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.
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.
Article 3 - Members, NOADs and Cooperating Partners, talks of "Member States”. Paragraph 1 seems to permit organisations from Associate or Third Countries, whereas paragraph 5 implies that only Member States can have a NOAD (not Associate Countries and not Third Countries), and paragraph 8 leaves these organisations hanging if their statutory seat is in an Associate Country or Third Country. Are non-EU states eligible to be a NOAD?
Chapter 2, Article 3, Clause 2 of the LE statutes describes the political associations that would be required to become a member 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.
In terms of becoming an ERIC, the criteria for inclusion can be found here.
This document states that “(13) Membership of an ERIC should comprise at least three Member States and may include qualified associated countries and third countries other than associated countries as well as specialised intergovernmental organisations.
There is mention of an 18-month transition period after the LE has been established when the OpenAIRE Advance NOADs that have not called the LE into being by being the first signatories will be automatically members of the LE. Would we as a NOAD or project member of OpenAIRE Advance have to sign the agreement during that 18-month period? If we choose to leave the LE during this transition period, is there any kind of penalty, as was spelled out in the previous version of the statutes?
There is only the need to discuss within any country which institution would then actively sign up to the LE after those initial 18 months had elapsed.
If any institution in a country actively signs the LE during this transition period, then the situation for that institution changes, as described in point 7 B, above. From that point forward, the regulations laid out in Articles 4, 4 and 5,4. In effect, the transition period comes to an end for that institution as soon as it actively signs up to the LE.
There is no formal penalty for not signing up actively to the LE during that initial 18-month period.
At all times, the previous and existing obligations of NOADs and OpenAIRE Advance project partners continue to exist, beyond the question of actively joining the LE. The only ‘penalty’ is that after the initial 18-month period elapses and before the end of the OpenAIRE Advance project, decisions that affect the way the LE operates will be made without your participation until you sign up, which may include participation In further EU-funded calls in H2020 and FP9.
This will not affect or alter the regular project deliverables of the OpenAIRE Advance project.
Can you please explain the obligation/commitment to the LE on the part of its Regular Members? Can you give a specific explanation of the financial aspects of being a member, for example, what will we have to contribute financially as a member?
Once the LE is established according to the minimum membership requirement (Chapter 2, Article 3, Clause 2), the following obligations/commitment to the LE obtain:
OpenAIRE states that some services will be marked as having a fee associated with them: what will we do if something within OpenAIRE suddenly has a fee and it uses a service from Member X, which is openly available?
As stated in Q: "How will members and non-members use or interact withOpenAIRE services?", above, it is presupposed that members will also eventually be able to make use of services from other members of OpenAIRE as in-kind contributions.
Where OpenAIRE services are based on member services that may already be openly available, and where such services are parcelled into OpenAIRE ones offered against a calculated nominal fee, such fees will be determined purely for the purpose of:
OpenAIRE will only charge for services on the basis of maintaining and developing them, and then in the case of external stakeholders only in the context of specific projects.
The statues state that each Member has to agree on the range of OpenAIRE services it will offer in the OpenAIRE context and agree on a specific 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 Engagement in the statutory documents.
These issues are also to a degree addressed in the Principles of Engagement document.
Eventually, membership of the Legal Entity may entail offering in-kind contributions, in particular if we are 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 your country.
These issues will be covered at the point we become 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).
To an extent, this issue is covered by the Principles of Engagement document that accompanies the LE Statutes.
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 Advance (till end 2020), 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.
We could also have a set of standard Terms of Service documents for different categories of services. This normally includes registered and non registered users (if we would like to differentiate between the two types). Also, we need to agree on licences used for the content we release under OpenAIRE.