Supporting the Interoperability of EOSC Through a Flexible Semantic Mapping Framework

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Zachary Smith's picture
06 Nov 2020

Supporting the Interoperability of EOSC Through a Flexible Semantic Mapping Framework

  • By Zachary Smith

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative is based on the FAIR data principles, which are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. Achieving Interoperability is crucial, but there is no single way to achieve universal interoperability between different sets of data and/or tools. One solution would be a semantic mapping framework, which is simple to use, and enables the creation, sharing, and re-use of these semantic bridges. Most research communities are working on developing different kinds of relevant ontologies as well as making them sharable. However many researchers need an easily operated framework to create and employ different semantic mappings, driven by pragmatic decisions relevant for the specific research task at hand. This is even more important when working across disciplines, combining different semantics domains. EOSC will need to offer researchers various tools for creating these semantic cross-walks.

Thanks to the co-creation funding, a study is being carried out by Daan Broeder from CLARIN ERIC on a Flexible Semantic Mapping Framework. This study is analysing existing approaches, integrating the knowledge of relevant experts from RIs and experts in formal semantics, and will eventually suggest a design for such a framework to be implemented in and for EOSC. The study started in January 2020 and will be finished by the end of the year.

In the first part of this two-phase study, a mission statement was discussed, requirements and goals were refined based on task-force expertise, and other community stakeholders and experts were identified. The second phase is currently ongoing and includes interviews with community experts on requirements and existing approaches, and the inventorisation of existing infrastructure and semantic artefacts to be potentially integrated in an over-arching SEMAF framework. This project will design a flexible system which can then be implemented as part of an open EOSC through interaction with researchers and semantic web-specialists, as well as through the analysis of earlier work in aggregating requirement specifications.

See Daan Broeder’s 5 minute co-creation lightning talk about this project at the EOSC Governance Symposium 2020:

Download the slides here.


CLARIN stands for "Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure".

It is a research infrastructure that was initiated from the vision that all digital language resources and tools from all over Europe and beyond are accessible through a single sign-on online environment for the support of researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

In 2012 CLARIN ERIC was established and took up the mission to create and maintain an infrastructure to support the sharing, use and sustainability of language data and tools for research in the humanities and social sciences. Currently CLARIN provides easy and sustainable access to digital language data (in written, spoken, or multimodal form) for scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and beyond.  CLARIN also offers advanced tools to discover, explore, exploit, annotate, analyse or combine such data sets, wherever they are located.