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A Global Force for Open Science

Breaking down the silos of knowledge

The popularity and adoption of Open Science has increased the availability of scientific and scholarly content. Scientific publications have traditionally been the main focus of Open Access, but datasets, protocols, methodologies, software, and workflows are becoming more openly available and accessible. Linking these heterogeneous research objects in a semantic manner is critical in order to provide a wealth of information that researchers can use to accelerate scientific discovery and collaboration, as well as to help research executives assess and comprehend the R&I landscape. The OpenAIRE Graph exists to provide such a context.

The OpenAIRE Graph

From Open Access resources to Open Science Graph

A 360o view of research made possible by Open Access: OpenAIRE Graph collects metadata from different Open Access sources, cleans and transforms them, employs sophisticated AI-driven tooling to extract and classify information, and links them together to produce a Scientific Knowledge Graph that includes all types of research outcomes, their usage and impact, and links them to the people and organisations who funded and created them, as well as the processes that facilitated them.

Closing the Open Science Loop: OpenAIRE returns this wealth of information back to the original sources via openly accessible APIs and the Broker Service, and provides value-added services to the research community based on the Graph.

The origins of the OpenAIRE Graph

For nearly two decades, OpenAIRE has been collaborating closely with the European Commission to advance and promote Open Science principles on a global scale. These principles are founded in the belief that the free flow of knowledge is not only essential for advancing scientific discovery, but also crucial for our societies to thrive.

Recognizing Open Access as the future of research and scholarly communication, the "DRIVER" project, funded by the European Commission, was initiated in 2006. Initially, the focus had been on Open Access articles, papers, and scientific publications. However, the Commission, being at the forefront of the Open Science movement, soon began contemplating similar approaches for data. Given that DRIVER was already building services and developing a network capable of facilitating publication and global alignment, our team was granted the opportunity to undertake this groundbreaking project from the European Commission.

The OpenAIRE Graph was born.

The Graph became the nucleus of a global initiative that transcended technology; it fostered a vibrant human network.
From that point onward, we embarked on constructing the Graph and forging collaborations with various stakeholders such as publishers, data centers, platform builders, and other like-minded initiatives. Together, we laid the foundations for essential services rooted in Open Science practices.
- Paolo Manghi, OpenAIRE Graph CTO / CNR-ISTI

The development of the Graph is the outcome of both technical expertise and the collective efforts of the National Open Access Desks (NOADs). The NOADs have played a pivotal role in advancing and embracing the principles of Open Science. They undertake extensive outreach efforts to promote Open Access and Open Science, facilitating the integration of data sources and providers to contribute valuable content and disseminating European policies as standards among different national members (including training programs).

By fostering collaboration and harnessing the potential of Open Science, the OpenAIRE Graph has become an instrumental force in driving scientific progress worldwide.

Check out the OpenAIRE podcast Episode Jack of all Trades: The contribution of the OpenAIRE Graph to learn more about the Graph's origins, present standing, and future.

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And about using services that seamlessly connect to the Graph?

The Journey

Developing the OpenAIRE Graph and Advancing Open Science

  • 2005 - 2008

    The first DRIVER projects define the DRIVER Guidelines to promote interoperability of repositories and ease harvesting of content. The first catalogue of OA publications appears in Europe and the world.

  • 2009 - 2012

    The first OpenAIRE project begins to promote Open Access to publications within the FP7 EC funding programme. When called to evaluate the success of FP7 OA, our team enabled the first funding extraction mechanism, beginning our journey into the world of "text & data mining."

  • 2013 - 2016

    Data comes into the scene and we begin to experiment with data repositories and start supporting the Open Data Pilot of H2020. 

  • 2017 - 2020

    Our team enriches the repository harvested content with data from CrossRef, Microsoft Academic Graph, ORCID, and Unpaywall, boosting repository data with persistent identifiers (DOI Boost). In the meantime, EOSC is emerging and FAIR becomes the modus operandi, including basic FAIR validation in the OpenAIRE Graph.  

  • 2021 - 2023

    Microsoft Academic Graph stops and we intensify our efforts to keep main information going: more complex AI processes to classify each publication with "Fields of Science" (FoS), extract affiliations, extract the citations of research data and software. The OpenAIRE Graph becomes the authoritative source for the EOSC and is elevated to the EOSC Knowledge Graph through the EOSC Future project.

  • 2024 -

    Our team has already begun to intensify efforts to further improve the FoS classification (automated labelling) and be more specific in communities, while we are looking into tagging the Graph with information on mentioning and re-usability of research artefacts (data and software). Through new projects, the OpenAIRE Graph will be used for the EOSC EU Node Knowledge Graph, and the European Open Science Observatory, with plans that include their integration with Data Management Plans.