Terms of Service Helmholtz RSD, version 1.0, 14.02.2023

These terms of service (“Terms of Service”) apply to the Research Software Directory (the "RSD"), as provided under the URL https://helmholtz.software.

The RSD is hosted and maintained by Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, a Public Law Foundation under the laws of the Federal State of Brandenburg/Germany, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany, https://www.gfz-potsdam.de, “GFZ", "us", "we".

The RSD-software has been developed by Stichting Netherlands eScience Center, GFZ and Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig. The development has been funded by the Helmholtz Association under the umbrella of the Helmholtz Incubator Platform Helmholtz Federated IT Services “HIFIS” (https://hifis.net). HIFIS aims to provide a unified IT infrastructure for centres and institutes of the Helmholtz Association, and to provide services to researchers and research software engineers to facilitate best practices in research software engineering.

Art. 1 What is the RSD?

The RSD is a database service and online content management system for Research Software provided at https://helmholtz.software (“Services”). These Services increase the visibility, findability and citability of Research Software that is being developed within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (“Research Software”). As the RSD is published under the URL https://helmholtz-software, it is worldwide accessible for everyone.

Art. 2 Usage as a Visitor and as a Registered User

The Services encompass the provision of data and information on Research Software (“Content”). The RSD can be used by individuals without registration who visit the website ("Visitors") and by registered users ("Registered User") that can contribute content to the RSD.

2.1 Visitors

To view and search Content, individuals can visit and use the database via the website without a registration or account as Visitors. The Terms of Services apply with the exception of Art. 4. By using the offered Services, Visitors agree to these Terms of Service with exception of Art. 4.

2.2 Registered Users

To be able to contribute Content to the RSD database, You have to register an Account as associate of a Helmholtz Organization or of a Participating Organisation. To create an Account, please follow the instructions under the URL https://helmholtz.software. For Registered Users, additionally Art. 4 applies.

Art. 3 Covered Use of the RSD database as a Visitor

3.1 General Conditions

a) As a Visitor, Content may only be read by You. The Content may only be used for informational, educational, scientific and research purposes by You. A commercial use of the Services or its Content is explicitly forbidden and would request a separate agreement with GFZ or – if applicable – with the provider of the Content.

b) It is not possible to download Research Software via the Services. The Content might provide information where to find and to download the Research Software on third party websites. For download or usage of Research Software only the third party conditions apply; this is not covered by these Terms of Service.

3.2 Copyright Attribution

You have to give copyright attribution accordingly when using the Services and publishing the Contents in public or even for further internal use. The copyright information is referenced in the metadata of the Services itself (for example the fields “accessConstraints”, “useConstraints” or “useLimitation”) or the corresponding metadata documents. You are not allowed to remove any copyright marks.

3.3 Citation

If You use the Services and/or data sets in a presentation or publication, for instance by linking in your website, then You have to acknowledge the Services as the source of the material. The Services or data sources can be cited as defined by the copyright attributions of the metadata of the Service or underlying datasets. To cite our Service, please reference us as “Helmholtz Research Software Directory, https://helmholtz.software, ”. You may not use the Services in a way that suggests any official status or that GFZ endorses any particular application of the Services by You. You may not mislead others or misrepresent the Services and its sources.

3.4 Interface for Websites and Applications

a) Accessing the RSD API

The Helmholtz RSD offers an API that can be used to automatically access data, e.g. for harvesting purposes. Access to the RSD API is possible without authentication under https://helmholtz.software/api/v1. The API is documented on https://helmholtz.software/swagger. The data that is provided by our API is identical to the data that is displayed on our publicly available web page.

By accessing our API, you agree and adhere to the following conditions:

  • if possible, limit your requests to a single thread
  • perform requests from one machine only, distributed scripts (e.g. for a cluster or cloud service) are not permitted
  • results must be cached on your side
  • we reserve the right to block clients that will repeatedly send the same requests

b) You can access the data or integrate the data via the interfaces provided by the Service. You use the Services at your own risk and under your own responsibility.

c) When calling the Services from a web application or by programmatic script (like Shell, Python or R) please be sure to provide a valid HTTP referrer and/or user agent identifying the application or client. The HTTP requests should contain at least one of the headers “Referer” or “User-Agent” as it is shown in the following examples:

  • in case of a request from a web application: Referer: example.org
  • in case of a script (for example a request from cURL): User-Agent: curl/7.37.0

3.5 Unacceptable Use

The following uses of the Services are strictly forbidden and can lead to IP blocking when doing so:

  • heavy use of the Services from an application or individual person; examples for heavy use are: using our Services as a fallback for your own services, more than 500 requests within one minute, more than 5000 requests within one hour
  • seeding or crawling the Services
  • sending the same request multiple times in a short amount of time
  • monitoring the Services in a periodically manner
  • repeatedly sending the same requests to our API (see Art. 3.4)
  • attempting to circumvent administrative authorisations and security mechanisms

Art. 4 How to contribute Content as Registered User

4.1 Research Centres of the Helmholtz Association ("Helmholtz Organization") can use the RSD to make their Research Software findable and accessible, and present it in its academic context. To contribute to the RSD, employees of a Helmholtz Organization or individuals who have an email-address of a Helmholtz-Organisation can create an RSD account as Registered User. To create an Account, these individuals have to register by logging in to the RSD via the Helmholtz AAI identity provider with their official Helmholtz Organization account.

4.2 Through this Account, a Registered User can contribute information about Research Software and Projects to the RSD . A Registered User can only contribute to Research Software and Projects for which the Registered User is registered as a maintainer ("Maintainer"). A Registered User becomes a Maintainer automatically when the Registered User adds new Research Software or Projects to the RSD, or by invitation of a Maintainer of existing Research Software and Projects.

4.3 The Registered User’s entries of Content shall cover relevant information about the Research Software (e.g. description, version, link to repository, other URLs of websites related to the Research Software and where to find further information on licenses, if applicable name and acronym of funding project), its developers and project team members involved (each a "Contributor") as well as metadata and hyperlinks to related publications, e.g. as blogs, in books, papers, journals, video’s, etc. (each a "Mention"). The Registered User can acknowledge organizations that contributed to the Research Software or Project by adding them as a “Participating Organisation”. A Participating Organisation can be any international organisation or company. The Registered User shall not include research software code itself or links that will immediately trigger downloads, e.g. of source code or compiled binaries. The entries of Content shall follow the Helmholtz Open Science Policy regarding Open Research Software as far as applicable.

4.4 As Registered User, You grant us an irrevocable, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide and perpetual right to use the Content in and in the context of the RSD. You and your Organization indemnify and hold us harmless from any costs, damages and other losses we suffer as a result of third-party claims stating that the Content infringes such third-party rights or is otherwise unlawful.

4.5 Employees of Research institutes or universities that are not a member of the Helmholtz Association (“Other Organizations”), can register an Account by logging in via ORCID, but only if the Other Organization is referenced as Participating Organisation (see Art. 4.3) in an already existing software project entry of a Helmholtz-Organization. With this Account, the Other Organizations can include and administer information regarding their organization and administer their affiliations within RSD to already included software projects. For Other Organizations there is no functionality in their Accounts to provide information on Research Software or Projects in the RSD on their own. We reserve the right to demand a proof from the registering employee for the right to manage the representation of the Other Organization in the RSD (i.e. by power of attorney of the organization).

Art. 5 General Conditions to Contribute Content to the RSD

When you use the RSD as a Registered User, you agree to and, where applicable, declare the following:

  • You are authorized by your Organization to have and use an Account and to use the RSD. "Use" of the RSD for the purpose of these Terms of Service also includes accessing it and contributing Content to it;
  • You shall use the RSD only for your own and/or your Organization’s purposes and only in alignment of the purposes of the RSD;
  • You shall provide at your own expense all hardware, internet service and other devices and times necessary for the use of the RSD;
  • You shall use the RSD in accordance with applicable laws and regulations;
  • You shall not knowingly place incorrect or otherwise misleading or unlawful Content in the RSD;
  • You shall only include links to URLs and third party content that you are legally allowed to do so; in case you receive the information that the third party URL or Content is not lawfully or not with legal allowance included in your account, you shall delete it with immediate effect;
  • When you add your details in your profile under your Account, you shall add your real details and keep them up to date (you can update your information at any time through your Account);
  • You shall keep your log-in details secure and will not share them with any other person, whether inside or outside your Organization;
  • You are responsible for all activity occurring under your Account. If you believe your Account has been, or can be, accessed by an unauthorized person, you should immediately change your password and should notify us immediately by email at support@hifis.net;
  • You shall make sure the device on which you use your Account, and the internet connection used, are properly secured, so that unauthorized others cannot access your Account;
  • Neither you, nor your Organization are restricted from using the RSD, for example due to export controls in any jurisdiction and/or because you and/or your Organization are listed on a restricted parties list in any jurisdiction and/or if we have previously blocked your Account;
  • Neither you, nor anyone on your behalf shall use the RSD in a manner that would require us and/or you to obtain an export control license in any country. Such use includes without limitation training or use for weapons, whether biological, chemical, nuclear or otherwise and for any other military or nuclear devices;
  • You may delete your Account at any time, in which case the data (reference to your Institute’s Account via Helmholtz AAI or reference to ORCID Account, Name, e-Mail address, home organisation, your acceptance to Terms of Service, acknowledgement to our data protection declaration) in your Account will also be deleted. Content, i.e. organization description, software links etc., that you have added to the RSD will not be deleted.

Art. 6 When can we block your account?

6.1 We reserve the right to temporarily block or permanently remove your Account if:

  • We find that you are in violation of one or more provisions of these Terms of Service;
  • We are asked to do so by competent authorities, including competent courts;
  • We have received a request as indicated above in Section 6 and we find the Content is unequivocally unlawful;
  • You have passed away;
  • You are a Maintainer of an organization and no longer work for that Organization.

We may, but do not have to, warn you before we block your account.

6.2 We will block a User’s account who has passed away upon the request of the User’s family or heirs or the User’s Organization. We reserve the right to ask proof of the User’s demise.

6.3 After your Account has been blocked (and deleted), you can no longer use the RSD or your Account. If your Account has been blocked or deleted, you are not allowed to access the RSD via other Helmholtz Institutes either. If you do so, we reserve the right to immediately block or delete the new Account without further notice.

6.4 We reserve the right to stop offering the RSD and to stop updating the RSD for our own reasons without being liable for any costs, damages or other losses. If we then close all Accounts, this means you can no longer use your Account.

6.5 If you think your account has been wrongfully blocked or deleted, you may contact us (see Art. 15). We will take up your request and will decide whether your account can be reactivated. Sending this request does not guarantee that we will reactivate your account.

Art. 7 Personal data, Privacy Statement

7.1 In order for us to offer you the RSD and make your Account available to you, we must process your personal data. Please find more information about the processing of your personal data in our Privacy Statement.

7.2 We are the controller of the personal data of Contributors and Users processed in the RSD, as meant in the European General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR").

7.3 You will view and use the personal data of Contributors for your own or your Organization’s purposes through your Account – in the context of contributing to Research Software entries. You or your Organization are responsible as a controller for the processing of such data and you and your Organization warrant that you will comply with applicable laws, such as the GDPR, with respect to such data processing. This means, amongst others, that if you cause a data breach, for example because your log-in details are used by an unauthorized person to access your Account, you are responsible for notifying this to the competent authorities and the relevant Contributors and Users involved, if so required by law. It also means that you and/or your Organization are responsible for informing Contributors and (where applicable) the Users about the data processing and its purposes, and that you and your Organization may only process the personal data for the purposes as made known in the Privacy Statement of the RSD and/or for purposes that are compatible with those purposes, or with the relevant data subject’s valid consent.

7.4 If you add information with respect to a Contributor you must inform the Contributor that you have done so. If the information of the Contributor turns out the be incorrect or incomplete (e.g. you have added the wrong Contributor to a certain Research Software entry), you shall correct the information yourself as soon as you find the error, or at our, or the Contributor’s request. You may ask us, respectively the Contributor to evidence why the information is incorrect. You and your Organization shall also handle other requests from Contributors or from the relevant Users, with respect to their personal data for which you or your Organization are the controller.

7.5 If you and/or your Organization has violated the GDPR, other applicable data protection and/or privacy legislation and/or this Section 4, you and your Organization indemnify and hold us harmless from the costs, damages and other losses we suffer as a result of such violation.

Art. 8 Intellectual property rights to RSD

8.1 All intellectual property rights, including ‘sui generis’ database rights and the like related to the RSD ("our intellectual property rights") remain ours or our licensors’. For the avoidance of doubt: the foregoing does not include third-party content included in the RSD or linked to via the RSD.

8.2 You are granted a revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, limited right to use the RSD for the purposes set out in these Terms of Service, we reserve all other rights.

8.3 You are not allowed to grant or transfer the right granted to you to any others, or make copies – or parts of it – of the RSD, or to sell, exploit, transfer, lease, distribute, rent it or otherwise dispose of the RSD, or grant other any other any rights thereto without our prior consent. You may not make changes to the RSD, except of course when you are adding Content during your use of the RSD.

Art. 9 Notice and take down

9.1 We do not moderate contributions that Registered Users make to the RSD. However, pursuant to applicable laws, we may be obliged to remove evidently unlawful Content. We also may remove Content that does not comply with the purposes of the RSD database or these Terms of Service.

9.2 If someone finds any Content to be unlawful, e.g. because it does not comply with applicable laws, with these Terms of Service or because it infringes their rights, they may contact us (see Art. 15) and request us to remove such Content. In the request, the requestor must identify themselves, indicate what Content they wish to be removed, explain why it is unlawful and provide the information required to support this and give us a reasonable term to remove the Content.

9.3 If we determine the Content is unequivocally unlawful, we shall remove it. If we determine the Content is not unequivocally unlawful, we shall inform the requestor thereof and indicate why.

Art. 10 Warranty

10.1 We provide the RSD with the functionalities and other specifications “as is”. To the extent permitted under applicable law, we do not give any warranty or representation of any kind with regard to the RSD, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, full functionality, that it is free from errors or that it operates 24/7, the implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose, results or performance of a service, accuracy, completeness, quality, topicality, the absence of any infringement of any proprietary rights of third parties or that the servers that make the RSD available are free of viruses or other harmful components.

10.2 We also don’t warrant that the Services will function without errors or interruptions. We reserve the right at any time to change or discontinue any aspect or feature of the offered Services, including, without limitation, the content, hours of availability, and equipment needed for accessing or using the services, as well as to terminate the Services themselves.

10.3 We explicitly don’t give any warranty regarding third party Content contributed to the RSD or linked to via RSD and provided on third party websites. The contributors remain solely liable under applicable law for the Content they have contributed to the RSD and for the Content of any URL they link to within the RSD. The usage of the software as indicated in the RSD remains under the conditions that are provided in the software itself or on the respective third party website.

Art. 11 Liability

11.1 To the extent permitted under applicable law, we, as well as the parties and persons we work with in relation to the RSD, limit our liability as set out below.

11.2 We shall only be liable for wilful misconduct and gross negligence. For slight negligence, we shall only be liable in the event of breach of a material contractual obligation (cardinal obligation), the fulfilment of which is essential for the proper performance of the contract and on the enhancement of which You may regularly rely, as well as in the event of damage resulting from injury to life, limb or health or statutory liability.

11.3 In no event shall we be liable to You for any incidental, consequential or indirect damages (including, but not limited to, damages for loss of data, loss of business revenue, loss of business information, reputational damage, cost of procurement of substitute services or service interruptions, damage caused by or to other Users and/or to Contributors) arising out of the use or inability to use the Services.

11.4 We are not liable for damage as a result of force majeure events. This includes amongst others errors in telecommunications infrastructure or the internet, problems with operating system manufacturer of your device, problems with our suppliers, service providers or other hired third parties, government measures, agents or suppliers which we depend on to make the RSD available.

11.5 The contributors remain solely liable under applicable law for the Content they have contributed to the RSD and for the Content of any URL they link to within the RSD. Therefore You shall in all cases be entirely and solely liable for the use to which You put such information and material. The usage of the software as indicated in the RSD remains under the conditions that are provided in the software itself or on the respective third party website.

11.6 To the extent permitted by applicable laws, you are responsible for any claims from others that we receive, and which are the result of you not complying with these Terms of Service, or any other of your acts or omissions.

11.7 In any event we can only be liable for damage after we have been served a written notice of default, setting out the default in detail and allowing us a reasonable remedy term of at least four weeks to remedy the default, and if we have then not remedied the default within such term.

Art. 12 Applicable Law, Jurisdiction

12.1 The legal relationship with you, including these Terms of Service and any ensuing conflicts are governed by the laws of Germany, under exception of the regulations of the Convention of International Sales of Goods.

12.2 To the extent permitted by law, the courts of Potsdam, Germany, shall have jurisdiction with regard to any conflicts between Users and us.

Art. 13 Severability Clause, No Waiver of Rights

13.1 In case a provision of these Terms of Service is invalid in any way, this does not influence the other provisions of the Terms of Service. The invalid provision will be deemed replaced by a provision that is valid, in view of its original intent and purpose. We will update our Terms of Service as soon as possible.

13.2 If we do not enforce a certain provision of these Terms of Service, this does not mean we waive our rights to enforce such, or any other provision.

Art. 14 Changes to these Terms of Service

We may have to change these Terms of Service from time to time without notice in advance. If we do so, and you are a Registered User, we will introduce the changed terms by making them available to you at log-in for your approval. If you do not agree with the changed terms, you can delete your Account.

Art. 15 How can you contact us?

If you have any questions or complaints, or another reason to contact us, you may contact us either via GitHub or by sending us an e-mail to support@hifis.net. Please be aware that if you want to contact us via GitHub, the terms and privacy policies of GitHub, Inc. apply.