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Guidelines for DCMI Working Groups

Title:

Guidelines for DCMI Working Groups

Creator: Makx Dekkers
Date Issued: 2003-08-14
Identifier: http://dublincore.org/documents/2003/08/14/wgguidelines/
Replaces: http://dublincore.org/documents/1999/06/02/wgguidelines/
Is Replaced By: http://dublincore.org/documents/2003/10/31/wgguidelines/
Latest version: http://dublincore.org/documents/wgguidelines/
Status of document: This is a DCMI Process Document.
Description of document: This document outlines the structure and operation of Working Groups in the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative [DCMI]. It describes the details of the organizational structure and the decision making process. 

    <h3>Purpose and background</h3>
    <p>This document defines the procedures which are
      employed in developing Dublin Core specifications and
      in carrying out other tasks to advance the Dublin Core
      Metadata Initiative. These tasks are carried out by
      Dublin Core Working Groups. In particular, this
      document sets out guidelines for:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>the initiation of new work items;</li>
      <li>the establishment and conduct of Working
        Groups;</li>
      <li>the responsibilities of the chairs and members of
        Working Groups;</li>
      <li>the communication of Working Group documents and
        reports; and</li>
      <li>the ratification of decisions on work items.</li>
    </ul>
    <h3>Initiation of a new Dublin Core work item</h3>
    <p>A proposal for a new DCMI work item may
      originate from:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>the DCMI Directorate; or</li>
      <li>a DCMI Working Group; or</li>
      <li>anyone who participates in the Dublin Core
        (dc-general) international discussion list.</li>
    </ul>
    <p>In the first case, a work item proposal will be
      developed and documented by the Directorate. In the
      last two cases, a work item proposal will be developed,
      documented and submitted by a proposer to the
      Directorate. In all three cases, the Directorate will
      consult with the Advisory Board. The proposer must
      be willing to participate in any Working Group dealing
      with the work item.</p>
    <p>The Directorate may either:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>approve the work item and refer it to an existing
        Working Group for action;</li>
      <li>approve the work item and establish a new Working
        Group to carry it out;</li>
      <li>decide to take no further action; or</li>
      <li>defer any action until a specified date.</li>
    </ul>
    <p>This decision should be documented and communicated
      to the proposer. In the case of the third and fourth
      courses of action, reasons should be given.</p>
    <h3>Working Groups</h3>
    <p>DCMI Working Groups are constituted to address work 
      items raised in the course of DCMI activities. Membership 
      of DCMI Working Groups is open to all interested parties. 
      A Working Group becomes dormant at the completion of its 
      charter and should not address additional work items 
      without charter revisions reviewed by the DCMI Advisory 
      Board and approved by the DCMI Directorate.</p>
    <p>Chairs and Co-Chairs (if any) of Working Groups are 
      appointed by the DCMI Directorate. The Managing Director 
      has the task of following up and coordinating Working Group 
      chairs.</p>
    <p>Because the DCMI Workshops provide an opportunity to 
      discuss and review work items and to introduce new people, 
      all working groups will automatically expire at each DCMI
      Workshop, although they may be re-constituted if necessary.</p>
    <p>Working Group activities are conducted through a
      combination of face-to-face meetings, teleconferencing,
      and an archived mailing list. Minutes from face-to-face
      meetings and teleconference calls will be maintained by
      the chair or the chair’s designee.</p>
    <h3>Responsibilities of Working Group chairs</h3>
    <p>Working Group chairs will:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>write the Working Group charter, in consultation
        with the DCMI Directorate;</li>
      <li>invite all interested parties, through the Dublin
        Core (dc-general) list, to join the Working Group;</li>
      <li>ensure that an e-mail list is established for use
        by all Working Group members;
      </li>
      <li>ensure that an official list of Working Group
        members is maintained;</li>
      <li>submit to the DCMI Directorate a list of deliverables 
        and their target dates;</li>
      <li>manage the work of the Working Group to ensure that 
        deliverables are completed by the target dates;</li>
      <li>should a deliverable miss the target date, report
        the reason for slippage to the DCMI Directorate and 
        submit a new target date;</li>
      <li>make regular reports of progress to the DCMI
        Directorate;</li>
      <li>ensure that all Working Group members have an
        opportunity to approve or disapprove all decisions
        and Working Drafts of the Group;</li>
      <li>resolve any lack of consensus in the Group;
        and</li>
      <li>ensure that decisions are accompanied by
        explanation that will support that consensus both
        within the Working Group and in the larger
        community.</li>
    </ul>
    <h3>Responsibilities of Working Group members</h3>
    <p>Working Group members will:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>participate in e-mail discussions in a timely
        fashion;</li>
      <li>read and comment on proposals and related
        documents;</li>
      <li>carry out any actions which are assigned to them
        by the Working Group chair, with their agreement;</li>
      <li>participate in face-to-face meetings and
        teleconference calls when possible; and</li>
      <li>be sensitive to the importance of consensus as a
        central feature of the DCMI process.</li>
    </ul>
    <p>It is recognised that some individuals will join
      Working Groups in order to follow, rather than
      participate in, the discussions. This is acceptable,
      although Working Group members are encouraged to share
      their expertise with the community through active
      participation.</p>
    <h3>Conduct of Working Groups</h3>
    <p>Within each working group, the discussion will be
      focussed on discrete “open issues”.
      Discussion of open issues will be managed by the chair
      via e-mail, teleconference, and/or face-to-face
      meetings. Such discussions will lead to decisions or
      actions.</p>
    <p>“Actions” are tasks deemed necessary to
      the conversion of open issues to decisions. Actions
      must be assigned to specific individuals or groups of
      individuals, and should include a deadline as well.
      Examples of actions include preparing a document or
      document component, articulating a technical solution
      to a problem, and eliciting information from an
      individual or group external to the Working Group.</p>
    <p>“Decisions” are made reflecting rough 
      consensus as judged by the chair. Failure to respond in 
      e-mail discussions of open issues or proposed decisions 
      on the Working Group mailing list may be construed by 
      the chair as evidence of agreement. Reversals of decisions 
      made previously by the Working Group require a very clear 
      consensus as judged by the chair.</p>
    <p>In the conduct of e-mail discussions, the Chair will
      ensure that:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>the discussion is focused on open issues,
        leading to specific actions or decisions;</li>
      <li>time limits are imposed for discussion and 
        consensus building (intervals will vary according to 
        the complexity of issues, and established and extended 
        at the discretion of the chair); and</li>
      <li>the subject lines of e-mail messages are
        constructed so as to facilitate the reference to
        particular open issues.</li>
    </ul>
    <p>In the conduct of teleconference or face-to-face
      discussions, the Chair will ensure that:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>the discussion is focused on open issues,
        leading to specific actions or decisions;</li>
      <li>meetings are scheduled in advance (1 week or more
        for teleconferences, 4 weeks or more for face-to-face
        meetings);</li>
      <li>meetings have advance agendas; and</li>
      <li>meetings are conducted according to formal
        techniques for managing meetings (such as agendas,
        time limits, queues, and rules of order).</li>
    </ul>
    <h3>Working Group Web page</h3>
    <p>All working group documents are publicly accessible via the 
      <a href="/">DCMI Web site</a>. The Web site will include a page 
      for every Working Group detailing:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>the charter for the working group;</li>
      <li>a list of expected deliverables, and deadlines
        for completion;</li>
      <li>a schedule of events (meetings and conference
        calls, past and planned);</li>
      <li>the current version of the Group’s Working
        Draft(s)(if any); and</li>
      <li>a link to the e-mail archive of the Working Group 
        list.</li>
    </ul>
    <h3>Working Group documents</h3>
    <p>During its development within a Working Group, a
      report may go through a number of Working Draft
      versions. The Working Draft may be developed by the
      Chair, or by one or more members of the Working Group
      with the oversight of the Chair. These versions may be
      notified to members of the Working Group only, or may
      be given wider notification at the discretion of the
      Chair.</p>
    <p>The work item may be abandoned following comment at
      the Working Draft stage, if these comments reveal
      major flaws or seriously unsatisfactory features. In
      this event, reasons for the decision should be issued
      by the Working Group Chair.</p>
    <p>Once the Chair is satisfied that there is broad
      community consensus, he or she will submit the Working
      Draft to the DCMI Managing Director. Further process is 
      governed by the <a href="/usage/documents/approval/">
        Procedure for approval of DCMI Metadata Terms and 
        Recommendations</a>.
    </p>
    <h3>Dublin Core Notes</h3>
    <p>A Note is a document which is made available by the
      Dublin Core Metadata Initiative for discussion only.
      The publication of a Note implies no endorsement of any
      kind.</p>
    <p>A draft Note is submitted to the Directorate from
      any member of the DCMI community. The Directorate will 
      acknowledge receipt of a proposed Note and will forward 
      it, if appropriate, to the Advisory Board or to the 
      relevant Working Group. The Advisory Board will advise
      the Directorate whether it should be published as a Note.
    </p>
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