• Vivian Ota Wang


1 - Review definition, names for researcher, sponsored
      (See notes from last call:

Use case link:

Researcher: "Research and education workers at laboratories and institutes; e.g. professors, researchers, lecturers, assistants, whether or not they actually have a contract of employment with the organisation.”

  • Researchers are not just at labs and institutes

  • Driving the definition from the activities probably will not result in what people really want. At many institutions, even undergraduates are doing research. Does that make them researchers?

  • Affiliation should not be used for authorization; they are input for making larger or more refined authorization determination, but they shouldn’t be used for authorization in and of themselves. 

  • Is it even possible to make a definition that would be global? What if we added the word “professional”? Christos to reach out to research communities he has contact with to see how they define this. We do have some further clarification in the use case document that describes GA4GH’s situation, but does everyone define “professional” the same way? Renater’s definition is broader: "Person carrying out a research activity in the establishment. The value “member” is set for this status."

  • It would be helpful to have some test by which we could judge if someone is a researcher. 

  • How would an organization decide which affiliation is primary? Can we even define that given how contextual this decision would be.

  • Even if we come up with a globally acceptable definition, getting campuses to apply it is going to be challenging. We need to leave this to be flexible to each organization. But if we do that, then it may be impossible for the SP to work with the value. 

  • The controlled vocabulary that currently exists for eduPersonAffiliation is actually something of a mirage; the definitions are not actually globally supported and agreed upon. Locally there is often quite a bit of further clarification required as they define things like “student” differently. 

  • Consider whether we need a better mechanism that allows organizations to register values to eduPersonAffiliation, making this a more flexible attribute. Alternatively, use entitlement.

    • If the goal is to get to a place where there is some agreed approach to represent researcher, one of the advantage of entitlement is that they’re easier to change the decision and value later. 

  • Other local expansions of the affiliation values: 

    • Suggest an entitlement value space, and to reconsider how we add third-party validation checks to determine if someone should be considered a researcher (e.g, IEEE member where a call is made to IEEE to verify membership)

Next steps

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