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What should future research environments look like?

Find here the answers of 20 researchers what would really make their research life easier and their wish list for the future.

[Translate to English:] Group of people sitting in meeting room, one person at flipchart

Photo: Juliana Giroletti

Brainstorming with researchers

To better understand how researchers’ requirements fit into the aims of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), EOSCSecretariat, opens an external URL in a new window partner TU Wien organises a series of workshops and discussions with researchers to brainstorm about the actual needs in their current research as well as about future needs and requirements concerning research infrastructures, and services.

The first workshop within this series, “Co-Creating the EOSC. Needs and requirements for future research environments”, took place on 13th January 2020 in Feldkirch in Vorarlberg, Austria. It targeted a selected group of 20 European researchers coming from different domains with a focus on natural and technical sciences. The participants were ERC, opens an external URL in a new window grant holders, members of the Marie Curie Alumni Association, opens an external URL in a new window and members of the Young Academy of Europe, opens an external URL in a new window, and they represented geographic, gender and disciplinary spread.

Outstanding topics

There was a strong consensus that researchers should have a say in defining societal grand challenges. Initiatives like the EOSC has to be a vehicle to join forces in front of grand challenges. It shall help to transform individual research efforts to collective efforts by changing day-to-day habits of individuals, by altering the ways researchers use services and by eliminating the barriers between different fields.

The discussions evolved around the promotion of science and how its impact in society can be increased. This included translation services as well as re-defining the roles of researchers and AI in research processes. The topic of metrics came up repeatedly. Researchers wish for advanced metrics going beyond the paper as well as for metrics considering collaborative efforts. Evaluation processes have to be designed to not just measure a researcher’s performance but that of a research group. This is even more pronounced in the case of data and its processing pipelines, including machinery, software and services. Many discussions naturally related to building trusted and sustainable data ecosystems while providing legal frameworks and clear rules of participation.

Ideas for concrete services

Great importance was attached to translating the needs expressed into concrete services. Please find below a list of identified key services:  

  • Services to promote science and increase its impact in society; tools for knowledge transfer in teaching, events and conferences, e.g. with services such as “Google Docs for EOSC” or “GoToMeeting for EOSC”
  • Advanced metrics for research output beyond papers (data, code, re-use, ideas, proposals, mentoring…), metrics for collaborative efforts
  • PIDs (e.g. DOIs) to identify different parts of analysis, or even different aspects of the data
  • Automated translation services (voice-to-voice, machine-to-human), math translation, translation of domain specific technical terms
  • Services for advanced automated programming
  • Ontology mapping across domains
  • Services for virtual (team) meetings
  • Services that enable machine actionable scholarly knowledge sharing
  • Use of AI in proposal writing, i.e. services for checking the forms and formal criteria
  • Use of AI in human resource management, e.g. evaluation of CVs of students, or researchers and suggest candidates, building upon advanced metrics
  • Services for detecting, evaluating and monitoring upcoming AI solutions
  • Services to regulate access to data and to enable open access, when possible
  • Automatic recording of provenance metadata for data, computation, and processes
  • Services for data capturing
  • Services for data visiting
  • Ability to track data
  • Services for automated deletion processes


More information can be found in the full workshop report, opens an external URL in a new window

  • Akgun, Omer Can, Bazilinskyy, Pavlo, Budroni, Paolo, Demoulin, Baptiste, Dias, Frederic, Flicker, Katharina, … Verde, Licia. (2020, March 9). Report on the Workshop "Co-creating the EOSC: Needs and requirements for future research environments" (Version 1.1). Zenodo.


EOSC contact at TU Wien

TU Wien is partner in the H2020 project, opens an external URL in a new window, delivering 360° support to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Governance. Specifically, it addresses the need for the set-up of an operational framework supporting the overall Governance of the EOSC. contacts at TU Wien has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Programme call H2020-INFRAEOSC-05-2018-2019, Grant Agreement number 831644.