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Agreeing on the meaning of a “project”

Ilja Livenson, Senior Application Developer at University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science & EOSC-Nordic WP3 leader.

“Project” is one of the most international words. It is present in all of the national languages of Nordic and Baltic countries in almost exactly the same form, and yet when we start talking about cross-border service delivery, we are in for a surprise.

Taking High Performance Computing which is typically based on batch processing (HPC) for example. It is one of the oldest and most established types of services. Access to HPC resources is often granted on a project basis. Within the same country it is typically not a problem but when consumers try to cross the border and get service from a new place, it becomes one. How should I describe the project? Can there be more than one Principal Investigator? Can the project end? What happens if I reopen the project? The answers even to a small set of questions are different from country to country.

A typical solution for such problems is to agree upon a common glossary of terms and their meaning. For EOSC, a similar approach is being taken with the introduction of EOSC Interoperability Framework (IF). Based on the European Interoperability Framework, EOSC IF provides a set of guidelines to consider when developing a service to make it easier for the end-users to use it. EOSC IF covers four aspects of interoperability:

  • Technical;
  • Semantic;
  • Organisational;
  • Legal.

Based on the experience of EOSC-Nordic WP3 so far, the main issues for making services go beyond the border are on the organisational and legal level. Such issues cannot be solved by EOSC-Nordic alone and are rather in the area of responsibility for the EOSC governing body. Technical and semantic levels are on the other hand easier to solve by aligning service providers and that is what we are trying to achieve in WP to make the life of researchers easier.