WP4 Policy and Legal

The aim is to identify needs for refinements of various standards and protocols that are involved in technical interoperability for data 'ownership' and software. Various licenses, protocols and standards, used in one single workflow can hamper the smooth and detailed running of these workflows, undermining the usefulness and relevance for determining EBV values. Among others, the following aspects will be taken into consideration:

  • Public/open access & open source versus scientific cultures and traditions -legally based- of “ownership” of data (by the scientific communities related to EBVs data production) and software companies.
  • A common or shared policy or set of policies on the adoption of new technical standards, protocols and knowledge sharing, including training on the use of these standards and protocols (where/when they exist, what are restrictions that might prevent interoperability due to unavailability/or legal restraints on the use of such standards).
  • Evaluation of the GIS-based data protocols regulated under the INSPIRE (EU) and INDE (Brazil) systems for biodiversity data geo-referencing in order to determine whether these would imply complicated protocols and costs for the other global research infrastructures deploying these resources.
  • Ways to harmonize the existing varying cultures of the different scientific and policy communities with respect to Open/Public Access (for data), and Open Source (for software).
  • Potential mutual agreements of the research infrastructures with a pragmatic approach in order to operate under open access/open source principles to provide access to each other without licensing.
  • Mapping the global developments on attribution mechanisms and policies, in particular those that may prevent the hampering or blocking of data reuse because of excess attribution requirements so that solutions are in line with global processes on research data in general.
  • Implications of the use of the new creative commons 4.0 and CC0 licenses and of the schemes that provide normative (versus legal) approaches to attribution.
  • Implications of universal waivers alternatives and the alternative open access system based on public domain “ownership” of the data and consideration of the expectancies (or rejection) of such policies by the scientific communities

During the duration of the whole project this WP will follow closely the work of WP2 and WP3 by helping to select the legal interoperability experts attending the four workshops, and involving the cooperating research infrastructures and key user communities of the chosen EBVs so that the rest of the listed tasks that follow can be successfully achieved.

WP4 aims at a full 'two-way street' communication line between the major global policy bodies. A major tool is the drafting of a position paper, containing the main recommendations from the consortium and the experts in the workshops, incl. scientific, technical and legal topics. GLOBIS-B intends to be a worthy consulting expert partner for these policy bodies and the consortium has the required persons, expertise, experience and network to act as such. The project, with its experts should act in this task as a 'fire starter' for full cooperation between global research infrastructures, their scientific users and the policy bodies mentioned.

Besides presenting possible solutions and agreements to the identified issues, that are supported by both the scientific community and the research infrastructure operators, a common position paper will be presented as initial input for the scientific paper, and as a final outcome of the project to be communicated with the policy bodies as mentioned in Task 4.3, the RDA-CODATA working group on Legal interoperability and possible others.

Key Objectives

  • To analyse and evaluate legal interoperability issues that require intensive study in each of the chosen EBV variables (both for their measurement and their scalability);
  • To explore, discuss and propose realistic and pragmatic solutions to streamline the bottlenecks or restrictions in the flow of the data (and their further use and scaling-up by models); solutions that should be workable for both the scientific communities and the partner research infrastructures with the focus on achieving direct machine-machine interaction;
  • To draft and bring into discussion potential mutual agreements on those solutions as interface arrangements among the cooperating global research infrastructures and between them and their scientific and policy user communities.
  • To proactively participate in the Research Data Alliance (RDA-CODATA legal interoperability working group) to promote a generic approach to legal interoperability issues for biodiversity and ecosystem research as similar as possible to other areas of research (including hard and social sciences as well as the humanities) and global socio-geographical areas.
  • To interact with appropriate policy bodies on their expectations with respect to interfacing with the cooperating research infrastructures in order to convey to them potential refinements of general policies that could contribute to the solution of legal interoperability problems (e.g. from abstract and general policy statements on open access to pragmatic policies to achieve it at the “machine to machine” interaction level).

Main participants


  • D4.1 Input discussion document for workshop 1
  • D4.2 Draft of a position paper for policy makers on the potential solutions to scientific, technical and legal interoperability issues
  • D4.3 Final position paper for policy makers