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Guidelines for Dublin Core Working Groups - Working Draft 1.4

Title:

Guidelines for Dublin Core Working Groups - Working Draft 1.4

Date Issued: 1999-06-02
Identifier: http://dublincore.org/documents/1999/06/02/wgguidelines/
Replaces: Not Applicable
Is Replaced By: http://dublincore.org/documents/2003/08/14/wgguidelines/
Latest version: http://dublincore.org/documents/wgguidelines/
Status of document: This is a DCMI Working Draft.
Description of document: This document outlines a proposal for the structure and operation of the Dublin Core Metadata Intiative [DCMI]. DCMI is responsible for the development, standardisation and promotion of the Dublin Core metadata element set. With the continuing growth of international and interdisciplinary interest in the Dublin Core activity, it is now necessary to develop greater formality around the organisational structure and the decision making process. Providing explicit process and structure is critical for sustaining community confidence. The DCMI will be managed so as to reflect the broad interests of diverse stakeholders. This document should be read in conjunction with the Dublin Core Process Document. The Process Document details the operation of the Working Groups and the procedures for the development of proposals and recommendation documents.

    <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>
    <p>An initial draft of this document was developed in
      November 1998 by the Dublin Core Process Working Group.
      The Group was formed at a joint meeting of the Dublin
      Core Policy Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory
      Committee, held in Washington DC on 1 November 1998.
      Between April and June 1999, the document was discussed
      and amended by the DC Coordination Committee Working
      Group.</p>
    <h3>Initiation of a new Dublin Core work item</h3>
    <p>A proposal for a new Dublin Core work item may
      originate from:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>the Dublin Core Directorate; or</li>
      <li>the Dublin Core International Workshop; 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 Committee. 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. The
      Directorate will not make a decision which is contrary
      to the clear advice of the Advisory Committee.</p>
    <h3>Working Groups</h3>
    <p>Dublin Core Working Groups are constituted to
      address work items raised in the course of Dublin Core
      activities. Membership of Dublin Core 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
      approved by the Dublin Core Directorate.</p>
    <p>Chairs and Co-Chairs (if any) of Working Groups are appointed by the 
      Dublin Core Directorate. The Managing Director has the task of following 
      up and coordinating Working Group chairs.</p>
    <p>Because the Dublin Core Workshops provide an
      opportunity to review work items and to introduce new
      people, all working groups will automatically expire at
      each Dublin Core 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 Dublin Core 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, using the Mailbase
        service (<a href="http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/alphabetical/d.htm">http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/alphabetical/d.htm</a>);</li>
      <li>ensure that an official list of Working Group
        members is maintained;</li>
      <li>submit to the Directorate and the Chair of the
        Advisory Committee 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 Directorate and the
        Chair of the Advisory Committee, and submit a new
        target date;</li>
      <li>make regular reports of progress to the
        dc-general list (these may be quite informal);</li>
      <li>ensure that all Working Group members have an
        opportunity to approve or disapprove all decisions
        and Draft Proposals 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 draft 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 Dublin Core 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 email, 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 in teleconference
      or face-to-face meetings by a simple majority of those
      present. Decisions made via e-mail discussions will
      reflect 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 2/3 majority (in the case of
      teleconference or face-to-face meetings) or a very
      clear consensus as judged by the chair (in the case of
      e-mail discussions).</p>
    <p>In the conduct of e-mail discussions, the Chair will
      ensure that:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>the discussion is focussed on open issues,
        leading to specific actions or decisions;</li>
      <li>time limits are imposed for discussion and voting
        (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 focussed 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 documents</h3>
    <p>All working group documents are publicly accessible via the <a href="/">Dublin 
        Core Web site</a>. The Web site will include:</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 (if any); and</li>
      <li>a link to the archive of the e-mail sent to the
        Working Group list.</li>
    </ul>
    <h3>Working Group reports</h3>
    <p>The three key status identifiers for Working Group
      reports are ‘Working Draft’, ‘Draft
      Proposal’ and ‘Dublin Core
      Specification’.</p>
    <p>During its development within the 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>Once the Chair is satisfied that a report meets the
      requirements of the Working Group charter and reflects
      the consensus of the Group, he or she will issue it as
      a Draft Proposal from the Working Group. The Chair will
      submit the Draft Proposal to the dc-general list for
      initial comment, accompanied by a submission note
      identifying probable areas of public controversy that
      might bear on broad acceptance. The Draft Proposal
      should also contain a proposed deadline for these
      comments. A short response time (no more than two
      weeks) is recommended. Substantive public comments
      should be either accommodated in a revised Draft
      Proposal, or their rejection should be justified in a
      document accessible via the Working Group Web
      pages.</p>
    <p>Following consideration of these comments, the Chair
      may refer the Draft Proposal back to the Working Group
      for further consideration and development of a revised
      Draft Proposal. This process may iterate.</p>
    <p>Once the Chair is satisfied that there is broad
      community consensus, he or she will submit the Draft
      Proposal to the Advisory Committee for review. The
      Advisory Committee may either refer the Draft Proposal
      back to the Working Group Chair with comments, or
      forward the Draft Proposal to the Directorate for final
      approval.</p>
    <p>The work item may be abandoned following comment at
      the Draft Proposal 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>The highest status which can be assigned to a
      Working Group report is a ‘Dublin Core
      Specification’. The decision on whether to assign
      this status will be made by the Directorate, after
      considering the advice of the Advisory Committee. The
      date of this decision must be recorded, and the
      decision must be announced to the Dublin Core
      (dc-general) discussion list. A Dublin Core
      specification is assigned a date of issue and a version
      number, and is made available from the Dublin Core Web
      site.</p>
    <p>The Working Group will continue to exist until the
      Dublin Core Workshop following this decision. The
      Working Group chair, or the chair’s delegate,
      must present a report at that workshop.</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 Dublin Core community. The
      Directorate will acknowledge receipt of the Note and
      will forward it, if appropriate, to the Advisory
      Committee or to the relevant Working Group. The
      Advisory Committee or Working Group will discuss the
      document and will recommend whether it should be
      endorsed and published as a Note, and whether it should
      become an action item for a Working Group.</p>
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