Community engagement: The ‘last mile’ challenge for European research e-infrastructures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Europe is building its Open Science Cloud; a set of robust and interoperable e-infrastructures with the capacity to provide data and computational solutions through cloud-based services. The development and sustainable operation of such e-infrastructures are at the forefront of European funding priorities. The research community, however, is still reluctant to engage at the scale required to signal a Europe-wide change in the mode of operation of scientific practices. The striking differences in uptake rates between researchers from different scientific domains indicate that communities do not equally share the benefits of the above European investments. We highlight the need to support research communities in organically engaging with the European Open Science Cloud through the development of trustworthy and interoperable Virtual Research Environments. These domain-specific solutions can support communities in gradually bridging technical and socio-cultural gaps between traditional and open digital science practice, better diffusing the benefits of European e-infrastructures.


  • Dimitrios Koureas
  • Christos Arvanitidis
  • Lee Belbin
  • Walter G. Berendsohn
  • Christian Damgaard
  • Quentin John Groom
  • Anton Güntsch
  • Gregor Hagedorn
  • Alex Hardisty
  • Donald Hobern
  • Arnald Marcer
  • Daniel Mietchen
  • David R Morse
  • Matthias Obst
  • Lyubomir Penev
  • Lars Pettersson
  • Soraya Sierra
  • Vincent Stuart Smith
  • Rutger Aldo Vos
External organisations
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • Hellenic Centre for Marine Research
  • Atlas of Living Australia
  • Free University of Berlin
  • Aarhus University
  • Botanic Garden Meise
  • Museum für Naturkunde
  • Cardiff University
  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility
  • Global Ecology Unit CREAF-CSIC-UAB
  • EvoMRI Communications
  • Open University
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Pensoft Publishers Ltd
  • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Systems
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9933
JournalResearch Ideas and Outcomes
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch