BitCurator Consortium Charter

Approved by a vote of the BitCurator Consortium membership on May 21, 2021.

First established: June 9, 2014

Last modified: June 1, 2021

1. Introduction

1.1. The BitCurator Consortium

The BitCurator Consortium is an independent, community-led membership association. The purpose of the BitCurator Consortium is to build a community of organizations that support practitioners responsible for the curation of born-digital materials, especially through the application of free and open-source tools. The BitCurator Consortium was founded through seed support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, and the Educopia Institute.

1.2. Mission and Operating Principles

The BitCurator Consortium promotes the development of innovative, sustainable curation of born-digital materials by any organization responsible for caring for such materials.

Organizations across all sectors of society are increasingly responsible for caring for born-digital materials over time. The BitCurator software is designed to meet the needs of these organizations. The software is and will continue to be freely disseminated under an open source license.

The BitCurator Consortium serves as the host of and center of administrative and user support for the BitCurator software environment. This includes the software developed as part of the BitCurator project and, when appropriate and feasible, software developed by (1) additional follow-on research and development projects, and (2) members of the BitCurator user community. The Consortium also fosters a tool-agnostic community of practice to address the curation of born-digital materials in many contexts.

1.3. Who Should Participate?

Organizations responsible for the curation of born-digital materials or engaged in education on curation of born-digital materials are encouraged to participate. Membership is open to organizations in all sectors and all nations. The BitCurator Consortium is envisioned as a robust network of organizations committed to enhancing, promoting, and exploring this growing area of professional activity.

2. Membership

2.1. Definitions

2.1.1. Member

A member of the BitCurator Consortium is a single organization or a consortium that has signed a participant agreement and paid dues.

2.1.2. Voting Member

A voting member of the BitCurator Consortium is the member representative designated to vote on behalf of the member organization. Each member may designate one voting member.

2.1.3. Charter Member

Charter Members are members who provided a pivotal role in the formation of the BitCurator Consortium by seed-funding the community during the Consortium’s formation. Two organizations that led the initial phases of the BitCurator project – the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) – were granted perpetual Charter Member status in the BitCurator Consortium at no annual cost.

2.2. Eligibility

Membership in the BitCurator Consortium is by organization or group of organizations (consortium). Membership is open to institutions in all sectors and all nations and each member is approved by the Executive Council prior to joining.

2.3. Benefits and Responsibilities

2.3.1. Benefits

The Consortium commits to providing benefits to its members. A full list of the current member benefits may be found here.

2.3.2. Responsibilities

Each member of the BitCurator Consortium bears responsibility for certain administrative duties (outlined below) and for participation in the Consortium’s activities.

2.3.2.1. Administration

Members agree to ensure their organization is in good standing by complying with the Membership Agreement (see 2.4.) and by following established business procedures as outlined in the Charter.

Members will designate one individual to be a primary organizational  contact and voting representative, but may have additional individuals participate in meetings and communication channels. Any individual may participate regardless of where they sit or what their job duties are within the organization. Primary organizational contacts are responsible for coordinating the payment of membership dues and submission of signed Membership Agreements.

2.3.2.2. Participation

Members are encouraged to participate in BitCurator Consortium activities through committee or group service, project involvement, and information sharing.

2.4. Costs and fees

The Executive Council is responsible for setting the fee structure of the Consortium. The current fee structure for General and Consortia members is available here. Changes to the fee structure will be proposed by the Executive Council and put to a vote by membership. The annual fee is autorenewed each year for the length of time defined on the individual Membership Agreement, or can be paid up front for the entire term. The minimum term for membership is one year. The fiscal year shall be July 1 to June 30, and all membership agreements align with this calendar. Prorated membership is available for members joining in the middle of the fiscal year. Memberships initiated midway through the fiscal year cannot be terminated before the end of the following fiscal year. Membership dues are the primary financial resource for the BitCurator Consortium’s activities. Checks should be made payable to Educopia Institute and the address for payment is:

 

Educopia Institute

235 Peachtree St, NE, Suite 400

Atlanta, Georgia 30303

2.5. Membership agreement

Member organizations are required to sign and submit a BitCurator Consortium Membership Agreement to the host organization (at this time, Educopia Institute).

2.6. Joining the Consortium

Organizations interested in joining the Consortium should contact the BitCurator

Consortium Community Facilitator.  The BitCurator Consortium Executive Councilbears responsibility for approval, orientation, and recruitment of new members.

3. Organization and Governance

3.1. BitCurator Consortium

The BitCurator Consortium promotes the development of innovative, sustainable publishing services in academic and research libraries to support scholars as they create, advance, and disseminate knowledge.

The BitCurator Consortium Executive Council (see 3.3) is the governing body of the BitCurator Consortium and directs its activities. The address for official correspondence and payments is:

 

Educopia Institute

235 Peachtree St, NE., Suite 400

Atlanta, Georgia 30303

3.2. Hosting and Administration

The BitCurator Consortium is administered by the Educopia Institute, a registered

non-profit that empowers collaborative communities to create, share, and preserve knowledge. The hosting arrangement may be amended or canceled at any time by a simple majority of the BitCurator Consortium members.

3.3. Voting

Each member organization will appoint one individual member to represent that organization as a voting member of the BitCurator Consortium. Consortial members will appoint one individual to vote on behalf of the entire consortium. The authorized representative of an organizational or consortial member shall be any person designated in writing by the organization at the time of payment of dues, unless otherwise and later designated in writing by the organization at least five weeks before distribution of ballots in which the representative is to vote. Each voting member is entitled to one vote.

3.4. Amendment of Charter

The Executive Council will revisit the BitCurator Consortium charter regularly to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the current membership and the broader community of interested professionals.

3.4.1. Proposals.

Amendments to the charter may be proposed by the BitCurator Consortium Executive Council; by any standing committee of the Consortium in writing to the Executive Council; or by a petition signed by at least 25% of the voting representative of the Consortium.

3.4.2. Approval by Executive Council.

A proposed amendment to the charter shall be voted upon by Consortium members after it has been approved by a simple majority of the Executive Council members.

3.4.3. Community Notice.

Written notice of the text of the amendment shall be provided to members at least one month before consideration.

3.4.4. Community Voting.

Amendments shall be voted upon by each organization’s voting representative by electronic ballot. The charter amendment is accepted if a simple majority of those representatives participating vote in favor of the amendment.

3.4.5. Adoption.

If not otherwise specified, a proposed amendment becomes effective as soon as it has been approved as described above.

3.5. The BitCurator Consortium Executive Council

3.5.1. Charge

The BitCurator Consortium Executive Council oversees the governance, organizational structure, charter, and the review and direction of the membership of the BitCurator Consortium. This group provides guidance on critical decisions, formalizes documentation, and ensures that Consortium activities make progress towards their goals.

The BitCurator Consortium Executive Council shall be made up of elected voting members including a President, a President-Elect, a Treasurer, and four other Executive Council members. The Community Facilitator will also serve on the committee as an ex-officio.

Seven Executive Council Members shall be elected by the membership at large to serve for two years each. The membership elects Executive Council members to fill open seats just prior to the end of the current fiscal year or as a special election is required following an unexpected vacancy. The Executive Council strives to have three members elected in odd years and four members in even years.

3.5.2. Selection and Terms

Executive Council members shall take office at the beginning of each fiscal year in July following their election and shall serve, unless they resign, die, become incapacitated, or are removed, until the end of their terms of office andsuccessors are elected and assume their duties.

Anyone from a BitCurator Consortium member organization may run for Executive Council. Only one person per member organization may serve on the Executive Council at a time.

The annual call for volunteers to run for the Executive Council will occur no later than 90 days before the end of the current fiscal year. Nominees will be placed on the ballot with their permission; self-nomination is also welcome. Elections for Executive Council members will conclude no later than 10 business days before the end of the current fiscal year.

If an Executive Council member resigns before the end of their elected term, then the open seat is to be included in the next scheduled Executive Council election. A council member may be considered for appointment by the Executive Council to temporarily serve in the open seat until the next scheduled election.

If the President resigns or leaves their position with more than 9 months left in their term, the President-Elect, in taking over the responsibilities of that position and that term, will have served their term of President in its entirety. If the President-Elect in this scenario is a first-year EC member, they will serve the second year of their term as an Executive Council member, with the option to run as any officer position except President-Elect.

If the President resigns with 6 or fewer months left on their term, the President-Elect will take over the responsibilities of President for the remainder of that term and continue to serve for the following year as President.

If the President leaves with between 9-6 months left on their term, the President-Elect may choose whether to end their tenure as President upon completion of the President term, or to serve the following year as President. This decision will be in concert and in discussion with the Executive Council to best aid with strategic planning and election timelines.

3.5.2.1. President

The President shall be the previous year’s President-Elect. The President is responsible for holding monthly leadership meetings, setting and facilitating monthly Executive Council agendas, moving the Council through the BitCurator Consortium Action Plan and Strategic Directions, and addressing member needs as they are communicated to the Executive Council. They also prepare the President-Elect throughout their term to take on the position of President, and support the President-Elect through their leadership transition.

3.5.2.2. President-Elect

The President-Elect is responsible for participating in monthly leadership meetings and supporting the President in preparing and executing Executive Council activities. The President-Elect shall be a member of the Executive Council, preferably in the first year of their term, in order to keep Council members on 2-year cycles. They will be self-nominated or nominated, and voted on by members of the Executive Council each year. The selection and voting process may begin at the start of a new Executive Council term (July). The process may be postponed, as agreed upon by Executive Council members, but the President-Elect shall be in place no later than 7 months after the start of the Executive Council term (February).

3.5.2.3. Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be self-nominated, or nominated and selected by members of the Executive Council in July of each year. The Treasurer helps prepare the annual budget to present to the Executive Council and works with the Executive Council and Community Facilitator to ensure that there is adequate funding to support strategic goals. The Treasurer shall review monthly account summaries, adjust the budget according to actual expenditures, and communicate any issues or concerns with the Executive Council.

 

3.6. BitCurator Consortium Groups

3.6.1. Creation, Function, and Composition

This section governs all BitCurator Consortium groups, including committees and other types of groups. Members of BitCurator Consortium groups will be made up of volunteers. Groups can be proposed by either the Executive Council or through a member proposal approved by the Executive Council. Each newly created group must have a charge, meeting frequency, and member term length, approved by the Executive Council prior to recruiting for membership. Each group must have an Executive Council liaison who attends the group meetings regularly.  Groups must make an annual call for new members. Groups that sunset must submit a final evaluation report that is approved by the Executive Council in order to disband. Executive Council may make committees and groups standing or termed as needed.

3.6.1.1.1. Chairs

Members of the group will select their own chair or co-chairs regularly, as outlined in their charter and approved by the Executive Council. Group chairs or co-chairs should be from BitCurator Consortium member organizations. The Community Facilitator and Members of the Executive Council are eligible to serve as group chairs.

3.6.1.1.2. Nominations

Individuals may indicate interest in being on a group by filling out a volunteer form and indicating preferred groups. The Executive Council will conduct the annual call for volunteers for groups, which will begin no later than 60 days and will end no later than 30 days before the end of the current fiscal year.

3.7. Communication

It is hoped that all members feel welcomed and encouraged  to participate in collaborative communication activities with the BitCurator Consortium. The BitCurator Consortium provides a wide array of venues for member participation, from the annual forum, to committees and other groups, to community calls, to virtual spaces. With regard to communications within our communities of practice and the public, members of the BitCurator Consortium are encouraged to share information of their work via professional conferences and publications.

3.8. Community Facilitator

The Community Facilitator bears primary responsibility for coordinating and facilitating program development, including attracting and retaining member organizations, developing and maintaining relationships with relevant service organizations, research/market analysis, event hosting/organization, and creation/dissemination of outreach activities. The Community Facilitator will report to the BitCurator Consortium Executive Council and to the Executive Director of the Educopia Institute, and the Council, committees, and other groups may contribute to fulfilling these duties.

 

Addendum: History of the BitCurator Consortium

Between 2011 and 2014, the BitCurator project (phases 1 and 2), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has developed, packaged and documented open source digital forensics tools to allow libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) to meet the above goals. It has also actively engaged with interested professionals, through conferences, specialized events, online interactions, and site visits. These provided a strong foundation of tools and relationships upon which the BitCurator Consortium now builds.

The BitCurator Consortium held a Charter Membership drive from June to August 2014. Charter Members played an early, active role in the shaping of the BitCurator Consortium’s governance, ongoing development, and overall sustainability. Charter Membership was a one-time membership option, available only through December 31, 2014. In addition to those listed above for General Members, Charter Members also received the following benefits:

  • Opportunity to participate in and shape the initial BitCurator Consortium Executive Council and BitCurator Consortium
  • Committees, including exclusive eligibility for election or appointment to the Executive Council (General Members can serve on committees but will not be eligible for election to the Executive Council before 2015).
  • Participation in the development of the initial BitCurator Consortium user, technical and services roadmaps.
  • Recognition through the placement of institution name, logo and link on the BitCurator Consortium website.
  • Use of the “BitCurator Consortium Charter Member” icon

During the Charter period (July 1 – December 31, 2014), membership for Charter Members was $5000 (US) for the first year. After the first year of membership, dues were the same as those of General Members (described above).

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. (August 26, 2020). BitCurator Consortium Charter. .