Virtual access activity under JERICO-NEXT: first assessment

The objective of JERICO-NEXT consists of strengthening and enlarging the European network for the provision of operational services to deliver timely, continuous and sustainable high quality environmental data and information products related to the marine environment in European coastal seas. Under Horizon 2020, Virtual Access is a new activity in European-funded projects. As a part of this activity, JERICO-NEXT project supports 15 Virtual Infrastructures for making their data, and products available and improving or developing services. After 18 months, an assessment of virtual access activity has been carried out using a template indicating the number of visits, downloaded data sets, the geographical distribution of the visitors and their sector of activity as well as outcomes such as publications, meetings for each VI. Additionally, availability indicators i.e. a methodology to assess the degree to which the datasets are discoverable, accessible, ready for use, and obtainable (either directly or indirectly) were calculated for the general Virtual Access activity in JERICO-NEXT, providing an understanding of the readiness and service performance of the infrastructure. Very little information from the template could be used across the Virtual Infrastructures. Only the number and the country of origin of visitors were answered by all the providers. When the information was available, the scientific community was the main visitor (41 to 77%) of the Virtual Infrastructures and only 3 of them put in place a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to identify the source of the data. On average 54% of the actions performed was associated to visibility, 30% to accessibility and 15% to performance. These actions were reflected by an improvement in the availability indicator scores after 6 months of the first assessment. All the listed links were working and the data easy to find. 67% of the Virtual Infrastructures were linked to European Data Infrastructures such as EMODnet, NOOS, MONGOOS, CMEMS, Global HF radar portal, EPOC, SOMLIT. The next step is the assessment of each Virtual Infrastructure by an expert panel to determine if all the requirements of the European commission have been fulfilled by the VIPs and advice the VIP in their future actions.