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At the request of the Research Councils UK e-Infrastructure group, Janet established a working group from 2013-2016 to support those providing and using e-infrastructure services in achieving an approach that both protects services from threats and is usable by practitioners. More detail about the group can be found in the Terms of Reference The Working Group published the following papers: E-infrastructures: Access and Security (summary paper) (Jan 16) Federated Authentication for e-Infrastructures (Sep 14) Technical Security for e-Infrastructures (Nov 14) Authorisation/Group Management for e-Infrastructures (May 15) Policies for e-Infrastructures (Jan 16) Accounting and e-Infrastructures (Nov 16) Information about the Working Group's activities, as well as discussion documents, links and recommendations is linked under the following categories. Unless marked otherwise, all items are works-in-progress and we very much welcome your comments and contributions. Meetings   Presentations Case Studies Discussions Technologies References     Andrew Cormack (WG Chair)

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Accounting and e-Infrastructures

20 December 2016 at 3:05pm

While some e-infrastructures included accounting in their design and operations from the start, others are now
being asked or required to add accounting support to their existing systems. Typically accounting forms part of a
relationship between the infrastructure and some other organisation – perhaps a funder, host or customer –
rather than the infrastructure's relationship with its individual users. These organisations may be interested in
usage statistics across particular categories: for example by subject, by time, by project or by origin. It might be
assumed that infrastructures already have enough data to generate these statistics retrospectively, as a result of
their authentication, authorisation and security activities. However a closer examination indicates that these
may not, in fact, be sufficient and that specific data, processes and agreements may be needed to support
reliable accounting.

This paper uses accounting infrastructures' experience to examine some of the situations where accounting may
be required and the extent to which existing data may, or may not, support it. It then identifies some of the new
issues that accounting requirements are likely to raise, and suggests questions for infrastructures that do not
currently provide accounting to consider either when, or before, they are asked about it.