Interim OAB meeting 17.3.2014 with minutes

Initial Organisational Advisory Board meeting - Μinutes


Monday, 17 March 2014 at 16:00 GMT. Web meeting link at


Amy Nurnberger, Columbia University, USA

Hilary Hanahoe, Trust-IT services, UK, 

Cynthia Hudson, Washington University, USA

Fotis Karayannis, ATHENA, Greece (RDA Secretariat)

Jamie Shiers, CERN, Switzerland

Jan Brase, DataCite, Germany

Juan Bicarregui, STFC, UK (Chair)

Kevin Ashley, DCC, UK

Larry Lannom, CNRI, USA

Laurel Haak, ORCID, USA

Leif Laaksonen, CSC, Finland

Mark Parsons, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (RDA Secretary General- SG)

Michael Witt, Purdue University, USA

Apologies: Merce Crosas, Harvard University, USA, Fabrizio Gagliardi, BSC, Spain, Simon Hodson, CODATA, France, Stefan Kramer, American University, USA, Mustapha Mokrane, CODATA, Walter Stewart Reseach Data Canada.


  • Welcome and review of agenda

The Chair welcomed the participants. As part of the review of the agenda and matters arising, the chair gave a short report about the Eastern time zone meeting (replay can be found at that took place on Thursday 22:30 UTC. The main points raised were:

-           The time zone issue. It was proposed to have a rotation scheme similar to the TAB one.

-           Whether the OA is ready now to proceed with the OAB elections. Different options were reviewed, namely whether a part or the whole OAB will be elected or whether there will continue to be a volunteer OAB and elections will take place in the next months.

-           The two forms of joining the OA: via an agreement vs. a subscription. Ross volunteered to produce the document that will be subscribed to if subscriptions are used.

-           The SG, who was also present at the AsiaPacific timezone meeting, added that the issue of what kind of organisations are allowed to join. E.g. are projects allowed to join? The consensus was that it does seem appropriate for projects or departments/libraries of universities or institutes to join.

  • Approval of the minutes from the previous meeting [link]

The minutes were accepted.

  • Approval of OM process document

The Chair explained the process that the pre-final version was prepared. All comments from the previous meeting were tracked in an intermediate version by Fotis available under the last meeting minutes page. Then these comments were taken into account in the prefinal version uploaded to the file depot available here. The Chair explained that the document will obviously evolve in the future but felt that it is in good shape to be approved.

There were no comments raised and the document was approved.

There was a follow-up discussion on whether there were any comments on the Member Agreements or whether there were any organisations having issues with the agreement. The SG answered that not many comments were raised and that they were rather minor. Questions on Intellectual Property issues came up, however they were pointed to the IP Policy document. The SG added that the Member Agreement was sent to the Council and one of the members asked for a legal review. Tony Hey’s legal team may assist in performing a legal review and checking whether there are any risks.

On a question, about the sort of risks there may be, the SG gave examples of some extreme cases: that the RDA does not provide what it is obliged to provide, or RDA gets into a situation with an OM and it is decided to expel them and they may want money back and sue RDA. These situations were not thought to be likely. The overall goal has been to keep it simple but it may be the case that the organisations signing would like to review the agreement. This legal review may slow things and influence the upcoming OAB election.

  • Discussion of how to run the OAB election process

The Chair continued the previous discussion, considering the case the Member Agreement text is not approved, there needs to be some other document which the representatives of the organisations will sign to have the right to vote. This may be the Letter of Intent that 10 organisations have already signed (or the MoU in the case of affiliated members). Besides the 10 organisations who signed the letter of intent, there are 20 that expressed interest and several on-going discussions for MoUs for organisations to become RDA affiliates.

It was discussed that we need to be careful about definitions and special conditions for the first elections, as it may be that these elections are being held with special rules. The overall feeling was that to ratify the Member Agreement, have organisations join, and hold a valid elections in 10 days seems pretty quick. It was also considered that even if we go for an election, there won’t be significant change from the current interim status. The Chair replied that electing a portion of the OAB would make people more engaged; still the difference between volunteers or officially elected may be little. Leif seconded this view and stated that there will be new energy into the OAB process: new persons and new idea. The work will be similar however.

There was also discussion about the subscription model that might simplify things considerably, just requiring an invoice to be paid and simplifying the legal complications. The Chair remarked that the Australians together with the SG will be drafting something on what members are subscribed to and what to pay for.

After some discussion it was agreed that going for a formal election based on the Member Agreement is not realistic in such a short timeframe and the following interim solution was decided for Dublin:


The OA meeting in Dublin will be open to all, however, membership and voting rights will be reserved to representatives of organisations that have either signed any of the following: the Letter of Intent (the LoI could be signed on the spot or bringing a copy in Dublin,), or the Member Agreement (if there is progress) or the Subscription Model (again if there is progress on drafting something in time for Dublin) or an Affiliate MoU (or intention to sign an MoU).

An OAB will then be formed from these by asking for volunteers who will commit to active participation in the activities of the OIAB.  This  may continue to be called interim OAB or any other name decided at the meeting. This OAB will then be replaced by an elected OAB, probably at the latest in the next plenary (i.e. not more than 6 months).

It was also decided to keep both models for organizational membership (agreement and subscription) as there are different requirements by different organisations and that invoices should be send when things are clear with the two models (probably not earlier than 1-2 months).

  • Planning the Dublin OA agenda
    • Candidate statements and OAB election
    • Promoting the OA and increasing membership
    • Other items?

The Chair asked for the topics for the Dublin OA. He introduced the main items as follows:

  • What is the OAB for?
  • What happens in the next months?
  • What activities should the OA and OAB be doing?

In the discussion that followed, people raised additional or complementary points:

  • Discussion about increasing membership
  • The opportunity for each organisation to talk to each other was also felt important
  • Nomination/election procedure for September
  • how the outcome of RDA will be efficiently used in this context (by organiations and other external entities, besides TAB and other internal)

On a point whether the OAB can be the same with the Organisation Assembly, it was felt that it is better to chose the OAB, otherwise discussions will be spinning around (being the same discussions as new member ask the same things), so the OA=OAB approach was not favoured in the long run.

Decision: It was decided to have both the OA and the OAB follow-up meeting. The Chair finally proposed that volunteers for the next IOAB might be asked to engage in specific tasks that we need to do in the near future, thus enouraging active involvement.

  • AoB

There were no Any other Business raised. The Chair closed the meeting stating that he is looking forward seeing people in Dublin.