Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 
the Council for National Open Science Coordination (CoNOSC)

Identifying the main purpose of CoNOSC

The Council for National Open Science Coordination (CoNOSC) is dedicated to helping countries to create, update and coordinate their national Open Science policies and activities. The members of the Council will share their different practices in national Open Science coordination and provide and share information on national Open Science policies. 

In the increasingly international scientific community, states continue to set regulatory frameworks for research organisations and projects. States also provide a significant proportion of overall research funding. Progress of Open Science will benefit from clear national vision and action. 

CoNOSC brings together individuals and organisations coordinating Open Science at national level in Europe. It reflects diverse Open Science national coordination processes. 

CoNOSC will facilitate discussion on practical state level implementation of the European Open Science vision. 

CoNOSC membership

CoNOSC membership is in the first stage open to all countries within the UN-European Region. While Open Science coordination structures vary in each country, council members should be the key individuals leading and making national decisions in Open Science in their respective countries. Therefore, CoNOSC members are not restricted to members of the national government, but could come from the research community, non-profit organisations, or even the private sector. Above all, representatives should reflect how OS policy is led and organised in the particular country.

Each joining country provides a clear statement of support for a participating individual or organisation. Each country can nominate up to 3 members to the council. Each country is to agree on the council members internally. 

Observer membership may be suitable for countries where national coordination is being developed. Observer membership is also available to research networks working to establish the European open science vision. The CoNOSC board will consider applications for observer members on a case by case basis. 

Members will be required to review their membership at the beginning of each year or when change arises. In case of change in representation for a country or networks, the notification must be sent to the CoNOSC board as soon as possible. 

CoNOSC activities

CoNOSC activities are designed to meet member needs and interests. CoNOSC provides its members with an opportunity to initiate themes and activities regularly. In order to create meaningful activities, CoNOSC expects its members to participate actively in different activities, e.g. sharing information on internal processes, lessons learnt and challenges faced. 

CoNOSC is designed to provide opportunities for countries to support each other in national open science activities. Through collaboration CoNOSC will create solidarity in the effort to advance open science. 

CoNOSC convenes 2-4 times a year. Most meetings will be held remotely, but one face-to-face meeting a year is preferable. Meetings will include country presentations as well as deeper discussions on member selected themes. Attending meetings is strongly recommended. 

CoNOSC operation will be based on in-kind contributions from members. Members are responsible for their own expenses. 

CoNOSC has a website www.conosc.org and an email discussion list. Members are asked to join this list as this will be the central means of communication for CoNOSC. CoNOSC may also utilise other communication networks and will invite all members to join them. 

CoNOSC members will share updates on their national Open Science plans via the CoNOSC website. Members are expected to notify CoNOSC when their plans are created or updated and will provide the CoNOSC office with succinct information for this purpose. They are also asked to provide information on their names, positions and affiliations for the CoNOSC website. 

CoNOSC Governance

CoNOSC will be led by a board with 4 members. Board members will be chosen by the council members for a two-year term and terms will ordinarily end at the end of a calendar year. The board seeks to have gender equity and geographical diversity. One to two board members will be chosen each year to facilitate continuity. Board membership is limited to two consecutive terms. New board members will start typically at the beginning of the calendar year. The board will select one board member as CoNOSC chair. Other board members will be co-chairs.

All CoNOSC members can nominate themselves or others for the Board. The Board will call for nominations and allow for a minimum 3 weeks for nominations to be made. If there are more nominations than board positions, the selection will be completed by  voting.

When it is necessary to make decisions by voting, there will be one vote per CoNOSC member country. Observers and facilitators are not eligible to vote. 

The CoNOSC board is ultimately responsible for canvassing member needs, designing CoNOSC activities to meet these needs, and to communicate with members via the website and email-list. The CoNOSC Office is responsible for implementing CoNOSC member needs together with the Board. CoNOSC office is provided by SPARC Europe with the support of the French government. 

This MoU will be reviewed regularly. The board is responsible for setting up the review process.