Case Statement - RDA-CODATA Working Group on Legal Interoperability of Research Data

14 February 2013

RDA-CODATA Working Group on Legal Interoperability of Research Data


1. Working Group Charter

The proposed Research Data Alliance – CODATA Working Group on Legal Interoperability of Research Data (RDA-CODATA WG), will be established to address and promote the following objectives:

1)  Define legal interoperability of research data and articulate why it is important for data interoperability and reuse.

2)  Document and analyze up to four case studies in the areas of geoscience, biodiversity research, social sciences, and humanities of legal interoperability solutions in interdisciplinary and international contexts.

3)  Develop and publish core principles and guidelines of best practices through which legal interoperability can be achieved, and link to related information resources online.

4)  Work with key stakeholder groups to get the core principles and guidelines of best practices adopted.

5)  Generally promote better understanding and greater use by the stakeholder groups in the research community of the agreed approaches to legal interoperability of research data, focused on highlighting and enabling better integration and reuse of such data.

These activities will be completed within 18 months of the receipt of funding, which is expected to begin in the summer of 2013.

2. Value Proposition

Two of the most significant impacts of digital technologies and networks on scientific research have been the great increase in the amount of data generated or collected by researchers, and a tremendously improved infrastructure for sharing, aggregating or recombining data sets. With these opportunities come a series of challenges concerning preservation, authentication, and documentation of data, as well as legal concerns, including intellectual property issues and barriers. 

This project will examine and provide a better understanding and some solutions for the intellectual property concerns that confront scientists in accessing, using, reusing, and particularly in combining or integrating data in their research activities. Because the resolution of intellectual property-related legal issues can be complex in certain instances, the project will not focus more broadly on other potential aspects of law regarding research data work, such as the protection of personal privacy, national security, law enforcement, liability, and other niche concerns.

The protection of intellectual property of data and databases through copyright law and database protection rights in some jurisdictions is uncertain. It can range from no protection at all, with the data or database fully in the public domain, to full protection of applicable intellectual property laws, to some legal protection in between. Applying those legal protections that do exist when combining or integrating data in research—whether positively or negatively—may be broadly referred to as the “legal interoperability” of data, a term originating in the late 1990s. The Legal Interoperability Subgroup of the Group on Earth Observations’ Data Sharing Working Group defines the issue as follows:

When data are combined from two or more data sources, the resulting  dataset will incorporate the greatest restrictions from any of the sources used and the accumulated restrictions imposed by each source. Conversely, “legal interoperability” for data means that the data from two or more databases may be combined or otherwise reused by any user without compromising the legal rights of any of the data sources used.

There are a variety of mechanisms to address the legal interoperability of data including waivers, common-use licenses, research grants, contracts and legislative approaches that enable the legal sharing and reuse of research data. The scope of intellectual property protection of databases and the data within them can be confusing, even to the legal community. Both publicly funded research and resulting digital data, particularly on networks, have public good characteristics that make the access to and unfettered reuse of such data broadly beneficial. The range of data and databases make application of the law difficult. At the same time, new legal approaches have been devised to both protect and make openly available research data. They are, however, poorly understood, which can have significant negative consequences for researchers and their institutions, particularly in collaborative research.

The situation is further complicated by international and interdisciplinary characteristics. Internationally there are different approaches to copyrightability (especially of works created in the course of a publicly funded activity) across jurisdictions, as well as varying interpretation of the term “work” (i.e., what can be included in protected subject-matter in the first place). Different disciplines also have different expectations and norms about the data they produce and use in research, whether they operate in observational, experimental, or computational research, collect data themselves or rely on secondary sources, deal with human subjects or natural phenomena, or are primarily used in the context of “small” or “big” science.

As funders and researchers contemplate methods for responding to these opportunities and challenges, they often find themselves in doubt about the legal framework that governs research data. Some of the questions to be addressed include: How are data and databases to be defined? Are data "owned"? If so, by whom? And to what extent and on what basis? What rights do the "owners" have against those who would copy, redistribute or reuse the data without permission? Conversely, how can a researcher share data over the internet and assure that other researchers have any permission they might need to reuse the data as they wish? Can steps be taken to establish or clarify rights at appropriate points in the data life cycle?

In some cases, the law has been used to impede productive data sharing by researchers. In other cases, uncertainty about the law and even misrepresentation has been a substantial barrier to researcher collaboration, even though the law itself would pose no constraints to such collaboration or data integration activities. A better understanding of the statutory legal regime that affects research data interoperability, including the limitations and exceptions to the law in different jurisdictions, would be valuable as well.

These issues and questions also need to be addressed in the context of research policy by national and international research funders, with many promoting or developing open access initiatives for some data in some circumstances, and apply those policies through research grants, contract, or cooperative agreements.

Who will benefit: Anyone making data broadly available or (re)users of data from other sources, especially in the public or academic sectors, including: data providers and data center managers, data users, research funders and policymakers, university administrators, industry R&D managers, lawyers in research and digital intellectual property activities, and all society generally.

Impact: The RDA-CODATA WG will seek to improve legal certainty for data interoperability activities, especially in the public-sector interdisciplinary and international contexts. It will help clarify for scientists and policymakers the positive and negative effects of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in data access and reuse, including long-term socio-economic value and sustainability. It will promote reuse of data and reduce duplicative research. It will strive to minimize unnecessary legal barriers, especially for public and publicly funded upstream factual inputs. And, the WG will generally help educate different stakeholders in the research process about the legal characteristics of the data they fund, produce, publish, and use.

3. Engagement with Existing Work in the Area

Over the past 15 years or so, there have been a substantial number of significant publications, activities and initiatives on different aspects of the law and policy of research data, including by the individuals proposing this WG, as well as by scientists who use data in different disciplines and sectors, particularly in government and academia. These publications, some of which are listed in Appendix A, References Cited, were focused on some aspects for justifying and managing data sharing, and need to be taken into account in structuring the activities of this WG.

This body of literature on data sharing and the legal mechanism for achieving it will be compiled and analyzed. A full annotated literature search will be conducted as part of this project, and posted on the project website with links.

It also should be noted that several groups have focused on the issues raised in this proposal in the past decade. The Creative Commons organization has developed a set of common-use licenses (voluntary licenses with “some rights reserved”) and a waiver of all rights (CC0), although their application to databases is not clear and has not yet been extensively used. Another not-for-profit organization that has developed some common-use licenses for general use is the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) in the United Kingdom. In addition, other groups that have addressed the common-use licensing issues in recent years have included the Communia network and the Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information (LAPSI), both funded by the European Commission, the Oak Law Center at the Queensland University of Technology, and the Data Sharing WG of the Group on Earth Observations. The CODATA Global Information Commons for Science Initiative (GICSI), founded in 2005, has addressed these issues since that time as well.

More recently, in July 2012 the European Commission outlined a new policy with specific measures to improve access to scientific information produced in Europe through a Communication and a Recommendation on open access to scientific data, under which researchers and others will be asked to put the results of their research (publications and/or data) online so that others can view or download the results free of charge. Open access means scientists will have better access to articles and data resulting from publicly funded research – irrespective of their or their host institution's financial means.

Despite this substantial set of publications, activities, and initiatives, there is still pervasive confusion and a lack of understanding about the issues identified in this proposal within the scientific community. This is the case even among most practitioners in the legal profession, who focus mostly on proprietary protection and restrictive licensing of data and information in the commercial private sector, and not on enabling mechanisms, such as common-use licensing, waivers, grants, contracts, legislation and various limitations and exceptions to it, or the role of the public domain in the government and academic sectors. At the same time, some practical solutions are now being addressed but still lack an implemented solution, and there have been very few examples in the real world to test whether the extensive use of digital data and the establishment of e-science infrastructures are legally valid and broadly consistent.

Representatives from all these groups therefore are proposed to be members of this WG (see #6, below). Additional representatives from these organizations also will be invited to speak or participate in the meetings of the WG.

4. Work Plan

  1. The form and description of final deliverables of the candidate Working Group (WG)

Final deliverables will include: (1) an annotated summary of Principles and Best Practices Guidelines for Legal Interoperability of Data; (2) instructional materials that describe different aspects of the issues in some detail, with short definitions and analyses of different terms; (3) up to four case studies; and (4) a comprehensive bibliography with links to the full cited references (where allowed). All deliverables would be made openly and freely available, designated with a common-use Creative Commons CC-BY “attribution only” license, and published on several permanent websites of the partner organizations.

  1. The form and description of milestones and intermediate documents, code or other deliverables that will be developed during the course of the candidate WG’s work

Some groups associated with the WG already have some funding in hand and can begin work on these activities earlier. CODATA may also be able to provide a small amount of funding, at the discretion of the CODATA Executive Committee (though normally CODATA funds are reserved for Task Groups). Once full funding (requested separately) is obtained, the WG will perform the following tasks: (1) hold monthly conference calls throughout the duration of the project; (2) create an interactive website by summer 2013; (3) do a comprehensive search of references and develop an online, linked bibliography; (4) hold an NAS workshop in fall of 2013 using the four case studies (see above); (5) hold an iCORDI second workshop in the early spring of 2014, focusing on the four use cases or scenarios (see above); (6) complete all final deliverables by the fall of 2014; and (7) develop an outreach strategy and actively disseminate the results in the fall of 2014.

  1. A description of the candidate WG’s mode and frequency of operation

There will be two major meetings involving the candidate WG, both organized by partner organizations, plus additional side meetings of all four case studies. The first main meeting will be organized by the Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI) at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and will be held in Washington, DC in the fall of 2013. This proposed international workshop will help to provide some clarity to the confusing status of research data as intellectual property in different sectors and disciplines, using a case study approach. It will closely examine the law’s actual and potential effects on data sharing, and different legislative, contractual, grant, waiver, and licensing approaches that are or may be used to address those effects. Up to four case studies of integrating data will be selected in the geosciences, biology, social sciences, and humanities research. As part of the case studies, participants will be asked to articulate specific use cases that illustrate the intellectual property status of key sources of research data and changes in their status as data are assembled, transformed, integrated, disseminated, and used through their life cycles.

After the first workshop, a second meeting will be held on this topic, co-organized by the EU iCORDI and OpenAIRE groups and BRDI staff, also under the umbrella of the candidate RDA-CODATA Working Group on the Legal Interoperability of Scientific Data. This activity also will be focused on developing best practices and core principles related to in the legal interoperability of research data. It will take a close look at the context and roles of the different stakeholders in the research process, and analyze the use cases across the case studies in the different steps along the data life cycle and building on the results of the first international meeting.

The candidate RDA-CODATA WG would further leverage the outputs under this proposal, by using the results of the first workshop in Washington, DC to develop the Principles and Best Practices Guidelines in this area across scientific disciplines at the second workshop in the EU, and to publicize the results. The Principles and Best Practices document will be a product of the RDA-CODATA WG, as will the instructional materials of the main issues.

  1. A description of how the candidate WG plans to develop consensus, address conflicts, stay on track and within scope, and move forward during operation

There will be two major international meetings to discuss the results and arrive at a consensus. These meetings and the monthly conference calls and interim emails of the WG members will go a long way toward developing the requisite consensus, address any conflicts, and stay on track and within scope. A crowdsourcing and interactive website approach will be developed and used as well to garner additional external viewpoints and inputs. If necessary, a third meeting will be held prior to the release of the deliverables.

  1. A description of the candidate WG’s planned approach to engaging participation of broader community

Working with the sponsors of this project and consulting various information resources, the project staff will broadly publicize the first workshop in advance in order to bring together a large audience of scholars and practitioners in this field from government, academia, and industry. A variety of outlets will be used, including direct notices to relevant listservs, discussion forums, professional society networks, and the science press. The websites of the project’s sponsors will also be used to publicize the event. Prior to the first meeting, the WG member institutions will notify journalists about the meeting to encourage their reporting on the workshop proceedings. The meeting also will be webcast  and information about that will be disseminated through the same outlets noted above. The same process will be used to publicize the release of the final publications.

After the work of the candidate WG is completed, the members and the project staff will report on the results in public fora, such as professional society conferences and other meetings organized by government and academic institutions, and will use the results in planning potential follow-on projects and improvements in data sharing polices.  Support for such activities in the period immediately after the conclusion of the deliverables is expected as well.

The project steering committee and staff would help publicize the results afterwards in different fora with a view to getting the principles and best practices adopted, such as the annual meetings of the AAAS, the American Bar Association, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Group on Earth Observations, the RDA, CODATA, the World Data System, the U.K. Digital Curation Centre, and STM Publishers, among other groups. Research funders would be particularly targeted for adoption of the principles and best practices, although such adoption will take additional time.

5. Adoption Plan

We purposely have identified a cross-section of members from different countries, organizations and disciplines (see immediately below), so that we can have a broad outreach and adoption of the proposed WG output and deliverables. Other members will be added with this objective in mind.

A comprehensive outreach and adoption strategy that targets different stakeholder groups, as well as appropriate metrics, will be developed as part of the WG’s proposed activities. Key stakeholder groups include research funders and policymakers, data centers, publishers, and research institutions and researchers themselves. National and international umbrella organizations for each group (e.g., the World Data System as a major group representing data centers, or the STM Publishers for scholarly journals and their related data activities) would serve as proxies for the many individual institutions that could not otherwise be reached separately.

6. Initial Membership

The Working Group is proposed to be a collaboration between the Research Data Alliance and the international CODATA. CODATA—the international and interdisciplinary Committee on Data for Science and Technology, affiliated with the International Council for Science (ICSU)—has been actively engaged in data law and policy issues for about the last 15 years and currently has two co-chairs of the Group on Earth Observations Data Sharing Working Group (DSWG). Those two co-chairs, Paul Uhlir and Robert Chen, are also proposed as co-chairs of the RDA-CODATA candidate WG. Until recently, Bob Chen was Secretary General of CODATA. Moreover, Paul Uhlir is co-chair of the DSWG’s Legal Interoperability Subgroup, and the other co-chair of the Legal Interoperability Subgroup, Catherine Doldirina of the European Commission, is proposed as a member of the RDA-CODATA WG as well. Finally, Enrique Alonso, the other RDA-CODATA candidate WG co-chair, is the lead on the legal and IPR aspects group of the CREATiVE-B project on biodiversity data, among other research information legal advisory positions.


Three co-chairs are therefore proposed for the RDA-CODATA WG on Legal Interoperability of Research Data:

- Paul F. Uhlir, J.D., director, Board on Research Data and Information and the U.S. National Committee for CODATA, National Academy of Sciences, USA [see Appendix B for a Biographical Sketch]

- Enrique Alonso García, Counselor of State, ES [see Appendix C for a Biographical Sketch]

- Robert Chen, Ph.D., director, CIESIN and Columbia University, USA, and chair, Strategic Planning Committee of CODATA [see Appendix D for a Biographical Sketch]


An initial set of candidate WG members and their affiliations is provided below (not all individuals are confirmed, and are identified as such):

- Michael Carroll, Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Washington College of Law, and a member of BRDI and the Creative Commons Advisory Board, USA

- Puneet Kishor, the Policy Coordinator for Science and Data at Creative Commons, in the USA

- Harlan Onsrud, Professor of Spatial Information Science at the University of Maine and former president of the GSDI Association, USA

- Alexa McCray, director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Harvard Medical School and a member of BRDI, USA

- William Michener, project director of Data One at the University of New Mexico, USA

- George Alter, director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, USA (alternate: Peter Granda, ICPSR)

- Anne Fitzgerald, Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia

 -            , Open Knowledge Foundation, United Kingdom (not yet confirmed)

- Rachel Bruce, Innovation Director, JISC, United Kingdom

- Catherine Doldirina, Joint Research Center, European Commission, Italy (Group on Earth Observations)

-Roberto Caso, Associate Professor of Comparative Private Law at the University of Trento, member of the legal commission of the Italian Universities Association (CRUI) for Open Access

- Prodromos Tsiavos, University of Athens and OpenAIRE project, Greece

- Natalia Manola, University of Athens, project manager of OpenAIRE/Open AIRE plus, and technical manager of ESPAS, Greece

- Federico Morando, Polito, Italy

- Andreas Weibe, Professor of Law at the University of Goettingen, Germany

- Pawel Kamocki, CLARIN Legal Issue Committee, Germany

- Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

- Li Jianhui, director of Scientific Databases, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

- Chiyoshi Kawamoto, member of the Legal Interoperability of Data subgroup of the Group on Earth Observations and Director of Space Cooperation Office, JAXA, Japan

-Pedro Paranagua, Instituto Getulio Vargas, Brazil (not yet confirmed)

- Tracey Lauriault, Carleton University, Canada

[Others will still be added]



(Listed starting with the most recent date and all openly available online)

National Science Board (NSB 2011), Digital Research Data Sharing and Management.

Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI 2011). Designing the Microbial Research Commons.

Onsrud, H.J. (2010). “Legal Interoperability in Support of Spatially Enabling Society.” In Abbas Rajabifard, Abbas, Joep Crompvoets, Mohsen Kalantari, and Bas Kok, Spatially Enabling Society: Research, Emerging Trends and Critical Assessment, (GSDI Association and Leuven University Press) 163-172, Available at:

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP 2009). Ensuring the Integrity, Availability, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age.

Office of Science and Technology Policy (2009). Harnessing the Power of Digital Data for Science and Society.

OECD (2007). Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding.

NRC (2007). Environmental Data Management at NOAA: Archiving, Stewardship, and Access.

Uhlir, Paul, and Peter Schröder (2007). Open Data for Global Science.

Board on Earth Science and Resources (BESR 2006). Licensing Geographic Data and Services.

U.S. National Committee for CODATA (US CODATA 2006). Strategies for Open Access to and Preservation of Scientific Data in China.

Office of International Scientific and Technical Information Programs (ISTIP 2004). Open Access and the Public Domain in Digital Data and Information for Science.

ISTIP (2003). The Role of Scientific and Technical Data and Information in the Public Domain.

BESR (2003). Resolving Conflicts Arising from the Privatization of Environmental Data.

Board on Life Sciences (2003). Sharing Publication-related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences.

NSF (2003). NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery.

Reichman, Jerome H. and Paul F. Uhlir (2003), A Contractually Reconstructed Research Commons for Scientific Data in a Highly Protectionist Intellectual Property Environment.

U.S. CODATA (1999). A Question of Balance: Private Rights and the Public Interest in Scientific and Technical Databases.

U.S. CODATA (1997). Bits of Power: Issues in Global Access to Scientific Data.

CNSTAT (1986). Sharing Research Data.


Appendix B


Paul F. Uhlir


a. Professional Preparation

University of Oregon                          History                                    B.A., 1977

University of San Diego                     Law                                         J.D., 1983

University of San Diego                     International Relations            M.A., 1984

b. Appointments

2008-present: Director of the Board on Research Data and Information at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (the National Academies) in Washington, D.C.  Paul directs research policy studies and projects for the federal government. His area of emphasis is on issues at the interface of science, technology, and law, with primary focus on digital information policy and management, at both the national and international levels.

1999-2008: Director of International Scientific and Technical (S&T) Information Programs and the U.S. National Committee for CODATA.

1991-1998: Associate Executive Director of the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications at the National Academies. He also conducted special projects for the Commission, primarily in the area of S&T data management and policy.

1985-1991: Senior staff officer for the National Academies’ Space Studies Board, where he directed solar system exploration and Earth remote sensing studies for NASA.

1984-1985: Foreign affairs officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of Commerce, where he worked on remote sensing law and policy and on intergovernmental agreements for cooperation in meteorological satellite programs.

1978-1980: Paralegal at the law firm of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen in San Francisco, working in corporate and antitrust litigation. He worked concurrently as a translator (Czech to English) on a remote, part-time basis for Joint Publications Research Service in Arlington, VA.

c. Selected Publications

Paul is the co-author or editor of 25 books and more than 60 articles. Many of the National Academies studies and reports that he has directed and co-authored in the area of scientific information law and policy are listed in Appendix A, the References section.

Some recent independently published articles and monographs in this area are:

“Global Intellectual Property Strategies for the Microbial Research Commons: Governing Digitally Integrated Genetic Resources, Data and Literature”, with J.H. Reichman and T. Dedeurwaerdere, Cambridge University Press (publication pending).

“Legal Options for the Exchange of Data through the GEOSS Data-CORE” (2011, 2012), Legal Interoperability Subgroup (chair), Data Sharing Working Group, Group on Earth Observations.

“Open Data for Global Science” (2007), with Peter Schroder, Data Science Journal, CODATA.

“An International Framework to Promote Access to Data” (19 March 2004) with Peter Arzberger, et al., 303 Science 1777.

“A Contractually Reconstructed Research Commons for Scientific Data in a Highly Protectionist Intellectual Property Environment” (2003), with J.H. Reichman, 66 Law & Contemporary Problems: 315-462.

“Database Protection at the Crossroads: Recent Developments and their Impact on Science and Technology” (1999), with J.H. Reichman, 14 Berkeley Technology Law Review:793-838. 

d. Synergistic Activities

Paul has chaired or organized several international meetings focused on intellectual property law and common-use licensing of scientific data and information, including: the CODATA Global Information Commons for Science Initiative (2004 and 2005); a workshop with Creative Commons representatives in Paris (2006); one with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility in Copenhagen (2008); two seminars in Beijing and Taipei (2009); a planning meeting in Washington, DC of a Subgroup on Legal Interoperability of Data under the Data Sharing Working Group of the Group on Earth Observations (2012); and a session at the CODATA Conference in Taipei (2012).

He has been on the Advisory Board of three EC-funded projects in this area, including the MEPSIR project, the Communia Network, and the Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information project. He also has served as a private sector advisor the U.S, Department of State for the World Summit on the Information Society (2003 and 2005), and for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding, and the OECD Ministerial Recommendation on Access to Public Sector Information.


Finally, Paul has been invited to speak on this subject at numerous venues, worldwide over the past decade.


Appendix C



Enrique Alonso Garcia



a. Professional Preparation

Bentley University, Waltham MA, Environmental Management                   C.E.M, 1995

Complutense University of Madrid in Law                                                    J.D., 1976

University of Virginia Law School                                                                 L.L.M., 1980

Complutense University, Law                                                                        S.J.D., 1982


b. Appointments

2006-present: Counselor of State. Council of State of the Kingdom of Spain. Head of the Divisions of Environmental, Rural & Marine Affaires and of Science & Innovation. Besides the regulatory and counseling functions of the Council, Enrique directs research policy studies and projects for the Central Government and the Autonomous Regions as member of the Board of Studies of the Council of State. He remains as honorary professor, teaching occasionally and exceptionally conducting research at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, CA; the Marshal-Wythe School of Law of the College of William & Mary, VA, the Franklin Institute of North American Studies of the University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain and as former UNESCO Chair of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid Spain. His areas of emphasis is on issues at the interface of science, technology, and law, with primary focus on environmental, marine, biodiversity, public health and food safety policies as well as e-science infrastructures and IPRs and public access/resource policies, all of them at the national, EU and international levels.

2002-2006: UNESCO Chair at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, International Envtl. Law & Policy Professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, CA. Professor of US Environmental & Technological History at the Franklin Institute of North American Studies. Senior Of-Counsel Baker & McKenzie.

2000-2002: Senior partner at Schiller Rechtsanwälte, in charge of regulated industries, and in particular energy and telecommunications industries, as well as biotechnology related IPR issues and environmental law. Part-time Professor of Biodiversity Law at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Head negotiator for the EU during the Spanish presidency in 2002 at the Convention on Biological Diversity, WIPO and biotechnology related rights and Traditional Knowledge, Data Bases and IPRs, Ramsar Convention, Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit sharing (pre-Nagoya Protocol negotiations).

1997-2000. Director General of Nature Conservation, National Marine Sanctuaries, National Parks and National Forestry Policy of the Spanish Government. The bioinformatics-GIS platform for the European Union wide Natura 2000 ecological network and the data base on Nature, Biodiversity and Genetic Resources of Spain were set up during his mandate

1989-1997. Professor, Researcher and Officer at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA: School of Law, Graduate School of Design/John F. Kennedy School of Government, Center for International Affaires and David Rockefeller Center of Latin American Studies. Founder and first Director of the Royal Complutense College at Harvard University.

1988-89. Professor of International Law and of Trade Law, including international IPR law, at the Marshal-Wythe School of Law of the College of William & Mary.

1985-1988 Professor of Constitutional Law at Complutense University of Madrid. Founder and first Director of the Environmental Section of the Institute of Environmental Sciences of this University. Most of the interdisciplinary studies and research projects on environmental engineering and the law where done by the Institute in this period, including the establishment of data bases and studies on chemical substances and public health.

1976-1985. State Counsel for the Ministries of: Industry, Trade, Agriculture, Health, and Science & Education, Madrid. Part time: Member of the Committee of Experts of Administrative Law, Council of Europe, Strasburg, France.

c. Selected Publications

Enrique is the author of 7 books, including 10 editions of his “International Environmental Law: Handbook with Cases and Materials for American lawyers” (Friends of Thoreau-URJC Pub.), and co-author or editor of 15 books and more than 30 articles. Most of the studies and reports of the Council of State since 2006 have been directed by him such as those on e-science infrastructures, Global control of IUU fisheries, Marine biodiversity policy, Affirmative action strategies for the empowerment of rural women in the EU and Spain, or the Review of rules, protocols, data bases and other policies to enforce the implementation in Spain and Europe of EU animal welfare law and policy.

Some recent independently published articles and monographs more related to this area (in Spanish language) in this particular are: “Bio-trade and access to genetic resources: techniques to achieve sustainability”, in Revista General de Legislación y Jurisprudencia, 2004; “Food Safety and Animal Welfare: Interface between Science and Policy”, Chapter 21 of the Tratado de Derecho Alimentario, 2011(Ed. Aranzadi-Reuters-Thomson), co-authored with Miguel Angel Girela and Fátima Rodríguez; “Technologies and infrastructures for ocean management: observatories and data sharing”, in Ambienta, March 2009.


Concerning legal interoperability see Enrique Alonso García, “Analysis Report on the legal, financial, and governance aspects in relation to the interoperability of biodiversity e-science infrastructures and their operations”, 30/09/2012 (pending publication, available under request).

d. Synergistic Activities

Enrique has been in charge of legal interoperability issues in the establishment of e-science infrastructures under the EU Regulation nº 723/2009 on European Research Infrastructure Consortiums (ERIC).

He has been member of Working Package 4 in the FP7 project for the preparatory phase for the establishment of the e-Science and Technology European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research ‘LifeWatch ERIC’ drafting the “Legal Plan for the Establishment of the ERIC”, and leads WP4 on Governance, Legal Issues and IPRs of Coordination of Research e-Infrastructures Activities Toward an International Virtual

Environment for Biodiversity, CReATIVE-B, an EU project on the interoperability roadmap for the following data infrastructures besides LifeWatch: DataOne (USA), CRIA - Reference Centre on Environmental Information (Brazil), Chinese Academy of Sciences (China), ALA - Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), SANBI – South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (South Africa), GBIF – Global Biodiversity Information Facility (Intl.), and GEOSS/GEO BON – GEO Biodiversity Observation Network .

The “analysis-Report” cited in the previous item sets the theoretical framework for their legal interoperability.

On related areas he is also involved in biomedical research based in extensive data management (Instituto de la Salud Carlos III and Harvard School of Public Health Course July 2012), the use GIS technologies in multiple public policies –interacting with ESRI, interconnection of available ocean data with satellite imaging,  and the development of interoperability connections between acoustics data (in particular marine bioacoustics) and the rest of geophysical data from multiple sensors as well as genetic and taxonomic data from biosensors.


He has also been member of the organization committee of the Global Biodiversity Informatics Conference (GBIC), to discuss how informatics can best meet the challenges posed by biodiversity science and policy, Copenhagen, July 2012.

Enrique has been consulted by some member States of the EU on the implementation processes and of the Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) and its Regulations, and concerning Open Access and Open Data, on the implementation by member States of Directive 2003/98/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on the re-use of public sector information (‘PSI Directive’) adopted on 17 November 2003, in particular in its aspects related to availability of standard licenses, in digital format, and their use to restrict competition as well as their restrictions on re-use of public data, the review of the findings on the economic impact of public sector information conducted by the European Commission in 2011 (“the Vickery study”) and the future revision of this Directive under the so-called “Open Data Package” of the European Commission of December 2011. He has also been involved in the drafting of IPR provisions of statutes and regulations on Innovation & Science, in particular in those provisions regulating the participation of scientists in publicly funded research projects. He has also been consulted on the public procurement processes for data management services by Meteorological Agencies un charge of weather forecasting, and involved in processes toward the implementation of the EU Recommendation of 17.7.2012 on access to and preservation of scientific information stemming from its Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of the same date.

Finally, Enrique has been invited to speak on this subject at numerous venues, such as more recently, at the European Conference on Research Infrastructures ECRI 2010, Barcelona, March 23-24, 2010; CompSust'10: 2nd International Conference on Computational Sustainability, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; the 5th International Workshop on Detection, Classification, Localization, and Density Estimation of Marine Mammals using Passive Acoustics, Mount Hood, Oregon, 2011; the Barcelona 1st EUDAT Conference , 22-24 October 2012, in Barcelona, or the OpenAIRE conference (the Open Access Infrastructure Research for Europe), November  21-22 2012, University of Göttingen, Germany.


Appendix D




Robert S. Chen


Professional Preparation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Earth & Planetary Sciences                                 BA        1976

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Meteorology & Physical Oceanography               MS       1982

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technology & Policy                                          MS       1982
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Geography                                                        PhD      1987



2007-pres.   Director and Senior Research Scientist, CIESIN, Columbia University, Palisades NY; ex officio member, Earth Institute Faculty

2006-07       Interim Director and Senior Research Scientist, CIESIN, Columbia University, Palisades NY

1998-2006   Deputy Director and Senior Research Scientist, CIESIN, Columbia University, Palisades NY

1995-2013   Manager and Principal Investigator, NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center

1993-98       Associate Director, Interdisciplinary Data Resources Division; Director, Data Center Services Division, CIESIN, Saginaw MI

1993-94       Adjunct Associate Professor of World Hunger (Research), Brown University, Providence RI

1991-92       Assistant Professor of World Hunger (Research), Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Program, Brown University

1982           Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria

1979-81       Resident Fellow, Climate Board, U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, Washington DC

1977-78       Graduate Fellow, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO

1976-77       General Physical Scientist, Office of Environmental Quality, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Washington DC


Selected Publications

Janetos, A.C., R.S. Chen, D. Arndt, and M.A. Kenney et al. 2012. National Climate Assessment Indicators: Background, Development, & Examples. Washington DC: National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program.

Kenney, M.A., R.S. Chen, J. Maldonado, and D. Quattrochi. 2012. Climate Change Impacts and Responses, NCA Report Series Vol. 5c, Societal Indicators for the National Climate Assessment. Washington DC: National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program. Available online at:

S. Vinay, R. Chen, M. Becker, C. Huyck, Z. Hu, D. Cavalca, E. Goldoni, P. Gambaand K. Jaiswal. 2011. Design of the Global Exposure Database. Pavia, Italy: Global Earthquake Model.

Downs, R.R., and R.S. Chen. 2010. Designing submission and workflow services for preserving interdisciplinary scientific data. Earth Science Informatics 3(1):101-110.

Downs, R.R. and R.S. Chen. 2010. Self-assessment of a long-term archive for interdisciplinary scientific data as a trustworthy digital repository. J. of Digital Information 11(1). Available online at:

Uhlir, P.F., R.S. Chen, J.I. Gabrynowicz, and K. Janssen. 2009. Toward Implementation of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems Data Sharing Principles. Journal of Space Law 35(1):201–290, and CODATA Data Science Journal 8: GEO2-GEO91.

Iwata, S., and R.S. Chen. 2005. Science and the Digital Divide (editorial). Science 310 (5747, 21 October): 405.

Downs, R.R., and R.S. Chen. 2003. Cooperative design, development, and management of interdisciplinary data to support the global environmental change research community. Science & Technology Libraries 23(4): 5-20.


Synergistic Activities

1.   Leadership role in the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) of the International Council for Science (ICSU), the leading international body concerned with cross-disciplinary scientific data and information development, management, and stewardship ( Recently completed a second four-year term as Secretary General (2008-12). Served as a member of the ICSU ad hoc Strategic Coordinating Committee on Information and Data (2009-11). Collaborations with the ICSU World Data System Scientific Committee (WDS-SC), the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science (CFRS), and the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) program. Member of the US National Research Council’s Board on International Scientific Organizations (2012-14) and an ex officio member of the Board on Research Data and Information (2008-12), which are the U.S. adhering bodies for ICSU and CODATA, respectively. Also a member of the newly formed Science Advisory Board of Creative Commons (2012-15).

2.   Co-chair of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Data Sharing Working Group, and Task Coordinator for the GEO Data Sharing Task (ID-01-C1). Helped develop implementation guidelines and an Action Plan for data sharing under the planned Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS), accepted at the GEO-VI and GEO-VII plenaries and affirmed by the GEO Ministerial in November 2010. Also contributed to several GEO Architecture Implementation Pilots and other GEO work plan tasks related to data interoperability and integration.

3.   As manager of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), active in the continuing evolution of the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) and in various national and international data and information initiatives. Co-chair of the National Climate Assessment (NCA) Indicators Working Group, addressing the nation’s need for physical, ecological, and societal indicators of climate change to support research and decision making. Continued involvement as the co-manager of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Data Distribution Centre (DDC) and as an ex officio member of the IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA). Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Climate Change Science Institute of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2012-15).

4.   As director of CIESIN, oversight of CIESIN membership in the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association, the Open Geospatial Consortium, the Alliance for Earth Observations, and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance. Project manager for ongoing CIESIN subcontracts in support of Terra Populus, a NSF DataNet project led by the University of Minnesota, and a CyberLearning project led by the New York Hall of Science. Also currently PI or co-PI of several projects on earthquake risk assessment and environment and security.

5.   Member of several committees at Columbia University and the Earth Institute (EI), including the EI Faculty and its Practice subcommittee and the Faculty Steering Committee, Columbia Global Centers | East Asia (2012-14). Member of the Earth Institute Scientific Committee for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), recently established under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General. Collaborating with the Columbia Libraries on long-term digital data archive development and active in exchanges of students and visitors with Ecole Polytechnique and 2 other French universities.