open science and open infrastructures

Open infrastructure is one of the vital components within open science (UNESCO,2020). By harnessing the most advanced research facilities and software, open infrastructure is to handle those massive cross-disciplinary research resources. There’re already many e-infrastructures around the world, notably the European Open Science Cloud from the European Commission, New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization in Canada, the CSTCloud from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the ARDC e-infrastructure in Australia, XSEDE and other research e-infrastructure related initiatives in the US, the African Open Science Platform, etc.

Among all of these notable research e-infrastructures, we see the great potentials by better connectivity and interoperability between each other. What if we can have an open science cloud connecting more and more existing research facilities around the globe? The idea of a Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) was initiated during the CODATA 2019 Beijing conference. The mission of GOSC is to interconnect different institutional, national and regional open science clouds and platforms to create a global virtual environment for globalized research and innovation. It aims to provide better ways to fully harness the global scientific research resources, and to help bridge the divide in infrastructure, technique, and capacity building among different countries, regions, and institutions.

Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC)

The Global Open Science Cloud is to co-design and co-build a cross-continental federated e-infrastructure and virtual research environment for global cooperation and open science by harmonized policies, interoperable protocols, transparent services and sustained mechanism. Network connectivity, secure AAI, computing federation, FAIR data, policy alignment, are all the key components.

Possible Framework in the CAS GOSC Initiative

To strengthen the capacity of connectivity and interoperability between different research platforms, Chinese Academy of Sciences funded an international partnership program recently. This program is a five-year pilot project entitled as “GOSC Initiative” starting early 2021 by CNIC, CAS.

GOSC refers to a cross-continental federated e-infrastructure and virtual research environment for global cooperation and open science. The consolidated foundation for GOSC may include at least five different layers. At the bottom, global network connectivity increases our capacity for massive data transfer and online data processing. The upper-level cloud federation provides federated services such as cloud computing, cloud storage, and federated data learning and processing, etc. Next is the global open data fabric, in which we see converged research resources, not only data themselves but also other related research resources, such as models and algorithms, etc. Then the social community comes as the next layer supported by software toolkits. Within this cloud federation, the virtual community facilitates open collaboration, and open science and further, the applications at the top layer make GOSC visible by the deployment of GOSC infrastructures with interdisciplinary showcases.

GOSC Initiative Overall Framework

So far, the CSTCloud federation has connected with some of her partners via EDUGAIN AAI membership. An intercontinental testbed is under construction with three interdisciplinary show chases selected for demonstration in the following years. Engagement in the ISC CODATA Decadal Program and the GO-FAIR activities shall help the co-design of the policy framework to tackle possible legal barriers towards GOSC implementation.

Open Science Cloud / Platforms List (TBC)

The existing open science cloud/platforms around the world include but not limited to the followings:
  • European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and other European Open Science Initiatives, such as OpenAIR, etc.
  • African Open Science Platform (AOSP), and other pan-African research collaborations including SKA, H3Africa
  • New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) and Research Data Canada
  • National Research Infrastructure for Australia (ARDC)
  • Malaysian Open Science Cloud
  • RedCLAra and LA Referencia in Latin America
  • NIH Data Commons, xsede and other initiatives such as the call for National Research Cloud in the USA
  • COS(Center for Open Science), Open Science Data Cloud
  • CONOSC (https://conosc.org/)