TRIPLE: Behind the Scenes #3: Francesca Di Donato

In the series “TRIPLE: Behind the Scenes” we feature individual staff members from the TRIPLE project team, to give a face to the people behind the scenes. What is their role in the project, what is their background, and how did they get in touch with the Open Science movement?


Portrait of Francesca Di Donato
Francesca Di Donato (photo: private)

Today it’s Francesca Di Donato‘s turn to tell you more about what goes on behind the scenes of the TRIPLE project. Francesca works at the Institute for Computational Linguistics at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR).

CNR logo

Francesca, what is your role in the TRIPLE project?

In TRIPLE, I’m leading work package 6 on Open Science and EOSC integration. The main goal of this work package is to implement the Open Science vision, which is at the heart of the TRIPLE project, in order to improve SSH researchers’ access to content and resources and to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations. Another important aim is to make the platform that the project is developing, called GOTRIPLE, ready for the EOSC. EOSC stands for European Open Science Cloud. The Open Science goal is materialising in the development of this cloud – a set of rules and recommendations to enable scholars to produce, share and reuse data and resources in a common ecosystem, based on the guiding principles to make data “FAIR”: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. In work package 6, we think about ways to integrate GOTRIPLE into the EOSC Marketplace and collaborate with the SSHOC project, aiming at creating the European Open Science Cloud for the social sciences and humanities (SSH).

What is your background in terms of previous work experience and academic discipline, and which specific perspective(s) does that background contribute to TRIPLE?

I have a background in Political Philosophy, and after receiving my PhD from Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies, I worked at the University of Pisa and at the Scuola Normale Superiore as a young researcher. The focus of my research was – and still is – open scholarly communication, first with a special interest in Open Access and Open Data, and later in Open Science in general. My interest in open scholarly communication was sparked in the early 2000s. With my colleague Maria Chiara Pievatolo at the University of Pisa, we decided to translate Jean-Claude Guédon’s essay In Oldenburg’s Long Shadow. Librarians, Research Scientists, Publishers, and the Control of Scientific Publishing into Italian. This landmark essay deals with the opportunities that Open Access offers to scholarly communication. Next, in collaboration with Paolo D’Iorio at ITEM-CNRS and Net7, a small Italian software company, we started a research project called “HyperJournal”, whose goal it was to create an Open Source platform to publish Open Access journals on the web. HyperJournal was a pioneer experiment: We used semantic web technologies and experimented with innovative ways of peer-reviewing, through a system for double-blind peer review. From 2015 to June of this year, I worked at Net7. There, I was responsible for open solutions for scholarly communication, mainly in the Digital Humanities. In July, I joined ILC-CNR, which is the Italian node of the CLARIN-ERIC and partner of SSHOC. Here, I continue to work in the Open Science domain as a researcher.

Work space
Francesca’s office at CNR (photo: private)

What are you currently working on in the TRIPLE project?

With the team of work package 6, we have just submitted the first deliverable, the “Report on General Interoperability Requirements”. In this document, we have tried to depict what the European Open Science Cloud is, and what the actual requirements are in order to be compliant with, and integrated into it. “Interoperability” here means overcoming all the barriers that make knowledge and tools fragmented and siloed. Together with the SSHOC Training community, we are also working to produce, adapt and reuse general and specific guidelines. We also develop training modules on this topic that we offer to TRIPLE’s consortium members, in order to ensure we all have the same level of competency in Open Science practices and workflows. The format of these trainings is mainly online, not just because of the current pandemic situation, but because it is easier to reach as many members as possible without them having to travel.

Work space
Francesca’s office at CNR (photo: private)

How has the pandemic changed your working routines in the TRIPLE project?

The pandemic has massively changed our routines within TRIPLE as we can’t meet physically. Of course, we were already used to collaborating and having meetings online, but the TRIPLE consortium had the chance to meet several times during the preparation phase, and I personally think that this helped us to reach consensus and cohesion in that phase, which was very important for the proposal to succeed. It also allowed us to get to know each other and to establish excellent professional and personal relationships. These kinds of exchange are now missing, and it makes our work more difficult. We are trying to address this problem by finding new ways of working together, and I really hope we will succeed. I really look forward to the day we will be able to meet again in person, sharing coffee and, why not, having a glass of wine all together.

Francesca, thanks a lot for the interview!

The TRIPLE project is funded by the European Commission, under Grant Agreement No. 863420. Project coordinator is Suzanne Dumouchel (Huma-Num), Co-coordinator of OPERAS. For more information please contact her at Suzanne.Dumouchel[at]

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