Legal framework

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Governing EPOS

The European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) has been chosen by the Board of Governmental Representatives (BGR) as the legal model for EPOS and used in designing the Governance Model. The Governance Model includes a General Assembly of members and an Executive Director, supported by a Executive and Coordination Office (ECO). A Services Coordination Board representing the Thematic Core Services and the Integrated Core Services will inform and assist the Executive Director in formulating and executing the EPOS work programme. The ECO is the EPOS Headquarter and the legal seat of the distributed infrastructure governing the construction and operation of the Integrated Core Services and coordinating the implementation of the Thematic Core Services. The BGR, on the basis on an international competition, has decided the legal seat of EPOS wil be hosted in Italy at the Rome headquarter of the Istituto di Geofisica e Vulcanologia.

Data Policy and Access Rules

Having in  mind that DATA are more useful if they can be accessed, aggregated and re-used, EPOS aims to provide interdisciplinary services to researchers interested in geoscience, including access to data, metadata, data products, software, IT tools, and also to computational resources for visualization and processing as well as to research facilities (e.g. laboratories, volcano observatories).

EPOS will provide fully open and easy access to homogeneous high quality DATA and services from many solid Earth science disciplines such as seismology, volcanology, geodesy, and geology. This is considered essential to enable research and innovation to flourish and to allow Europe’s ability to enhance its economic performance and improve its capacity to compete through knowledge.

In order for services and DATA to flow “seamlessly”, EPOS ERIC must delicately balance the needs of Suppliers of data and services, whether they are researchers, national institutes or other bodies or infrastructures, against the requirements of Users. EPOS will implement an efficient DATA management plan for the needs of the Users and, at the same time, ensure that the Supplier’s interests are protected (e.g. throughout appropriate acknowledgement or citation).

To ensure that the EPOS ERIC supports such a seamless flow of data and services, a legal policy framework will be put in place in order that the global research community appreciates and understands the rules and policies surrounding data and services access, use, and dissemination. In its policy, EPOS-ERIC intends to adopt the following key principles:

  • to disseminate data and knowledge through Open Access;
  • to provide a multidisciplinary data management plan to foster a community building for solid Earth Sciences through shared access policies and rules;
  • to make DATA and facilities available in a timely manner, without undue delay and preferably free of charge taking in due account the need to differentiate between access to DATA and access to facilities;
  • to use terms and definitions which are consistent with Article 2 of the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) signed on 14 July 1967;
  • to create internal intellectual property rules between EPOS Partners which will be approved by the EPOS-ERIC General Assembly;
  • to comply with all relevant European and International legislation on data and IPR protection including the INSPIRE regulations;
  • to follow the OECD principles for research data from public funding;to utilize a widely accepted community licensing schema, e.g. Creative Commons.