20210423 Scientific Board Meeting Minutes

Present: Ingo Barkow, Darren Bell, Jared Lyle, Hilde Orten, Flavio Rizzolo, Carsten Thiel, Wendy Thomas, Joachim Wackerow

 Apologies: Simon Hodson

Agenda topics:

0. Remote vote

Ingo had sent out a proposal for remote voting between the SCIENTIFIC BOARD meetings on three topics:

  1. The Scientific Board confirms the existence of the following working groups as active and fully formed working groups within the DDI Alliance:

  • Controlled Vocabulary

  • Marketing and Partnership

  • SDTL

  • Training

 2. The Scientific Board shifts the responsibility for the Marketing Group to the Executive Board.

 3. The Scientific Board grants the working group status to the following projects or informal groups:

  • XKOS

  • MRT

  • Paradata

Approval by vote: The three motions were all approved by remote vote by the members of the Scientific Board.

Coordination by the Scientific Board on working groups tasks will need follow-up.

Paradata and XKOS will be invited to present their work at the next meeting oft he Scientific Board.

1.Agree on budget organization proposal. We would like the following 3-steps procedure to be discussed:

a.  Jared/Secretariat receives the incoming budget requests.

b. The Scientific Board evaluates the proposals from the WGs according to the Scientific Plan, to ensure quality from a substantive perspective, and add own proposals.

c. The Executive Board evaluates the combined proposal that includes the priorities of the Scientific Board, and approves the accumulated budget according to the overall Strategic Plan.

The chairs and vice-chairs of the Executive Board and the Scientific Board had met to discuss budget organization. The proposal a.- c. above was prepared by Ingo and Hilde after, for discussion at the meeting of the Scientific Board. At the discussion, Achim proposed that the budget organization proposal could include a little more about the evaluations of the Scientific Board. He proposed that the incoming budget requests should be prioritized according to their level of importance, and that a reasoning with pros and cons for each evaluation by the Scientific Board should be made available for the purpose of clarity and transparency. This proposal reached consent at the meeting. A remaining open question is how many categories the priorities list should have.

At the meeting the communication between the Executive Board and the Scientific Board was also discussed. Flavio proposed that the Scientific Board members decides about what should be the priorities of the Scientific Board, and that the chair and vice-chair of the Scientific Board can ‘negotiate’ outcomes with the Executive Board chairs, on the basis of the decisions made of the full group. This proposal got consent at the meeting as well.

 Action point: Ingo and Hilde will discuss wording of text for the DDI Alliance Funding Guidelines and Request Form page with Jared and copy Steve and Bill in on the correspondence.

2. Provide input on the draft of the Strategic Plan

a. Strategic Priority Areas One and Two (The User Community; The DDI Alliance as an Organisation)

b. Strategic Priority Areas Three (Standards and Work Products)

 A draft of the Strategic Plan was provided by Jared prior to the meeting. Point a. of the agenda (the chapters ‘The User Community’ and ‘The DDI Alliance as an Organisation’) was not addressed at the meeting, as this relates to less the tasks of the Scientific Board.

 At the meeting Achim gave a presentation of the ‘Standards and Work Products’ chapter of the Draft Strategic Plan. After the presentation a discussion about how lower level points of the strategic action points of the ‘Standards and Work Products’ chapter could be addressed as work tasks in the Scientific Plan.

Darren proposed that it could be useful to distinguish between two different streams of products: A metadata specification production stream and an infrastructure stream. The infrastructure stream could for example include things like document production, URN building and an automated test framework. The idea distinguish between two different streams received support by the group.

Wendy mentioned that product maintenance also requires resources and should not be forgotten. This got support by the group as well.

3. Priorities for the Scientific Plan

a) Presentation of high level points for the Scientific Plan.

b) Presentation of plan for the further work on the details of the Scientific Plan.

Ingo presented a proposal for set of high level goals for the Scientific Board to address.

a)  While the group was positive to the goals in general, a question was raised by Achim regarding what of this should go into the Strategic Plan instead, as the Scientific Plan needs to have a task oriented focus.

Other ideas:

  • Flavio suggested to provide a DDI tools registry, similar to that of the SDMX, as a possible goal for the Scientific Plan.

  • Carsten mentioned quality enhancement as possible goals (Certification of DDI trainers? Data quality indicators?). Achim pointed out that quality in general could be viewed as a long term goal rather, rather than a goal for the immediate (1-2 years) term.

b) It was agreed at the meeting that the Scientific Board member’s work on input for the ‘Standards and Work Products’ chapter of the Draft Strategic Plan, and providing input on the Scientific Plan based on the feedback from the working groups, could be carried out in one step.

The following procedure was agreed:

Three small groups of Scientific Board members, two members in each, were formed to work on the tasks.

Each group was assigned the following task:

a) Evaluate if the strategic actions points sections 2 – 4 in the ‘Standards and Work products’ chapter of the draft Strategic Plan are suitable for tasks in the Scientific Plan (each group looks at one section, 2, 3, or 4).

b) Evaluate if related tasks would be realistic for the immediate term (1-2 years).

c) Identify relationships between the strategic action points and tasks specified in the work plans of the working groups, and evaluate if the task is doable by the group within the timeframe.

d) Identify gaps between what the working groups are focusing on and important things in the strategic action points.

Groups and members:

Group 1: Flavio and Hilde

Task: To look at action points 2 ‘Maintaining multiple lines of specifications and controlled vocabularies’ and related tasks.

Group 2: Darren and Carsten

Task: To look at action points 3 ‘Improvement of interoperable and distributed DDI infrastructure for use and reuse of DDI resources. Adding useful components around the specifications for users.’

Group 3: Wendy and Ingo

Task: To look at action points 4 ‘Registries/-repositories’.

The overall task is further described in this document.

Action points:

  • Hilde will send out tasks and templates for the groups to work with. The work (or links to it) will be published in Confluence.

  • Groups to work on the assigned task.

4. DDI Alliance Slack workspace (Jared).

Jared informed about a new Slack tool that is available for the DDI Alliance Working Groups to use. The groups are welcome to test this out as they please. There was a discussion regarding communication platforms usage, but no decision was made yet regarding the use of Slack. The Scientific Board will continue to use Confluence for publication of material.

Next meeting

Tuesday may 11th.