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Guidelines for DCMI Working Groups

Creator: Makx Dekkers
Date Issued: 2003-10-31
Is Replaced By: Not Applicable
Latest version:
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. 
(2006-10-30) Please note that these guidelines will be modified to reflect the new structure for technical work that was discussed and approved at DCMI meetings in Manzanillo in October 2006. DCMI Working Groups will henceforth continue either as DCMI Communities or as DCMI Task Groups. A DCMI Community, with a Web page and mailing list, will serve as a forum for open discussion on special topics or domain applications. A DCMI Task Group will develop specific deliverables such as application profiles on a DCMI wiki.

Purpose and background

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:

Initiation of a new Dublin Core work item

A proposal for a new DCMI work item may originate from:

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.

The Directorate may either:

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.

Working Groups

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.

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.

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.

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.

Responsibilities of Working Group chairs

Working Group chairs will:

Responsibilities of Working Group members

Working Group members will:

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.

Conduct of Working Groups

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.

“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.

“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.

In the conduct of e-mail discussions, the Chair will ensure that:

In the conduct of teleconference or face-to-face discussions, the Chair will ensure that:

Working Group Web page

All working group documents are publicly accessible via the DCMI Web site. The Web site will include a page for every Working Group detailing:

Working Group documents

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.

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.

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 Procedure for approval of DCMI Metadata Terms and Recommendations.