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Achieving a good level of interoperability within EOSC is essential to federate data and services and provide added value for EOSC users, across disciplines, countries and sectors. In the context of the FAIR principles, interoperability is discussed in relation to the fact that ‘research data usually need to be integrated with other data’. Standards are critical to achieve this, at both the disciplinary and cross-domain level, and implementation must build on existing research culture and practices, as well as existing technologies such as the Semantic Web, linked data and knowledge graphs. Efforts should also focus on addressing gaps where standards do not yet exist, to avoid the risk of leaving certain research communities behind.