The FAIR Forever study was commissioned by the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Sustainability Working Group and funded by the EOSC Secretariat in 2020 (grant agreement number 831644) to assess the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the preservation of research data across EOSC, and the feasibility of establishing shared approaches, workflows and services that would benefit EOSC stakeholders.

The study allowed the DPC to make a series of statements about digital preservation in the context of EOSC following a desk-based assessment of the emerging EOSC vision, interviews with EOSC stakeholders, focus groups with digital preservation specialists and data managers in research organizations, and interactions with the broader digital preservation community. It found strengths within the emerging EOSC vision—including a commitment to persistent identifiers, data management planning, robust data storage and repository certification—which provide a necessary but insufficient basis to secure digital assets in the long term.

Key findings from the study show a lack of clarity about digital preservation in the EOSC vision, and the need for elucidation of roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities to mitigate risks of data loss, reputation, and sustainability. DPC made nineteen recommendations tabulated with respect to owners to offer particular responsibilities and accountabilities corresponding to each, and delineated five candidate services for the preservation of research data in EOSC.

DPC gratefully acknowledges the support of the EOSC Sustainability Working Group especially Bob Jones (CERN), Jessica Klemeier (EMBL) and Marie Timmermann (Science Europe), and the many partners and colleagues who gave freely of their time and expertise in interviews and at the focus groups.




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