The European RI landscape is diverse (RI operators, managers, users (researchers, industry) decision makers, funders). Past efforts were directed towards gaining insight into available RIs, national RI road mapping practices, and planning of pan-European RIs. A catalogue of services for e-infrastructures is currently under development. A recent report by OECD Global Science Forum highlights that ”open digital platforms…can have substantial value for a wide range of stakeholders”.
Responding to the needs of users of physical RIs, CatRIS will make available information about RI services offered in Europe. Such information will improve visibility of services, foster European and international collaborations, and enhance RI accessibility, usage, and impact. Currently, RIs provide information about their services mostly in free formats through websites with varying completeness and details. Existing initiatives will be analysed to identify best practices and to propose a service catalogue structure to respond to users’ needs.
A prerequisite for the success of CatRIS is its integration in the European RI landscape and its different systems. Avoiding duplication of efforts and fostering interoperability is also essential. Although challenging, an interoperable system is the only sustainable approach that can be envisaged to keep information alive. In particular, CatRIS will follow closely the development of the EOSC to become an integrated part of it as an indispensable tool connecting RI users and managers.
The active engagement of the whole RI community is critical and, being at the centre of the project, will provide specifications and drive for the development. Through the use of a rating system and feedback loops on its contents, CatRIS can also serve as a bottom-up tool to facilitate the identification of potential gaps of European RI services. CatRIS will thus operate as an open “network of networks” branching out to RI communities across borders and beyond.