Open Science Trails (OSTrails) is a three-year EU-funded project to assist researchers in making their research more accessible and reusable (FAIR). The project, which begins in 2024, is led by the OpenAIRE organization and a part of the EOSC collaboration. SND participates in the project along with 38 partners from 15 EU countries.
The main purpose of OSTrails is to develop new methods and tools to support researchers and data support functions in various stages of the research life cycle. The project is divided into three interconnected parts with different focuses.
- Planning: During this stage of the project, the focus is on developing machine-readable data management plans that can communicate with other research administrative systems. The goal is to make data management plans a more dynamic and living tool that can serve as a practical resource for researchers and data support functions throughout the research process.
- Tracking: The focus of the second part of the project is to establish Scientific Knowledge Graphs (SKGs). These graphs are built using information from machine-readable data management plans and will provide a visual overview of research production in different fields with a focus on the FAIR principles. This, in turn, will make it possible to quantify and track the progress towards a more open scientific system.
- Assessing: The third part of the project aims to develop a number of guiding tests and evaluation tools that will serve as measures of how well research data meet the FAIR principles in various parts of the research process. The goal is to make it easier for both researchers, funders, and publishers to independently evaluate whether research is conducted according to the FAIR principles.
“SND’s role in the project will be to conduct a national pilot study to evaluate the methods and products developed within the project. Our primary focus will be on achieving increased machine readability between DORIS, DMP tools, and current research information systems, known as CRIS systems,” says Johan Fihn Marberg, Head of IT at SND. (DORIS is SND’s native system where researchers can describe and share data.)
The different parts of the project will result in a set of practically applicable methods, tools, and services that collectively lower the barriers to working according to the FAIR principles.
All services and tools will be gathered under a so-called knowledge hub named OSTrails Commons, where researchers, funders, and publishers can seek assistance. Overall, the idea is that this will ultimately create a comprehensive system with practical solutions that accelerate the development towards open science.