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Science cloud needs some solidity

The European Commission has offered funding for an internet for research data. But it’s unclear what it expects to get for its money, says John Womersley.

The European Open Science Cloud—we’ve heard the phrase, but what is it and what will it actually do? The next two years will decide. Is it going to transform research across Europe? Or is it going to turn out to be little more than hot air and an empty slogan?  

The European Commission has been talking about the science cloud for a couple of years now. EOSC—which most people now seem to rhyme with ‘kiosk’—builds on the concept of an “e-infrastructure commons”, developed and advocated by the independent e-Infrastructure Reflection Group in its 2012 roadmap. This is coupled with a growing belief that not just the publications but also the data derived from publicly funded research should be made openly available. 

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