Use of Sponsorship Money and Governance

Hi all,
this post has two parts: it starts with a suggested budget for the use of
sponsorship money we have/will receive(d) this year, then some brief more
general considerations on governance. So if you don’t care about the
former, please scroll down. We have received the money from Springer/Papers
and are waiting for the check from Elsevier/Mendeley, which should arrive
any time.

This is Rintze and my budget proposal:

Donations 2014 + $5000
Rintze - $1962.94
Sebastian - $1950
Stickers - $72.96

  • taxes 2014: $1410*—
  • 395.90

Donations 2015

  • 1,200 (d) (Sylvester for submission bot)
  • 3,150 (Rintze, Sebastian, 1,575 each)
  • 400 (d?) (Phillip - proposed)
  • 165 (d) (style manuals)**
  • 396 (“deficit” 2014)
  • 2460 (est. taxes 2015) (10,000-anything I can tax deduct)*.285

2015 Budgeted “surplus”: $2,229

(d) signifies tax deductible for me

Let me know if anything looks wrong or you have any questions, on or off
list is fine.
Three questions in ascending order of generality:

  1. Is everyone OK with this? Suggested changes, objections?
  2. What should we do with the $2,229 currently left? I’d love to support
    Frank’s work in some way, so Frank if there’s anything we can do–pay for
    server or the like–please let us know. Beyond that, any other ideas? Both
    donations are no-strings-attached, so we can do anything that’s useful for
    CSL: Fund travel to conferences/talks or face-to-face meetings, fund/bounty
    additional CSL-related development. Thoughts, ideas?
  3. Rintze and I both feel that some type of governance would make sense now
    that we deal with non-trivial amounts of money. At the same time, time is
    one of our scarcest resources, so we shouldn’t do anything that places any
    undue burden on that. Rintze suggested something like this:

we could create a governing board, whose role is to annually articulate

short and long-term goals of the CSL project (with community input), and
make decisions on how these goals can be best achieved with the available
funds. (…) We could have a poll every year or two for the board positions.

We could, alternatively, just keep running this entirely through the list
and on a consensus basis, which has worked pretty well, but I am a little
worried that we don’t have any mechanism in place at all should there be
some type of conflict.

Looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts, especially on 2 and 3.

  • a little under 15% each for income and self-employment tax
    ** specifically: CMoS subscription: $60 for 2 years (d)
    Australian Gov’t Style Manaual $50 (d)
    Duden Schriftliche Arbeit $15 (d)
    SBL Style Manual 2nd Edition $40 (d)

My two cents as someone only peripherally involved: thinking about some level of governance feels like the right direction, as CSL has become an essential part of the scholarly infrastructure.


Martin> Am 12.04.2015 um 22:19 schrieb Sebastian Karcher <@Sebastian_Karcher>:

Agreed. I guess the obvious question is what that should look like.
Perhaps something like Rintze suggests, along with a simple governance
document that articulates that all?

Governance is good.

It would be great if CSL could cover the costs I incur in connection
with project hosting. They arise from work on MLZ (to be rebranded in
due course as “Juris-M”). The justification would be that Juris-M
development explores territory in law and multilingual referencing
into which CSL may eventually move. I’m not sure everyone is
comfortable with that logic.

The costs would be small. From memory, it’s something like this:

  1. SSL certificate: $15.95
  2. Shared Hosting: ~$70.00
  3. DNS reg: ~$10.00

The cert at (1) will be installed on a University server that I use to
negotiate OAuth connections to GitHub from
The server is currently running with a cert issued by the UPKI center
in the National Institute for Informatics (NII), a free service to
Japanese universities. The service will be terminated in June, and
there is apparently to be no replacement, neither at the NII nor in
our university.

With OAuth authentication, the Juris-M code editor can submit
one-click pull requests to any GitHub repo. The site is currently
bound to the legal style modules repo, but could be extended to direct
mainstream CSL styles to the CSL repo, if that is desired.

The hosting at (2) is for the domain and
server. I plan to migrate this content to Juris-M on GitHub in a
general housecleaning, but the DNS reg will need to be maintained for
a time to handle redirects.

The DNS reg at (3) is for the domain, which currently
serves the MLZ xpi and some documentation - it is no longer used by
our faculty, and I have de facto control over the domain. It will also
need to be maintained for a time, again for the general migration to
the new Juris-M space on GitHub.

That’s the rough run-down, I can dig out receipts when needed. Once a
mode of decision-making is agreed, I’ll follow the group’s decision on
whether these costs are in-scope.


Since the early trend seems to go towards governance – would people be OK
with an informal governance document, i.e. something that’s mutually agreed
on and binding in that sense, but doesn’t aim at being enforceable in any
court? I currently think that’d be my preferred option.

Otherwise we’d probably have to incorporate CSL in some way, which is
exactly the level of bureaucracy I’d like to avoid. But if there are
compelling arguments to go all formal, I’m certainly open to being

Fine with me. It can always be basis for formalization later, if needed.

(If support is possible, it would best be done as a contribution to
our faculty for research purposes - in principle we cannot receive
private payments without specific approval by consent of the Faculty.
Also, if CSL are willing to treat it as a general donation, a bit of
extra would me most welcome.)

An informal agreement on management seems reasonable to me.


Governance: keep it simple for now, fine with me!

Donation money: your break down makes sense to me. I’d say that any
money spent on good automation tools and maintenance will pay off in
medium term. Maybe after the first run we can have more ideas to
improve the bot tools.


We now have received donations from both Springer and Elsevier, and Rintze
and I are working on announcing those publicly.

So I’d now like to finalize the budget. In addition to my original
suggestion, I had a longer conversation in which Frank suggested that a
significant one-time donation of $1000.- to him through the University of
Nagoya would be very helpful. We’d help support his countless activities
that help to improve and document CSL, including work on legal features
that we hope to integrate into CSL as well as, most recently, his combined
validation/testing tool he put up as part of juris-m (it’s currently in
beta, I’ll assume he’ll make a full announcement when it’s ready, but it’ll
be quite helpful for testing our more complex styles).

With that included, the full budget for 2015 is (see my initial e-mail in
this thread for further details):

Donations 2015

  • 1,200 (d) (Sylvester for submission bot)
  • 3,150 (Rintze, Sebastian, 1,575 each)
  • 400 (d?) (Phillip)
  • 1000 (d?) (Frank)
  • 165 (d) (style manuals)
  • 396 (“deficit” 2014)
  • 2460 (est. taxes 2015) (10,000-anything I can tax deduct)*.285

2015 Budgeted “surplus”: $1,229

(d denotes tax deductible for me).

I think having some leftover funding is great, e.g. if we have additional
things we’d like to purchase or tools we’d like to fund. We’re also not
tied to any budget cycles, so there’s no issue with carrying over funds
into next year.

Any objections? Questions? Additional requests or ideas for funding?

(as a reminder – we have, as by last Sunday, adopted our governance
document, currently at
Rintze is putting it on right now. The default
decision-making process is still consensus on this mailing list, so this
shouldn’t really change much.)

Have a great week,

Budget looks very reasonable to me, agree that supporting Frank is a good
use of funds. I had a question about the licensing of software on the CSL
draft document.