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We would be happy to open a discussion with you to better understand your needs and concerns as well as dig deeper on the services, outreach and capabilities of OpenAIRE. We are happy to share examples of how our network and services can help you be relevant to your institution or national infrastructure, where it matters.

Please check the information below, but do let us guide you through the different modalities of our membership for a best fit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There appears to be a status difference between an Associate Member and a Regular Member; is that true?

There appears to be a status difference between an Associate Member and a Regular Member; is that true?

The difference lies in the fact that the Regular Member is the legal member representative of the country concerned. Extant OpenAIRE Advance project partners that also exist in any one country or others that eventually join any National Member Consortium headed by the Regular Member, will work through that Regular Member to have issues raised at the GA level.

What is an Associate Member?
An Associate Member is a member of OpenAIRE AMKE that is located in one of the eligible countries and that along with all the other organizations that are members of OpenAIRE AMKE and are located in the same country elect a Regular Member to represent them at the OpenAIRE General Assembly. Associate Members may participate in all other activities of OpenAIRE but can only cast a vote at the GA through their Regular Member.
What is the standing of Associate Members in accordance to the statutory documents?

An eligible organization [see art. 4(1) of the statutes] may become an Associate Member by agreeing to the OpenAIRE statutory documents [art. 4(5) of the statutes]. This means they can sign the statutory documents with simple electronic signature and send it with a cover email to the Executive Board. If the membership has been already approved by the General Assembly (art. 5 of the statutes), then upon reception of the signed document, they become Associate Members. If not, a decision by the General Assembly (GA) is required.

How do I become an Associate Member?

Complete the Expression Of Interest (EOI) using your organisation’s letterhead and send it to the OpenAIRE Management Office (amke'at'openaire.eu, cc’ing ioanna.giannaki'at'openaire.eu) providing the following:

  1. a profile of your organization
  2. the legal representative and address
  3. a statement that you will abide by the terms contained in the OpenAIRE AMKE statutory documents
  4. a digitally signed copy of the OpenAIRE AMKE statutory documents

In order to complete the process, we need to also have the approval of the General Assembly.

Do I need a qualified digital signature to join?
Depending on your membership status.
  • When applying for Regular Membership you need a Qualified Digital Signature (QDS). You may find the national providers of QDS here.
  • When applying for Associate Membership, you just need to agree to the terms of the statutory document without becoming a member of the Legal Entity. That is why a simple statement and signature will suffice.
Can any kind of member be in the Standing Committees?

All OpenAIRE members are eligible to take part in the Standing Committees (art 11(4)). However, the Chair needs to be representing only a Regular Member (art.11(6)).

Are non-EU countries eligible to be a NOAD?
The section “Definitions” of the statutory document offers lists of eligible countries. In addition, Article 4, par. 1 of the LE statutes describes the political associations whose members are eligible to become members of the LE. One is membership of the European Union, the other is membership of the Council of Europe, which is separate and comprises 47 states and associate countries. Therefore, membership of the European Union is not a precondition for membership of the OpenAIRE LE.
Can non-members be on standing committees?
As they stand (dated 24_03_2018), the Statutes neither preclude this, nor do they specifically state that non-Members can or should be on Standing Committees – in other words, it is entirely at the discretion of the General Assembly as the governing body of the LE, which comprises its Regular Members.
Which are the obligations of OpenAIRE AMKE Regular Members? Are there any financial obligations?
  • You must adhere to the OpenAIRE Policies and Internal Rules of Procedure and the Rules of Participation. (Chapters 3 and 6)
  • Regular Members represent Associate Members in the General Assembly (Chapter 3)
  • There is an initial contribution of 500 Euros, which has been re-set to zero as a result of a decision made on January 17, 2019 during the Debrecen GA. The decision may be overturned only with a GA unanimous decision (Chapter 4, art.10(13)(c)). Internal discussions on annual membership fees are currently under way, with predicted fees in the range of 1500 - 3000 Euros to be effective from 2023.
Service Level Agreement: What does it mean for a member to offer OpenAIRE services? And who would the SLA be between?

During the course of OpenAIRE’s development since 2009, many project members have created and deployed Open Access and Open Science services, which are now plugged into and inform OpenAIRE ones. In order for there to be clarity around mutual cost implications and service provision levels to external stakeholders, each such service should be the subject of an SLA agreement between OpenAIRE and the member provider. This is also in place to maintain the quality assurance ambitions of all parties concerned. The Term SLA has been substituted by the Principles of Participation and finally Rules of Participation in the statutory documents (24.04.20).

How will members and non-members use or interact with OpenAIRE services?

There is no direct or necessary relationship between membership of the Legal Entity and use of OpenAIRE services. OpenAIRE services (such as APIs) are currently free to use and access by members and non-members alike. As the services created under OpenAIRE Advance are released, others will also be able to use these related products at no cost during the life of OpenAIRE Nexys (till end 2023), whether they are funders, researchers, or research-intensive institutions.

However, where these services will be employed in the established workflows of other research infrastructures rather than research-intensive institutions, or taken up to be tested or furthered as part of funded project work, the additional effort required to adapt and maintain these services would be reflected in appropriate costs which can be factored into bids and recurring maintenance grants.

OpenAIRE will also have a set of standard Terms of Service documents for different categories of services. This normally includes registered and non registered users (if differentiation is required between the two types). An agreement on licences used for content released under OpenAIRE needs to be established.

Will OpenAIRE consider adopting in-kind contributions from members?

Eventually, membership of the Legal Entity may entail offering in-kind contributions, in particular, if it is established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). In this case, Members whose services are used by OpenAIRE will pledge to offer them at no cost, in exchange for the products and services of other LE members, that could be used to accelerate services development and provide new opportunities to support open science in OpenAIRE LE countries.

These issues will be covered at the point OpenAIRE becomes an ERIC via a formal access policy based on the Commission’s guidelines, its Charter for Access, published in consultation with the ESFRI, the e-infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), and the European Research Area stakeholder organisations in March 2016 (more). We do not foresee this to be initiated before end of 2023.

Will OpenAIRE start charging for Services?

OpenAIRE is in principle able to charge for services (Art. 16(2)). However, the details of how this is to be implemented, who will own the services and other related assets, and what the level of the service fee will be is to be agreed amongst its members in the GA. The starting principle is that all services offered by OpenAIRE are free of cost for the scientific and research community, although the GA may decide otherwise (Art.19)

Currently, a Working Group on Business Models has been assigned to deliver a proposal on what are the best models (costs, revenues, channels) to fit and apply on individual services.

OpenAIRE members are not prohibited to independently offer commercial services (Art. 16(4)).

Can a Regular Member or an Ordinary Member raise an objection against a legal action?

The Regular Member may raise an objection against a legal action being carried out by a person appointed by the Chair of the Project Steering Committee of OpenAIRE Advance, but that doesn’t seem to be a power of an ordinary member.

As stated above, not directly. The agreement between the members of any National Membership Consortium with its representative Regular Member is for the country concerned to regulate, although OpenAIRE has produced a template document for such an agreement.

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OpenAIRE has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreements No. 777541 and 101017452 (see all).

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