ERF's Review of Working Practices of Analytical Facilities During the Pandemic
The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted the operations of analytical facilities. To protect their staff, several research infrastructures (RIs) are closed for operations or strongly limiting their activities while maximizing protection measures, while some others provide limited access to external researchers (users), primarily for COVID-19 related research. Yet, the crisis is likely to last for months and all facilities are considering restarting their services, albeit remotely and/or with limited scale. To assist RIs in this transition, the Association of European-Level Research Infrastructures Facilities (ERF) has invited the national and international analytical (experimental) facilities located in Europe that are open to international users to describe their working practices by replying to a questionnaire. As of April 21st 2020, 27 RIs, mainly European synchrotrons, neutron sources and laser research infrastructures, listed in Annex 1, have submitted their replies. This report summarises their responses, and also discusses some of the issues and possible future decisions faced by the analytical facilities in the time of the pandemic.