Governance (was Use of Sponsorship Money)

Hi all,
Rintze and I have put together a draft governance document

This is set so that everyone can comment. Leave comments either in the doc
or reply to this e-mail. If you’d like to help edit the document, be in
touch individually and I’ll get you edit access, we just didn’t want too
many people editing at once to avoid chaos.

The guiding principles in drafting this were

  1. Don’t have it sound like legalese
  2. Don’t impose any burdensome requirements on time or other resources.
  3. Codify the consensus model roughly as we’ve been using it so far.

Looking forward to your comments,
I think generally it’d work best to put minor suggestions in the google doc
and bring more general issues up here.
If you’re happy with this as is, a brief indication of that would be
useful, too, especially if you’re commenting here with some regularity
otherwise.

Thanks,
Sebastian and Rintze

Looks fine to me overall. One very tiny nit: in the last two
bullet-points, you might adjust the phrasing of “If we suspect…” and
"Styles we deem…" – no problem with the policies themselves, but
perhaps both can be stated without invoking state-of-mind language.
Something like:

  • Styles for organizations that harm the scientific community, such as
    predatory publishers. If a style is refused on these grounds, it will
    be open to the submitter to convince the Board of the organization’s
    legitimacy; but the board’s decision following discussion will be
    final.

  • Styles of insufficient quality. Maintainers will work with
    contributors to improve inadequate styles to the extent of time
    available, but given the important role of the repository styles in
    the work of publishers and researchers, submissions must be of quality
    sufficient to satisfy the maintainers before acceptance for inclusion.

(the above also removes “and/or maintainers” from the first of the
points. If the Board has the ultimate authority to decide, that is
enough to say)

FB

Grammar or clarity:

Styles for organizations that unequivocally harm the scientific community, such as those for predatory publishers

David

A few comments from my end:

  • Cameron Neylon and Geoff Bilder have done a lot of work on „principles for open scholarly infrastructure“: http://cameronneylon.net/blog/principles-for-open-scholarly-infrastructures/ http://cameronneylon.net/blog/principles-for-open-scholarly-infrastructures/. This probably goes into too much detail, but something that might be relevant is a „living will“, i.e. what happens if the project winds down, e.g. because a critical number of core contributors moves on to something else. For example that the project will be handed over to a named non-profit organization if that scenario happens.

  • when ORCID started, the organization set up 10 principles (https://orcid.org/about/what-is-orcid/our-principles https://orcid.org/about/what-is-orcid/our-principles). They have been very helpful, and something like this could also be considered for the CSL project, e.g. at the beginning of the document.

  • "We will always make the specification and citation styles freely available“. I suggest to me more specific and mention specific licenses, e.g. CC-BY-SA for content, and either "an OSI-approved open source license“ or a specific license such as MIT for code.

  • two people feels like a small number for a board.

  • „predatory publisher“ is a term I would avoid, as it sometimes difficult to define and possibly very political.

Best,

Martin> Am 19.04.2015 um 07:15 schrieb David Lawrence <@David_Lawrence>:

I suggest to move the section about Inclusion of Styles out from the
Governance/Mission document. Didn’t you want to write such a text in
CONTRIBUTING.md? I think these actions to not include some submissions in
the repo should follow from the mission statement. E.g. because CSL wants
to “improve the quality of scholarly literature” it can follow that styles
for predatory publishers are not accepted.

In general I suggest to make the Governance/Mission document quite short
and written in general style. All the details should be written somewhere
else, where it is also easier to adjust things if needed.2015-04-19 10:23 GMT+02:00 Martin Fenner <@Martin_Fenner1>:

I tend to agree. You generally want a conference document to be pretty high
level.

  • Cameron Neylon and Geoff Bilder have done a lot of work on „principles for
    open scholarly infrastructure“:

Thanks. ORCID is a wholly different beast, though. Much larger budget,
actually has staff, has more institutional involvement, etc. But I
asked Cameron if he has a few main pointers
(https://twitter.com/rintzezelle/status/589837683444297728 and
https://twitter.com/rintzezelle/status/589838592685539328), and we
should definitely take a look at his writings.

But that’s basically just a way to write down the project’s mission,
right? Regardless of format, are there any important ‘principles’ our
mission is currently missing?

  • "We will always make the specification and citation styles freely
    available“. I suggest to me more specific and mention specific licenses,
    e.g. CC-BY-SA for content, and either "an OSI-approved open source license“
    or a specific license such as MIT for code.

Agreed. We should probably promise to use CC-BY-SA (or a less
restrictive license) for content, and MIT for CSL-developed code.

  • two people feels like a small number for a board.

Yeah, I wrote that since I didn’t know if we would always be able to
find 4 people interested in sitting on the board. What if we don’t?
Maybe not an issue if we keep the duties of the board light.

  • „predatory publisher“ is a term I would avoid, as it sometimes difficult
    to define and possibly very political.

I specifically decided not to mention Beall’s list, since there is
some (valid) criticism on it, but you may be right that it’s better to
avoid the term “predatory publishers” as well. I should also stress
that to date we actually have never refused a single styles based on
this criterion, and it might never come up. I’m not sure if it’s
better to include a statement that we reserve the right to refuse
styles that wouldn’t benefit the scientific community, or whether we
should just not discuss this (potential) issue at all.

Rintze

Thanks for all the comments.
I’ve incorporated most of them in the google doc, so please take another
look. I think the mission statement could still be more expressive, so if
someone has specific suggestions on that, that’d be great.
As suggested I’ve removed the criteria for inclusion and moved them to the
wiki:


with a link from contributing.md

Best,
Sebastian

Hi,
I’ve not received any further comments about this – I think the document
we ended up with is quite nice:

I would suggest that we adopt it unless there are objections by next
Sunday, May 10th (23:59 UTC for the sticklers). Some affirmative
declarations of support would also be great.

To move the process forward, I’d also like to start with board nominations.
In its current form, the governance doc establishes a 4-member board.
Bruce, Frank, and Rintze have all indicated that they’d be happy/honored to
serve on the board, as would I. Are there any other people you’d like to
nominate (including, possibly, yourself)? I suggest the same one-week
period until next Sunday unless anyone feels that’s too short.

I’d assume that most people here know more or less who we are and, more
importantly, our various roles in CSL, but if there are any questions, we’d
be happy to answer those, too.

Wishing everyone a great start into the week,
Sebastian

I couldn’t help myself, and made some textual edits for (hopefully)
improved clarity, but the spirit remains the same.

I approve of this document :).

Rintze

fwiw, I approve too!

Charles

I approve, too!

Sylvester

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I’ve read and I like it.

The document is now up at


and is mentioned at
http://citationstyles.org/developers/#Development_Process.