Agenda and Notes


Achim (first part of the meeting), Dan G., Hilde, Ingo, Jane, Jared, Jon, Nicolas, Ron, Wendy




To achieve consensus around a short proposals document based on the document in Google drive, to be cleaned up post-meeting, reviewed by everybody and then revised, with the aim of providing a partial working group deliverable to be sent to the DDI Alliance on Monday 11th , if possible.

Goal of the meeting

Ingo started the meeting by indicating that a full deliverable for the Annual meeting, consisting of a short proposal document, a proposal for amendments to the bylaws, as well as a longer explanatory document including differences between the Sydney proposal and the proposal of the working group, would not be possible by the deadline of May 11th.  Ingo then raised the question when a full deliverable could be available.

The goal for this meeting as expressed by Ingo is specified under ‘Agenda’ above, focusing on three core topics:

  1. Definitions  

  2. Internal voting/decision making of the new SB

  3. To provide a consensus summary of a short proposals document for cleanup and revision

1)      Definitions

Hilde started the discussion by indicating that while the definitions of what Scientific and Technical means look fine, she is worried about how it would work in practice, from an organization perspective, to split the current Scientific Board representative role into Scientific and Technical. The version of the document in Google drive discussed at the meeting states that three roles (Administrative, Scientific and Technical) are required for each member organization.

Wendy expressed the need of a distinct Technical role as the TC needs technical input, and having this role would potentially facilitate recruitment as well. She also argued that having the three roles in could motivate organizations to sending more than one representative from the organization to the Annual meeting of the Alliance.

Ingo argued that it would be important to word the text in a way that would motivate organizations rather than scaring them off. The discussion then centered around the word ‘required’ rather than around having three distinct roles. Jon proposed to use ‘invited’ rather than ‘required’ which was tentatively agreed.

A discussion then followed on whether the bylaws needs to be changed at this point. Jared meant the bylaws would need a clarification, as people are supposed to go to the bylaws to look for information about the organization. Wendy meant it might be too specific to include the information about the roles in the bylaws, but that a reference to an explanatory document could be put in the bylaws. Ingo then expressed he would like to leave this decision with the people in the group with more expertise in bylaws than himself.

Following from this Ron commented on that it was not clear to him whether the three roles would have a formal connection to three committees the TC, the SB and the EB or not. Should they serve as possible members of those groups, or be contact persons within each organization for each of these individual groups? Dan meant a combination of both would be the best option.

Ron argued additionally that the formal voting and role of the designated member representative needs to be clarified.

2)      Internal voting/decision making of the new SB

Ingo started by asking how much should be about SB voting in the bylaws, and how much decision making power is granted the SB from the member organizations.

Ingo and Hilde then referred to an email from Achim that addressed some related topics. The email was a reply to a query from Ron and Hilde to Achim and Ingo where they asked for some recommendations regarding SB voting (Ron) and decision making power of the new SB (Hilde). The following topics from Achim’s email were addressed:

SB decision making

Achim’s assumption, as expressed in the email, is that the new SB has the power to make any decision in the frame of the strategic plan (created by the EB) and in the frame of an annual plan (created by the SB) which should be presented to the members at the annual meeting. Achim indicates that maybe this should be described in the bylaws. Only then can the new SB in his view be active and agile (similar to the existing rules for the EB). Ingo and Hilde argued for the importance of this, and agreement was made at the meeting to include a related text.

In his email Achim further comments that the above would be in line with the general idea that members are delegating power to committees by election (the Executive Board for strategic and budget issues, the Scientific Board for the old/new areas which should be described in the bylaws).

 Voting topics in the bylaws

Based on the above, Achim suggests that only decisions which shouldn’t be made by the new SB should be listed in the bylaws like approval of new specifications (others?). This was agreed at the meeting.

Wendy commented that who should have voting rights in within the SB would be fine to include in the bylaws, but that topics to be voted for by the SB would not need to be described there. Jon wanted to have a passage included somewhere that decisions within the SB should be supported by the majority of that committee. It was also agreed to remove the current SB voting section from the proposal, as originally suggested by Ron.

 Distinction between SB and EB tasks

In his email Achim further pointed out that a critical thing is that the description of activities of the SB and the EB are clear and distinctive in the bylaws, and that it would make sense to describe the type of working groups these committees are responsible for. Otherwise it can end up in not clear conditions and possibly overlapping responsibilities. For example, is the SB responsible for the training group and marketing or the EB? A discussion on whether the Marketing group and the Training group naturally belongs under the EB or the SB then followed. Dan and Hilde agreed with Achim that Marketing seems to belong more naturally under the EB. Jared pointed to the Breckenhill report and expressed agreement this is an important issue, and agreed to follow up on this. He meant a broader discussion involving more groups are needed in order to clarify this.

In connection with this discussion Jared asked if it would be possible to put up rules for the forming of working groups. There was a discussion, but as different opinions exist within the working group regarding how much control/coordination the SB should have over the working groups and their formation it was agreed not to address this now. Ron recommended that in general it would not be a good idea to over specify this, to in order to empower the SB and at the same time attracting volunteers.

3)      Document cleanup and further plans

The process for revising the document in Google drive, with the with aim of providing a short version of a proposals document for Ingo to send to the Alliance on Monday 11th, was discussed.

Hilde argued that the document in Google drive currently is difficult to understand, and that the member representatives would probably feel the same. Wendy then commented that this could be because of the mix up in the document between text for a proposal description and proposals for changes to the bylaws.

She offered to clean up the document, and to make a separate document or section that would explain the proposed changes to the bylaws. She would try to get this done by Friday and send an email to the group, otherwise on Monday.

Ron pointed out that Monday would probably be too late as everybody in the group would need to have a chance to review the writings before sending a deliverable to the Alliance. It was agreed that the new writings should be reviewed by everybody. The writings would then need to be revised based on the outcome of the review.


To make progress on Jared’s document in google drive. This could be used as a basis for further deliverables.


Achim, Dan G., Hilde, Ingo, Jane, Jared, Jon, Nicolas, Ron, Wendy (last part of the meeting).




The bigger group – role and name

Hilde asked what the bigger group of scientific and technical staff the SB would work with should be called, and what this group would be like. The discussion started by questioning whether the Scientific Assembly should be kept as a name or not. Dan G. meant that to have a constitutional larger group other than on the level of members would not be needed, but to speak about an informal group that could fulfill scientific and technical roles would work. Different proposals for the relationship between the SB and the larger group were mentioned. Should these people only fulfill roles, or as Ron suggests, is the not the community building aspect also important?

Ingo then asked Dan G. to provide a related proposal for discussion at the next meeting.

Short reports from work on document sections was presented and discussed.


Jon and Wendy had provided a proposal for a text for Purpose. Jon commented that the voting clause was removed, as the new SB is expected to have a more coordinating role.

A proposal for revision of the related bylaws was also provided. Ingo suggests the same to be provided for all sections.


Dan and Nicolas have been working on a proposal for Organization. They will upgrade with proposed changes to the bylaws for the next meeting.

Jared asked for a clarification about the term ‘voting members’ used. He also raised a concern of whether a group consisting of seven members, two external experts and two ex officios (the Excecutive Director and TC chair) would be small enough to perform its task efficiently. A question of seven or up to seven would be the correct wording. There are different opinions in the group regarding group size, where some mean a smaller group would be better. The wording seven members is however kept in the proposal.

Nicolas asked if a quorum for internal SB members voting would be useful. A quorum of four of seven was tentatively agreed.  

It was stated again that, as agreed earlier, external experts and ex officio members will not have voting rights, and that the chair and vice chair of the TC as a standing committee cannot be officers of the SB.

Achim and Ingo proposed that a similar change could be relevant to include in the bylaws of the EB, that the chair and vice chair of another formal body cannot at the same time be chair and vice of the EB.


Jared and Jane provided a proposal for a new section on Elections for the bylaws. Jane commented that it would be good if the chair and vice chair could be elected for periods of different time length, in order to facilitate some overlap between them. Ron commented however that this preferably should be handled within the SB to avoid confusion.


While the members should vote on the larger issues, day to day voting, for example to elect chair and vice chair, to form working groups etc. is done within the SB.

Ron and Hilde had been working on this and suggested that SB voting is described in guidelines rather than in the bylaws.

Jon, however, mentioned it could be useful to have them in the bylaws.

Ron agreed to provide some recommendations on how and for what to vote within the SB for the next meeting, based on input from the group members.


Ingo and Achim have been working on Roles. Hilde asked whether it should be mentioned that the proposed scientific and technical roles together make up the scientific assembly/community. Ingo agreed to this.

Next meeting

Next meeting is scheduled to Wednesday May 6th

The groups were asked by Jared to update their sections till Monday 4th for further review and discussions.


Achim, Dan G., Hilde, Ingo, Jane, Jared, Jon, Nicolas, Ron, Wendy



Agenda (provided by Ingo at the meeting)

  • Agree on what the deliverable should look like.

  • Decide who would work on what.

What the deliverable should look like

Regarding what the deliverable should look like Ingo started by raising three questions:

  • How many documents should the deliverable consist of?

  • How long should the document(s) be?

  • What should their structure look like?

He also stressed the importance of providing something that people whould read. Would a short two page with bullet points be enough?

Wendy proposed a threefold deliverable:

  • A short document containing the proposal

  • A longer outline of its rationale

  • A document describing possible changes to the bylaws

Status: Agreed as a working plan


Dan then raised the question: What do we agree about? A discussion regarding unresolved issues then followed.

Ingo meant that agreements had been reached that as much of the old structure as possible should be kept, and add what is needed added as new. Hilde, while agreeing with Ingo, argued en passant that a takeover of name (Scientific Board) from an existing body to a new one be confusing. Dan G. then repeated his argument for the smaller SB to replace the current (larger) SB, but pointed to the proposed contact roles as a way for the smaller SB to involve scientific and technical staff within the member institutions in the work of the DDI-Alliance.

Hilde then argued the for the need to strengthen rather than weaken the scientific member representative role, in order to make it easier for scientific and technical staff to get worktime and funding from their institution for taking part in activities and meetings of the DDI Alliance. She fears that replacing the scientific membership role by contact roles would weaken rather then strengthen the possibilities for involvement. While Dan G. means that a section about contact roles usefully could be included in the bylaws, Hilde agrees with Jared’s proposal from earlier, to include contact roles as a set of recommendations in guidelines.

Ron argued that decided structures should be implementable. A leadership body for the governing of the activities is important. For the organizations it is important to avoid confusion of voting and representation. Ron also argued for the importance of empowering the scientific and technical staff to contribute to the work of the Alliance and asks what is needed to make this possible. Bylaws cannot be very specific. We need to look at the language in our documents. What is supporting and what is blocking the above goals? Do specific interpretations need to be pushed etc.? What could be done this way to maximize participation?

Timeline and procedures for producing the deliverables

Jared proposed all deliverables to be final by May 11th. A draft of the proposal (short document) should be available for the next meeting on Wednesday April 29th.

A procedure for how to produce a draft of the proposal was discussed, resulting in the following:

  • Groups of two/one work out proposals for text for chosen topics, and include the proposed text in Jared’s google drive document. This work is scheduled to the end of the week.

  • Everybody comments on the proposals through Monday.

  • Then each section is updated by the group responsible for it, taking comments into account. This is scheduled to next Wednesday, before the next meeting.

  • On the next meeting (Wednesday April 29th) each facilitated section will be discussed by the whole group with the aim to finalize it.

Who would work on what? 

People were asked by Ingo to sign up for providing text for topic-based sections of Jared’s document, based on their preference. The outcome was as follows:

Purpose - Jon/Wendy

Organization - Dan G./Nicolas

Election - Jared/Jane

Voting - Ron/Hilde

Roles - Ingo/Achim (decided post meeting)

Ron also proposed that Achim and Ingo reviews the proposal.


  • Go through open issues and try to reach agreement

  • Jared’s consensus document (in googledrive)


Achim, Dan G., Hilde, Ingo, Jane, Jared, Jon, Nicolas, Ron, Wendy




Ingo reported that the DDI Alliance will hold two shorter virtual annual meetings this year, one on the 18th of May (Meeting of the Scientific Board) and one on 26th May (Meeting of Members).

The proposal will be presented at the SB meeting and further discussed at the members meeting. This means that the work of the temporary working group will need to be finalized in time good time for the first meeting. Then there will be a vote, and a call for participants to the new SB will go out if the proposal is approved. This process is expected to last 6 weeks to 3 months. Achim and Ingo have agreed to act as chair and vice chair of the SB on an interim basis, until a new leadership has been elected.

Ingo recommends to let the budget reserved for the cancelled Chur meeting of the temporary working group to be transferred to next year, to support a first meeting of the possible new SB.


Number of elected members in SB

Jared’s consensus document as of 1st April states in the ‘Organization’ section that agreement was reached for the SB to have 5 voting members, in addition to 2 external experts without voting rights and the director of the DDI Alliance attending ex officio. Nicolas commented that 7 voting members would be preferred, in order to account for unexpected, instances like that people sometimes cannot meet or resign within an election period. Achim, on the other hand, expressed the concern that groups with a high number of participants could be less effective in leading something.

Status: After some discussion the proposal of Nicolas was agreed for the reasons mentioned. Jared’s document has been updated accordingly post meeting.

Voting/involvement of scientific representatives

Dan G. proposed voting has two levels. On the one hand the SB may need to vote on issues with in itself. For bigger things like products approval and strategical decisions the Alliance members will be brought in to vote. This was tentatively agreed.

Ron express consent with this idea. He then raised the question on whether the relationship of the SA to the SB should mirror the relationship of the Members to the EB when it comes to voting. That is, should the SA be an assembly with voting rights (on the scientific and technical issues of the Alliance). He also mentioned that a good SA body usefully could contain external experts.

Hilde likes the idea to have an SA with voting right, in order to strengthen the role of the scientific (scientific and technical) representatives.

Dan G. then repeated his view that the SA should bring in scientific and technical expertise, but the member organizations should decide who should vote.

Ingo then repeated his idea to have scientific, technical and administrative contact roles. An open question is whether contact roles should be described in the proposal or not.

Ingo and Wendy both underlined that a designated member representative does not need to be the person who votes, but according to the bylaws would be free to assign voting rights to a person with expertise in a specific field.

Status: Needs revisiting.

TC chair/vice chair’s role in SB

Ron reminded that the TC belongs in the SB, as a working committee under the SB. A question then arose if members of the TC should be in the SB or not. Hilde then proposed that members of the TC could be in the SB, but that the chair and vice chair of the TC should not at the same time be chair or vice chair of the SB. Dan G. expressed skepsis to have the chair of the TC as a voting member. Ron then proposed for the TC  chair to be member of the SB ex officio, in order to maintain the connection between the SB and the TC sub-group. Wendy expressed consent with this.

Status: Agreement for the TC chair to be ex officio member of the SB. It was also agreed that the TC  chair and vice chair couldn’t at the same time be chair/vice chair of the SB. Jared’s document has been updated accordingly post meeting.

Next meeting

Next meeting will be scheduled to Wednesday April 22nd.

Topic for the meeting will be the organization of the report of the group’s work. Dan G. agreed to provide a structure for the report in advance of the meeting.

Designated persons in charge of each section of the report will be assigned at the forthcoming meeting.



What will our product be/ what will be delivered?


Achim (connection problems), Dan G., Hilde, Ingo, Jane, Jared, Jon, Nicolas, Ron, Wendy



Definitions/descriptions provided since last meeting

Dan G. has provided a definition of what the term ‘scientific’ means in this context in advance of the meeting, as there has been some discussion regarding that. See .

Status: No objections to this definition were made.

Ingo has provided a layout of his proposal that each member organization have a set  of contact roles. See

Status: To note, no decision made regarding contact roles.


Discussions were centered around various topics:

Scientific Board, Scientific Assembly, voting rights

Discussions started with the questions ‘what do we mean by Scientific Board’, and ‘who should vote’.

According to the bylaws who should have voting rights are left to each member organization, but the organization needs to inform the DDI Alliance who has voting rights.

Ingo then presented two options regarding organization structures:

  1. Either to keep structures as they are, letting the current Scientific Board be renamed to ‘Scientific Assembly’ and letting the smaller group be named ‘Scientific Board’. Voting to take place on the DDI Alliance Designated member representative level, where the organization decides who have voting rights.

  2. Or the smaller body (to be called Scientific Board) is elected by a Scientific Assembly, consisting of scientific representatives (as defined by Dan. G) with voting rights. This could be combined with organizational contact roles as described by Ingo.

Dan G. then repeated his suggestion from earlier meetings to not have a Scientific Assembly, because this has not worked as intended. A question brought up by Wendy is whether this is due to the size or the structure of the group.

Ron then expressed the advantage to have an arena (SA) where people have a chance to talk together in person, and where people from the different working groups could meet. The SA could also include experts that are not DDI Alliance member representatives. Then the small leadership (SB) could work to achieve the purposes of the board and create synergies.

Status: Needs further work.


Ron also reminded about consensus about create guidelines for conduct that are doable within the bylaws. Our group would, however, only be able to provide meta guidelines that it would be up to the new SB to update. Ron further expressed that the purposes of the bylaws are fine, but latitude is needed on how to achieve them.

Ingo expressed his agreement with Ron’s suggestions, and indicated that the group is moving slowly towards consensus in this area.

Status: Needs follow up.

Strategies for getting people involved

Ron further commented that procedures to getting more people involved need to be developed. How to work with the larger assembly?

Wendy repeated a ‘pull’ strategy expressed at earlier meetings, where people interested in forming a DDI Alliance working group ask the SB for approval, to which the SB says yes or no, based on existing rules.

Hilde repeated a ‘push’ strategy also expressed earlier, where the SB actively addresses people of the SA to be involved in specific ongoing tasks, proposes new working groups, invites to discussion meetings etc., in line with the Sydney proposal of Achim and Ingo.

Ron expressed that he likes this idea. External experts could also be drawn into the work this way.

Status: Needs follow up.

Various topics

Dan G. then suggests that formal consensus is done by vote, but that the smaller group provides directions. The question remains who should vote.

Ingo then repeated the question about what the larger group should look like. Should it only have scientific representatives?  Hilde meant that technical people also usefully could be involved in this, while Ron reminded about the role of the SB to push forward the scientific and technical work of the Alliance.

Status: Needs follow up.

Jon and Wendy brought up whether it would be needed to vote for member representatives for the SB, or if it would suffice that they would be self-assigned. Hilde then reminded about an email from Achim, where he describes that it is easier for representatives to get support from their own institution if elected. It is also important that members of the SB have the support of the DDI community through elections.

Status: Agreement that SB representatives should be elected.

The Annual meeting was also discussed. It was agreed to have one annual meeting as now, preferably physical. This could be combined with virtual meeting throughout the year.

Status: Agreed

A discussion on what should be up for voting then followed. Ingo suggests that only the bigger things should be voted for like now. There seems to be a general agreement on this.

Status: Needs follow-up.

Jared took notes on where we are to date regarding decisions. Link to the related googledocs document was sent by email to the group post-meeting on April 1st.

Task for next time: Everybody to think about what will our product be/ what will be delivered (the agenda of this meeting - April 1st.)

Wendy/TC to provide a definition for technical contact person. This was provided post meeting, see Technical contact person was defined by the TC group post meeting. See

Next meeting scheduled to Wednesday April 15th.

Agenda (as of email from Ingo to group 2020-03-23)

To go through the minutes from last time and clarify some of the issues.


Dan G., Hilde, Ingo, Jane, Jared, Jon Nicolas, Ron (part of the time), Wendy



Ingo suggested that the following open issues from the last meeting of 2020-03-17 was discussed. (See minutes from previous meeting).

  • How should competences defined? (Related to the above).

  • The role of scientific member representatives – larger SB

  • Would contact ‘roles’ be an alternative?

  • Who should have voting rights within an organization?

  • Balance between openness and regulations

How should competences be defined?

The discussion started out with the question ‘what is scientific’ and ended up with a proposal to create recommendation guidelines where the purposes of the board are clarified the and competences are included as recommendations.

Ingo  started the discussion reminding about there seems to be agreement in the working group about a smaller board to be established (as an AC or an alternative to the larger SB). Then he raised the question that if metadata experts/specialists should be members of the board, would the name ‘scientific’ then be misleading? To that Dan G. responded that he likes the name Scientific Board, and that he sees metadata experts as scientific within the field of metadata methodology. Useful expertise to attract to the board would in his view also be people with knowledge in production processes of some kind of business lifecycle as well as how DDI can be used for that purpose.

Hilde then raised the idea for Dan G. to write up a definition/description for clarification purposes,  of what ‘scientific’ would mean in the context of the SB.

Then Jon proposed to focus on the purposes of the board rather than on competences when recruiting members. Purposes of the SB and roles of the members need in his view first to be looked into in more detail, in order to serve as basis for the nominations of people to the board/smaller group. Nicolas, Ron and Wendy expressed their consent to focus on the purposes. Ron added that all that can be done is to define some broader goals, and then it would be up to the leadership to draw the required experts.

Dan G. then argued it would still be useful to describe what is meant by ‘scientific’ in this context, in order to attract people that think in the described ways. He then suggested that definitions or descriptions could be included in some guidelines, rather than being expressed as criteria.

Ron and Ingo suggested to create guidelines for creating a healthy body, driven by the purposes. Nicolas and Jane expressed the importance for those guidelines of being open, inviting and explanatory to new people.


  • Majority agreement to have guidelines. What they should look like and contain as well as the process for creating them would need to be further clarified.

  • Dan G. will write a proposal of a definition for ‘scientific’.

The role of scientific member representatives – larger SB

There are different opinions whether the larger SB group should remain or be replaced by the smaller SB. One position is that it could be useful to keep the larger SB (consisting of scientific/technical rather than administrative staff/roles) as a resource for the smaller group (AC) to liaise with and get its members involved in the work of the Alliance. A clarification of what a scientific representative is, as well as their role, would then be needed.

A different position is to make the smaller group the SB. The larger group for this group to relate to would be the DDI Alliance Members.

Jared expressed agreement with the latter, in order to keep this simple, while Hilde likes the first option. This is more in line with the original proposal from Sydney.

Status: Not decided.

Would contact ‘roles’ be an alternative?

Ingo brought up his idea of contact roles again. In stead of having a larger SB, each member institution should assign (administrative, scientific and technical) contact roles to staff for the SB to liaise with. Ingo means this could encourage institutions to send more people to the meetings and it would be easier to get input from the community on strictly technical issues related to the standards development. It was not made clear whether the technical contact should liaise with the TC as a standing committee of the SB, with the smaller SB group (AC/SB) or with either as needed.

Jared expressed that he would not be in favor of formal roles, but also indicated that roles would not need to be expressed in the bylaws. They could foe example be expressed in the guidelines in stead.

A side-track discussion of the purposes of the SB and it’s relationship with the TC then followed. Hilde argued that if the SB should be over-viewing the work of the working groups, including the work of the TC, it would be important that some members of the SB, not only contact roles, have some technical competence. Jon and Wendy then argued that the purpose of the SB is more to keep overview over the general direction of all of the working groups, including the TC, as well as to facilitate for their work.

Status: Needs further work. Ingo to provide a diagram illustrating his idea of possible relationships between bodies and roles till the next meeting.

Who should have voting rights within an organization?

This topic was postponed.

Balance between openness and regulations

All agrees it is important to attract new people to contribute to the work of the DDI Alliance. This can be achieved by facilitating new working groups based on interest, but it is also important to attract people to support on the ongoing work, be it maintaining existing products or contributing to major new developments.  Both human and monetary resources are currently scarce and a balance between focusing on ideas vs. on existing products and major products under development is needed.

Status: A policy for attracting new people to take part in the work of the DDI Alliance would be useful. A majority of the participant viewed this as a task that could be completed by a body other than this working group, perhaps be one of the first tasks of the SB? Post-meeting comment, Hilde: Could this make up part of the proposed guidelines?

Next meeting Wednesday April 1st.


The following agenda was presented by Ingo at the meeting:

  1. Summary of discussions from virtual sub-group meetings 2020-03-17

a. Purpose group

b. Organization group

2. Make a plan for moving forward with the work


Achim, Dan G., Hilde, Ingo, Jane, Jared, Jon, Nicolas, Ron, Wendy



1)  Summary of discussions from virtual sub-group meetings 2020-03-17

a.    Purpose group

Jon reported from the purpose sub-group meeting:

Consensus in the group had been reached on several points.

  • Strategy and overview as the main purpose of the group.

  • Current purposes as reflected in the bylaws are expressed more as functions than as purposes. Should the SB be allowed to make its own momentum rather than limit what it is?

  • An important task for the SB is to set up sub-groups. Should more details on strategies and development processes be provided?

  • The SB should present a report to the Annual meeting on activities from the past year, but also provide a strategic plan for the forthcoming period, to allow for proper discussions at Annual meeting.

  • Organizational issues: A strong feeling was expressed that small groups are needed to get something done.

  • Voting on revisions were not discussed.

A summary of the discussion in the purpose sub-group can be found here on the related Confluence page.

b.    Organization group

Dan G. reported from the work in the organization group. At the start of the meeting there were two competing ideas regarding the composition of the SB:

  • The original proposal from Sydney, keeping a larger SB and creating a small Acting Committee for this. To improve the efficiency of the larger SB, a clarification of the role of scientific representatives also seems to be important (Hilde).

  • To make the small group the SB with the DDI Alliance members as overall approvers (Dan G.).

At the organization group meeting Ingo came up with a third proposal with the aim to bridge between the two:

  • The smaller group (AC or SB) should liaise with the member institutions on specific topics through a set of contact ‘roles’ within each institution. The threefold role set consists of an administrative contact role, a scientific contact role and a technical contact role. A single person could take more than one of these roles. It would be left to each member organization to assign staff to the different contact roles. According to this proposal each member institution should, however, only have one voting member. Further definitions of each role would be required.

Tentative agreement regarding the following topics was reached at the organization group meeting:

  • A smaller group consisting of 6 – 7 elected members, the DDI Alliance executive director and 2 additional external experts, should be established. The external experts should have an advisory role.

  • Voting for representatives for the smaller group should mirror the elections for the EB. It would be important to ensure that full turnover will not happen.

Link to minutes from the group discussion.


After the presentation of the report from the sub-group meetings a discussion followed. The main areas of the discussion were centered around how to restructure the SB in the best possible way to support the governance of the Alliance, as well as how to attract new people to become involved in the work and the balance between openness and regulations.

Sub-topics of the discussion were:

Organizational improvement

  • Which competence is needed in the smaller group to enable it to fulfill its purpose in the best possible way?

  • How are competences defined? (Related to the above).

  • The role of scientific member representatives

  • Would contact ‘roles’ be more useful?

  • Who should have voting rights within an organization?

Attracting new people; balance between openness and regulation

  • What could be done to make more/new people involved in the work of the Alliance

  • Balance between openness and regulations

Organizational improvement

Which competence is needed in the smaller group to enable it to fulfill its purpose in the best possible way?

Achim, Dan G.  and Hilde argued that metadata competence is needed for the AC/SB to fulfill its purpose and perform its tasks as the purpose of the DDI Alliance is related to metadata standards development and the SB is the scientific and technical body of the Alliance. The purpose of the AC/SB is to provide strategy and oversight over the scientific and technical work of the Alliance, setting up sub-groups, planning, reviewing and reporting (see report from the purpose group above). To fulfill this task a good understanding of metadata and metadata standards is perceived as needed.

Ingo stressed the importance of distinguishing between the roles of the TC as a standing committee of the SB and the small AC/SB group when it comes to the type and level of detail of the advice they give and proposed that the smaller group should consist of scientists rather than of technical people. The TC should handle the technical issues, while the SB should handle issues on a higher level.

A discussion of how to define competences and what ‘scientific’ means in the context of the body of the DDI Alliance then followed.

How should competences defined? (Related to the above).

Achim explained that the name ‘Scientific Board’ was invented to have a good name for the board for the body that was created as a response to the outcome of the Breckenhill review. ‘Scientific’ in the context of metadata standards development means in this context would mean a person competent in the field of metadata methodology. Dan G. and Hilde expressed their support of this view.

Ingo, however, suggests to separate between ‘scientific’ and ‘technical’ roles. In his understanding a ‘scientific’ is a person with competence within a specific scientific field, like for example a survey expert, while technical is a person with a technical knowledge background. According to Ingo the AC/SB should be populated by ‘scientists’ in the above understanding.

Status: Needs further clarification.

The role of scientific member representatives – larger SB

As explained above, agreement has not yet been met as to whether the larger SB should be kept or not.

It was discussed what should be the roles of the scientific representatives, given that the larger SB will continue to exist. How could the scientific representatives be involved to a larger extent than is currently the case? Should they have voting rights or not (see below)?

Hilde suggested that the smaller AC/SB could liaise with the larger SB group while the year, in between the Annual meetings, in order to seek advice from them and get them interested and involved in the prioritized work of the Alliance.  

Would contact ‘roles’ be an alternative?

According to Ingo’s proposal (see the report by the organization group above), it would be useful to have set of contact ‘roles’ within each institution that the small group AC/SB could liaise with for input. As explained above Ingo suggests to distinguish between administrative, scientific and technical contact role, in order to be able to communicate with more people from the same institution. The contacts it should be up to each institution on how to organize the distribution of roles (should one person take all roles, should there be one person for each role etc.).  

Hilde argued that it probably will vary between institutions how the distribution of roles is organized, and that good communication within institutions that assign different people to the different roles would be crucial in order for this to succeed.

Status: Needs further clarification and discussion.

Who should have voting rights within an organization?

According to Ron the bylaws are not clear regarding who should vote, and that it is important to find a good way with this.

It was then discussed who/which roles should have voting rights. Ingo suggested there should be only one designated voting person by institution, while Hilde meant that giving people working on DDI related things (the scientific representatives) voting rights on related topics would be a good idea.

Wendy, on the other hand, meant that how institutions do the voting cannot be controlled by the Alliance.

Status: Needs further discussion.

Attracting new people; balance between openness and regulation

What could be done to make more/new people involved in the work of the Alliance

There is a strong agreement in the group that it is important to attract new people with some understanding of the field to take part in the work of the Alliance, and it was discussed how could that best be achieved.

Wendy stressed the importance of being open for initiatives of collaboration, as well as the forming of working groups based on interests of individuals or groups. She also brought forward the idea to have virtual discussions on specific topics where more people could be involved.

Nicolas mentioned that it is important to approach newcomers in a way that encourage them to get involved.  

Achim expressed the importance of talking to people.

He also proposed that a policy for the topic could developed and reflected in a document at a lower level than the bylaws.

Balance between openness and regulations

Hilde expressed that while it is important to be open to people and ideas, it is crucial to get people motivated to take part in the work on prioritized tasks within the Alliance.

While everyone agreed openness is important Ron pointed out that it is important to find a balance between openness and regularity as disagreement on direction and strategy within the Alliance may occur.

Status: Needs further work. Develop a policy for this?

2)  Make a plan for moving forward with the work

A summary of where we are is needed.

Ingo proposed to focus on where there is consensus in the group when moving forward.

The group is approaching agreement on the following:

  • That a smaller group is needed.

  • How voting should take place (who should vote needs, however, some further clarification – see above).

  • The purpose of the group as oversight, providing directions for further work and setting up/facilitating for working groups.

Clarification of terms, for example what ‘scientific’ means, is also needed in order to verify where agreement or disagreement is true or false.

Hilde will write up minutes/notes from the meeting (this document). Ingo will provide a summary on where we are based on the notes and will make comments regarding alternatives for the open questions.

Next meeting Monday March 23rd.


Ingo did not have time to prepare the agenda due to responsibilities as dean at his university that is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Hilde suggested at the beginning of the meeting to make the original proposal from Sydney of a restructuring of the SB the agenda. This proposal did not get consent in the group as a broader discussion on the topic was favored.


Dan G., Hilde, Jared, Ingo, Wendy



Minutes from Restructuring of the Scientific Board of the DDI Alliance working group - subgroup ‘organization’ meeting 2020-03-16

Initial remarks

The discussion of the following topics were proposed (Wendy, Ingo, Dan G.):

·         What should the future structure of the SB look like?

·         What should the SB related member representative group look like?

·         Should external people be brought in?

·         What should the relationship be amongst the EB, the SB and the TC?

·         How should voting for representatives take place?

·         How should voting for decisions of the SB take place?

What should the future structure of the SB look like?

Dan G. expressed disagreement with the Sydney proposal to have an Acting Committee of the Scientific Board. He would like to see a small SB constituted by a limited number of people, reporting to the EB and the DDI Alliance (the assembly of member representatives).

Jared was asking if the current SB would have been working better if the SB had an Acting Committee and provided a use case related to the DDI Moving Forward process as an example.

Ingo pointed out that there seems to be agreement that a smaller group is needed. A question is whether the larger SB should be kept in addition or not.

See further discussions below.

Types/skills of SB members

Ingo suggested merely scientist in the meaning of ‘domain experts’ rather than merely technical people should be involved. He suggested a threefold distinction between member representatives: Business (administrative/executive, scientific (domain) and technical).

Hilde argued that ‘scientific’ in a metadata standards perspective usefully could be interpreted as technical persons/metadata experts with a good understanding of a domain or cross-domain fields, or domain experts with a good understanding of metadata standards. Scientific (domain) representatives may not have the full understanding of metadata standards but are still important stakeholders. A balance of skills would be important.

Status: Discussion needs follow-up.

Composition of smaller group

Ingo proposed the smaller group to consist of elected 6 – 7 members including Jared as the executive director, in addition to two external experts.

Status: Tentatively agreed by the subgroup.

Composition of the larger group

Hilde favors the original proposal from Sydney that the larger SB group is kept and that the small group is an Acting Committee of the SB, as she thinks this would provide a sound basis for the SB in total.  Dan G. prefers to have the smaller group be the SB and that this relates to the members of the Alliance, as he does not feel an additional body (larger SB group) is needed.

Ingo suggested something in between: That the smaller SB group have three different contact persons (or contact roles) to liaise with within a member institution that they could contact regarding specific issues. According to Ingo’s proposal it would be up to each organization to decide who would act as the administrative, scientific or technical contact person. Each member institution should, however, only have one voting member.

Status: Discussion needs follow-up.

Should external people be brought in?

Dan G. suggested if external people are brought in in the smaller SB group they should not have voting rights as this should be reserved for the member representatives.

Ingo suggested to have two external experts in the smaller group (see above).

Hilde suggested these are recognized metadata experts or strong domain experts with a cross-domain outlook.

Status: Discussion needs follow-up.

What should the relationship be amongst the EB, the SB and the TC?

This topic was not discussed.

How should voting for representatives take place?

Ingo proposed that the election criteria for the smaller SB group should be identical to those of the EB elections. Members are elected, and decide about themselves who will be the chair and vice chair.

As the task of an SB small group member is supposed to require some continuity, periods should be diversified so that not all members leave at the same time (three years/four years election time). Elections should take place biannually.

Status: Tentatively agreed by the subgroup.

How should voting for decisions of the SB take place?

An open question is which type of decisions of a smaller SB group/AC would need a larger SB/Member representations vote.

Wendy reported there has been a problem voting for things earlier within the DDI Alliance. A use case example is the voting for XSKOS where few votes were casted.

Status: Discussion needs follow-up.

A more ‘purpose’ related discussion took place in between the discussion of organizational topics. Below are some notes from that discussion:

Wendy expressed that the SB (smaller group) should have more of a facilitating role in supporting interested people to form a working group, as it is important to get more people involved in the work of the Alliance. Interests and concerns of people should drive the directions of the DDI development in different areas.

Dan G. and Ingo agreed to the idea that a smaller SB should encourage interest based working groups.

Hilde argued, however, that it is important to balance between human and monetary resources available when it comes to the formation of new working groups, and to take the needs of the Alliance into account. It is important to encourage interest in existing products and products under development among members/larger SB, rather than focusing on individual interest. An AC of the SB should in her view decide about which working groups to approve/assign based on current and forthcoming needs of the Alliance. Would the larger SB be involved in the decision making related to this?

Wendy informed that a set of rules for the forming of working groups within the DDI Alliance exist. Perhaps these will need to be looked into or be revised?

Another task for the smaller SB would also be to how to decide about initiatives that wish to work under the DDI Alliance umbrella. An example is the SDTL. Wendy argued this could be addressed when creating a roadmap.

Otherwise people argued for the promotion of DDI, both internally within the Alliance and externally, as well as to liaise with the Marketing group on this purpose.

Ingo suggested writing of an academic paper on important DDI related topics to motivate scientific representatives.

Minutes were not recorded