This charter was approved by the Member Council in Dresden on 16 December 2006. Any further amendments are bound to consensus of the spa-ce.net members.
Spa-ce.net is a self-interest network integrating Central, Eastern and South Eastern European institutes and organisations active in the field of spatial research and planning. Each member institute is represented by its director and/or delegated persons. The network is continuously growing and is open to adopt new members.
Our vision is to be a network with trans-national, trans-regional and cross-border dimensions. This is achieved through partnerships between spatial research and planning institutes in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The network serves to share common visions, develop trust and an interest in cooperation, to motivate and mobilise major actors and to encourage research. It also provides a forum for the meeting of minds and the exchange of information, experience and research results.
Our mission is to ensure sustainable development on the European continent by providing spatial research results to policy-makers, scientists and the interested public. It can contribute significantly to improving the quality of life, to enhancing the protection and management of Europe's cultural and natural heritage as well as creating new jobs and spurring economic growth. Transnational cooperation is an indispensable precondition for mobilising Europe's potential for research and practical application in the field of sustainable spatial development.
The Network of Spatial Research Institutes in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe pursues the following goals:
The member institutes of spa-ce.net constitute the Member Council. This body meets at least annually, usually in the framework of workshops or conferences. Member institutes are represented in the Member Council by their directors, or by delegates nominated by the directors.
The Member Council designates a board of three spokespersons from different countries for a period of two years. They are in charge of the external representation of the network and stay in close contact with each other to coordinate activities. The spokespersons inform the network secretariat about all relevant developments concerning spa-ce.net.
The Member Council designates one institute to function as network secretariat for a period of two years. The secretariat is run by a network coordinator responsible for the day-to-day management of the network. In particular the coordinator has to ensure good communication between the network members and organise annual workshops or conferences. Also the coordinator has the task of establishing and updating the network's internet site. The secretariat supports the work of the board of spokespersons, the thematic working groups and the various projects. The secretariat may be run jointly by two institutes from different countries.
The member institutes provide the secretariat with information about their research activities and their professional and political environment. Likewise the secretariat informs the member institutes regularly about the activities of spa-ce.net.
The network operates through events (workshops, conferences etc.), thematic working groups and projects. The thematic working groups are open to representatives from all member institutes. They are co-ordinated by one or two member institutes and define their own agenda. The working groups are given organisational support from the secretariat and may use the network's internet site for communication purposes. The working groups and projects shall contribute to network conferences/workshops and inform the network secretariat of their work.
Institutes who wish to become members of spa-ce.net and to follow the goals and principles laid down in the spa-ce.net charter are required to submit an informal application and a questionnaire with overall information to the secretariat. The Member Council decides on the admission of new members by simple majority vote at its annual meetings.
All members are expected to participate actively in joint spa-ce.net research projects, to share mutual knowledge and to disseminate the mission and vision of the network. They are expected to take an active part in regular spa-ce.net meetings and to collaborate in achieving the scientific goals of the network.
Each member is authorised to access the mutually generated knowledge of the spa-ce.net network, to participate in joint research projects and to communicate its membership toward external partners. If a member fails to follow the rules laid down in this charter, the Member Council decides on measures to be taken. In case of any unclear or unforeseen decisions, the Member Council is authorised to undertake the necessary steps.
The processes of know-how creation and dissemination involve a number of potential ethical obstacles. Therefore it is necessary to anticipate any situations that might lead to an infringement of the rights of participating parties. This ethical code has been fostered and inspired by lengthy discussions among spa-ce.net members and co-operators. It is subject to continual evaluation and revision.
All spa-ce.net members attempt to maintain the principles of professional integrity and respect for facts. They support well-established standards for procedures and methods, while remaining open to new developments or methods. When expressing scientific conclusions or judgements they are obliged to adopt the latest scientific procedures/methods and utilise clear and proper forms.
Spa-ce.net members should state the precise goal of their research, as well as the conditions necessary for realisation and target group relevant to this research. They must ensure that research results shall not be misused for the individual interests of any associated group or persons (thereby losing general scientific value and validity). In cases when data must be kept secret, spa-ce.net co-operators should endeavour to respect the public interest as far as possible.
If internal or external co-operative measures are established, then partners shall explicitly allocate tasks and duties as well as making prior agreements on copyrights, on all guidelines concerning data-handling and on conditions for publication. In the framework of spa-ce.net no scientific or research contract shall be accepted that may contradict the principles set out in this Ethical code.
All results of research should be presented or published as accurately and clearly as possible to avoid the possibility of any misinterpretation. All theories, methods or research procedures shall be described in full.
The spa-ce.net members are obliged to ensure public access to the results of their scientific and research activities. At the same time care should be taken to prevent the infringement of intellectual property rights or access to personal data. The members of the spa-ce.net are obliged to declare all persons or data which have assisted in research. The ranking of submitted sources should reflect the contribution of particular authors and resources to successful research work. All data or material from external sources shall be clearly specified. If ideas developed by other authors are used by the spa-ce.net co-operators then the original source must be indicated.
All publications edited or co-edited by spa-ce.net co-operators should allow for the inclusion of critical arguments and always maintain a plurality of opinion, in concordance with general standards of scientific discourse. Publishers or reviewers of journals or other publications in the framework of spa-ce.net must objectively assess each particular contribution with no personal or ideological prejudice. They must provide prompt and comprehensive feedback concerning decisions on each particular contribution.
An agreement to publish an article or a publication is binding for spa-ce.net co-operators. Following approval of an article the author shall be informed as soon as possible on details concerning the time and place of publication.
If spa-ce.net members are required to provide expert evaluations of projects, publications, manuscripts, research results etc., such evaluations must be free of any conflict of interest. All projects, publications, manuscripts, proposals and requests shall be thoroughly assessed in confidence within an appropriate period of time. All assessments and references closely connected to decisions on personnel shall be treated by all responsible evaluators as confidential. Evaluators must display a high degree of integrity, confidentiality, impartiality and fairness. These criteria also govern the election of committee members.
Spa-ce.net members should also follow the rules of fairness, integrity and scientific impartiality when delivering reviews, assessments or any other expert commentary. Evaluations of documents to which the evaluator contributed either directly or indirectly should be refused. Spa-ce.net members shall not assess a project realisation or other planning decision in which they have a financial interest, either directly or indirectly.
The spa-ce.net members participate in the dissemination of knowledge. They follow the principal goal of this process, namely the democratic and open transmission of knowledge and skills.
Spa-ce.net members maintain the highest standards when providing references and expert opinion and must act fairly and impartially to all participants in the network. No participant should suffer discrimination because of age, sex, physical disability, social or regional background, ethnicity, nationality or political views.
Spa-ce.net members shall not misuse the results of other authors for their own pedagogical or specialist activities. Spa-ce.net members shall not misuse data acquired from researchers, professionals, students, colleagues or other external partners during the research or other specialist work.