TEI Consortium procedures, customs and practices


Text Encoding Initiative Consortium Standard Procedures

Mailing List

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Executive Director: role and responsibilities

The ED is responsible for managing the TEI's member information and its relationship with its members. Specific activities include:
  • sending out invoices and reminders
  • sending voting materials such as ballots and proxy slips
  • maintaining the TEI's member database and ensuring that member records are up to date
  • helping to plan, coordinate, and manage the TEI members' meeting
  • working with the TEI Treasurer to coordinate the invoicing process and track payments as they come in

The ED also plays a central role in the TEI's fundraising and recruiting activities.

Members' Meetings

Planning and Venue

Proposals for time and place of each members meeting should be solicited in the spring of the previous year (e.g. April 2005 for the members' meeting of 2006) so that the venue can be announced at the members' meeting a year in advance. In the event of multiple proposals, the Board decides among them, attempting to achieve a balance among several factors:
  • low travel costs for members
  • a balance of locations in North America, Europe, and other locations where the TEI has members
  • local support from the organizer
  • recruiting opportunities
Once the venue has been chosen, the TEI Chair contacts the local organizer, informs him or her about the decision made, congratulates and invites him or her to proceed with the organization of the members meeting. The TEI meeting mailing list should be updated at that time with the new members of the program committee, which should consist of the program organizer, the Executive Director, the TEI Chair (or another board member if so designated), the TEI Treasurer, and the local organizer. The roles of each of these people in organizing the meeting are as follows:
Program organizer
  • leads the development of the meeting program, including choice of speakers, schedule, reviewing process if any
  • invites speakers
  • coordinates with local organizer about necessary space and schedule
  • works with Chair and local organizer to recruit sponsorship for the meeting
  • sends public notices and registration reminders
Executive director
  • manages information about members, attendance, conduct of the elections
  • coordinates the provision of name tags, printed programs, membership lists for registration, and other necessary paper generated from membership records (either providing these things him/herself or ensuring that the local organizer provides these things)
Local organizer
  • takes care of all local arrangements, room reservations, catering, equipment
  • works with Chair and program organizer to recruit sponsorship
  • provides some facility for registration (ideally the TEI would have a permanent registration system as part of the TEI web site)
  • provides information on available budget
  • pays invoices for local arrangements as necessary
  • works with local and program organizers to recruit sponsorship
  • signs paperwork if necessary (e.g. hotel contracts)

The committee as a whole reviews and approves the conference program, and reviews the poster/demonstration proposals.

Information is available here in Appendix A: Information on standard meeting requirements on standard meeting requirements (rooms, catering, etc.)

Preparation for Members' Meetings

The Chair prepares an annual Consortium report which is checked with the Executive Director and approved by the Board before it is presented at the members' business meeting and discussed. After that the report may be revised and finally approved by the Executive Director and the Board.

Papers presented at members meetings should as much as possible be available on the Web well in advance and in different languages.

Nomination of Candidates for Election

Each year the Board appoints two Board members as members of the Nominating committee and suggests one or more additional members from outside the Board to add breadth. The Chair contacts those additional candidates and invites them to become members of the Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee acts not as a gatekeeper for the elections slate, but as a recruiting group to encourage desirable candidates to consider running for election, and as an organizational group to receive nominations from the TEI community, ensure that candidates are willing to stand, and manage the process of getting information from the candidates. The nominations process begins no later than June prior to the fall election. At that time a public announcement should be sent by the chair of the Nominating Committee to TEI-L mentioning the election and requesting nominations (including self-nominations). All external nominations are accepted, in addition to which the Nominating Committee should nominate candidates whom they feel will bring valuable skills or perspective to the Board or Council.

Before assembling the final slate, the Nominating Committee must confirm that all candidates are willing to stand for election, and must get from each candidate a brief biographical statement and statement of purpose which will be posted on the TEI web page describing the current election. This information should be assembled and made public on the TEI web site at least one month before the election.

All nominees, regardless of their origin, should be reminded very strongly that members of the Board and Council are expected to participate actively in all discussions and TEI recruiting efforts.

Conduct of Members' Meetings

Speakers from the audience should ideally stand up and speak up. The chair of the session is asked to have an eye not only on the principal speaker's good behavior, but also on his/her audibility and visibility (and of course, the time).

Participation in Members' Meetings

Travel and lodging expenses are paid by the TEI for the following types of attendees:
  • Invited speakers
  • Board members (if there is a Board meeting held in connection with the Members' Meeting)
  • Council members (if there is a Council meeting held in connection with the Members' Meeting)
TEI members and subscribers must pay their own travel and lodging, but pay no registration fee for the meeting. Non-members pay a registration fee as well as travel and lodging. With the consent of the Programme Committee, the local organizer may invite a reasonable number of people from the local institution hosting the meeting to attend the meeting at no cost; this is both a recruiting opportunity for the TEI and a way of expressing gratitude to the hosting institution.

Elections of Board of Directors and Council

The Executive Director oversees the preparation for and conduct of the election itself, including:
  • notification (via TEI-L is sufficient) to the membership of the time and place of the elections, and procedures for casting absentee and proxy votes
  • preparation of the ballots themselves (both regular and absentee)
  • casting and counting of votes

The slate of candidates should be made public at the TEI web site (on the page for the members' meeting) at least one month before the election.

Proxy forms and the slate of candidates should be made available on the TEI web site at least one month before the meeting, and members should be notified of the election, the slate, and the proxy forms via the TEI-MEMBERS discussion list. Note that although official notice of the meeting must be given no more than 60 days before the meeting, information about the venue and travel arrangements should be made public much sooner. Official notice of the meeting should be distinguished from the ordinary notice required for planning purposes.

The election is conducted using printed voting slips which list the names of the candidates in alphabetical order by surname. The voting slip should also include space to fill in the name of the voting institution and the name and signature of the person casting the vote. The voting slip should also include specific instructions for casting the vote.

At the start of the election, the ballot papers are handed out to the electors and the persons holding proxies. Clear oral and written (and signed if needed) instructions should be given in as many significant languages as is practical, after which the election takes place.

TEI elections use instant run-off voting (IRV). Each elector may cast votes for as many candidates as there are vacant places to be filled, and places the chosen candidates in rank order. If any member or subscriber has cast a vote by mail in advance, and is present to cast a vote at the meeting itself, the vote cast at the meeting supersedes the vote cast in advance.

The Executive Director, the Vice-chair, and one volunteer (chosen from those attending the election) do the actual counting in a separate room. The Executive Director should have a list of the electors and proxies.

First each vote is checked to see if it is valid (that the voting institution has the right to vote, that the person is an elector or has a proxy, that there are no more candidates voted for than requested, that it is readable). Then the valid votes are counted twice.

All first choices are counted, and the top candidates (however many are to be elected) are identified. In the case of a tie, the last place candidate (the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes) is eliminated. Ballots of voters who ranked the eliminated candidate first are then redistributed to their next-choice candidates, as indicated on each voter's ballot. This process is repeated until all open seats are filled and all ties are broken.

Incorrectly marked ballots are discarded as invalid.

The election is not secret, but it is private: that is, the persons counting the votes may see who votes for whom, but this information should be kept strictly confidential and the ballot papers should be destroyed after the meeting is over.

Immediately following the completion of the election, the Chair informs the members about newly elected members of the Board and Council.

The Executive Director and the Chair inform the newly elected Board and Council members of their election. The Executive Director supplies them with information (in email) about where to find the necessary materials for conducting their positions.

Newly elected Board and Council members take office on January 1 following the election. They are added to e-mail lists immediately following the election, and are permitted to participate in conference calls at TEI expense between their election and January 1. They are also permitted to attend face-to-face meetings during that time but will not be reimbursed for expenses.

Host reports

Host representatives must prepare a summary report for presentation to the membership at the members meeting, covering the current fiscal year (i.e. from January through the date of the meeting). Hosts also prepare an official report covering the entire fiscal year (January to December) to be submitted to the Executive Director no later than February 1 of the following year.

Period of Membership

Membership and subscription in the TEI Consortium is for the calendar year. Members and subscribers who join at any point during the calendar year are entitled to membership and subscription benefits until December 31 of that year. No prorated membership and subscription is currently offered. Members who join, and pay, by the annual meeting are entitled to vote in the election for that year.

Special Interest Groups

SIG Coordinator

In order to at least keep on top of what is going on, if not actually help keep things moving, a single ‘SIG Coordinator’ should be appointed by the Council (from among Council members, since SIG progress and topics may be pertinent to Council discussions). This person maintains a minimal level of contact with each SIG, to confirm that they still exist and to ask if they need help or advice, a few times a year. This person is also responsible for compiling a SIG summary report each year to be distributed at Board, Council, and Members' Meetings. In the event that the SIGs become too numerous for a single person to maintain useful contact, the coordinator may identify additional people to assist with this task.

SIG Creation

SIGs may be proposed by any TEI member. To propose a SIG, the proposer should send a brief description to the SIG Coordinator, who will forward it to TEI Council for approval. The description needs to include some statement of the SIG's mission and must name a contact person responsible for the SIG. Approval should normally be granted unless the SIG is considered unrelated to the TEI or actively harmful to its mission. If a SIG is proposed which overlaps significantly with an existing SIG, the Council may propose that the two be merged or work together.

Contact Person

Each SIG must have a designated contact person, so that the editors, Council, and others concerned can ascertain whether a SIG is still active or not and what it is doing.


Since SIGs use so little TEI resources and are a potential recruiting opportunity, there is no reason to limit their lifespan artificially, unless they become so numerous that they pose an administrative burden. However, any SIG may be dissolved by the TEI Board if:
  • its activities are considered harmful to the TEI
  • it shows no sign of existence for one year (e.g. contact person cannot be reached or reports no activity)

SIG Activities and Restrictions

SIGs operate more or less without restriction, as long as their activities are relevant to the TEI's goals and are not harmful to the TEI or others. However, any requests for external funding (e.g. from foundations or public funding bodies) must be approved by the TEI Board, to prevent inadvertent competition with other TEI funding efforts. The TEI provides some basic services to SIGs to assist them in their activities:
  • Mailing lists: The TEI will provide an electronic mailing list for any approved SIG. To request a mailing list SIGs should send mail to editors@tei-c.org.
  • Web space: The TEI provides web space for each SIG, linked from the main TEI SIG page.
  • Meeting venue: The TEI provides SIGs with the opportunity to meet at the annual Members' Meeting, space and resources permitting.

Other Issues

SIGs are open to those who are not TEI members. However, anyone attending a SIG meeting that is held in conjunction with a TEI members' meeting is expected to be either a TEI member or an attendee of the public portion of the members' meeting. SIGs are free to meet at other times and places.

SIGs that wish to create documents that will eventually become TEI papers or working material should author these documents in TEI, preferably TEI Lite (P4 XML).

Reimbursement Policies and Procedures

The TEI reimburses individuals for reasonable expenses occurred on its behalf by prior arrangement with a projected cap of $1,500 for members attending conferences outside their continent and $1,000 for members traveling within their continent. Reasonable expenses incurred above the projected caps will be evaluated for additional compensation on a case by case basis. The TEI reimburses members of the Board for travel to the Annual Board meeting (typically held immediately after the annual conference and members' meeting) and members of Council for travel to Council Meetings. It may also reimburse others travelling or incurring other expenses on TEI business by prior arrangement.

In broad terms, its reimbursement policies are in keeping with those common practice in the U.S. University and Public Sector. Some more specific policies follow. Questions about these policies or concerning expenses not covered here should be directed to the Treasurer. While exceptions and clarifications are possible, these should normally be requested before the expense is incurred.

Transportation to events and activities

The TEI reimburses eligible individuals for the cost of transportation to and from events and activities.
  • Airfare should be by the cheapest direct route and economy class or equivalent.
  • Ground transportation should be by cheapest direct route and economy/second class (if applicable) or equivalent.
Transportation involving detours, stop-overs, or travel to additional destinations may be eligible for full or partial reimbursement. Individuals considering such travel should make arrangements with the Treasurer in advance.

Meals and Incidental Expenses (Per Diem)

The TEI reimburses eligible individuals for meals and incidental expenses on a per diem basis. These per diem rates usually are calculated from U.S. Government rates using the following formula:
  • Travel outside the U.S. For travel outside continental U.S., the Meals and Incidentals per diem is equal to 70% of the relevant U.S. State Department rate.
  • Travel within the U.S. For travel withing the continental U.S., the Meals and Incidentals per diem is equal to the relevant U.S. General Service Administration rate rounded up to the nearest $10.
To ease reporting, per diem claim for meals and incidentals are calculated separately. The allowance for incidentals is 20% of the total TEI per diem; the allowance for meals is 80% of the total TEI per diem. The TEI will strive to publish specific per diem rates for major events and activities in advance. The Board reserves the right to set its per diem rates using a different formula provided advance notice is given to the traveller.

Eligible Per Diem Expenses

The per diem rates are intended to cover actual meals and incidental daily living expenses (excluding lodging) for eligible individuals while they are travelling on TEI business. Per diems should not be claimed for expenses that are paid for by somebody else, eligible for reimbursement from other sources, or that occur before or after the travel takes place. No receipts are required for expenses claimed as part of a per diem.

The following are some examples of expenses covered by the Meals and Incidental per diem. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. If in doubt, please contact the Treasurer.
  • Meals The per diem is intended to cover all meals paid for by individuals on their own behalf. No receipts are required in such cases. Reimbursement for group meals organised in advance by the TEI or local hosts or for costs incurred in paying for meals of guests of the TEI should be requested separately and require receipts. Individuals participating (but not paying for) such meals should not also claim the equivalent meal allowance. Informal groups dining together should ask for separate checks or otherwise settle the bill amongst themselves before claiming their per diems as individuals. Individuals will not normally be reimbursed for group meals not arranged in advance.
  • Incidental Expenses The per diem is also intended to cover incidental and minor expenses such as tips, in-town taxi and public transit fares (under $20), and the like. Reimbursement for ground transportation above $20 should be requested separately (with receipts).

Calculating your reimbursement

Individuals calculate their per diem allowances on the basis of the number of mornings, afternoons, and evenings they were away from home while engaged on TEI business:
  • Incidental per diem Claim an allowance for every morning, afternoon, and/or evening you were away from home while engaged on TEI business. No receipts are required to claim this allowance. If only part of the day was spent away from home on TEI business please do not claim for those parts when you were at home. For example, if you arrive home from a meeting in time for dinner, you should claim an incidentals per diem that day for only the morning and afternoon.
  • Meals per diem Claim an allowance for every morning, afternoon, and evening meal that was not paid for by somebody else. No receipts are required to claim this allowance. If you attended banquet or similarly formal meal arranged and paid for somebody else, you should not also request a per diem allowance for the same meal. If you share a restaurant meal with some colleagues more informally, you should settle the bill amongst yourselves (or ask for separate cheques) and request your individual per diem allowance. The TEI no longer reimburses individuals for group meals without prior notice.
You can calculate your per diem allowance using the following tables. In these tables, ‘rate’ refers to the maximum per diem for the relevant type of expense as determined by the TEI. If an official rate has not been published, you should use the formulas discussed above. Otherwise, use the published TEI rate.
Incidental Allowances
Claim incidental expenses for each morning, afternoon, and evening you were engaged on TEI business away from home.
Part of day Number of eligible periods Rate Total allowance
Morning __ ⨉ [5% of total TEI per diem] = __
Afternoon __ ⨉ [7% of total TEI per diem] = __
Evening __ ⨉ [8% of total TEI per diem] = __
Total Incidental Allowance __
Claim a meal allowance for each meal not purchased for you by somebody else or reimbursable from other sources while you were away from home on TEI business:
Meal Period Number of eligible meals Rate Total allowance
Breakfast (morning) __ ⨉ [20% of total TEI per diem] = __
Lunch (afternoon) __ ⨉ [28% of total TEI per diem] = __
Dinner (evening) __ ⨉ [32% of total TEI per diem] = __
Total Meals Allowance __
An example

A Council member attends a three day Council meeting in Singapore from April 1-3. She leaves home on March 31st in the afternoon and returns home from the meeting just before midnight on April 4. While at the conference she attends a previously arranged dinner with the entire council on April 3 and banquest hosted by the meeting's local hosts on April 1.

The U.S. State Department meals and incidental rate for Singapore that year is US$110. The TEI therefore sets its total per diem rate at US$77/day (70% of $110) and publishes the following breakdown:
Period of Day Incidental Allowance Meals Allowance
Morning $3.85 $15.40
Afternoon $5.39 $21.56
Evening $6.16 $26.95
In asking for reinbursement for incidentals, the Council member claims a per diem allowance for every morning, afternoon, and evening she was away from home on TEI business: in this case four mornings (from April 1-4), five afternoons (March 31-April 4), and five evenings (March 31-April4). She claims four mornings, because she did not leave home until the afternoon of March 31st. She claims five afternoons and evenings because she was travelling on TEI business from the afternoon of March 31st until well into the evening of April 4.
Part of day Number of eligible periods Rate Total allowance
Morning 4 ⨉ $3.85 = $15.40
Afternoon 5 ⨉ $5.39 = $26.95
Evening 5 ⨉ $6.16 = $30.80
Total Incidental Allowance: $73.15
In asking for reimbursement for meals, the Council member claims a per diem allowance for meals while she was away from home on TEI business, excepting meals paid for by others or reimbursed from other sources. In this case that means she claims for four breakfasts (April 1-4) and five lunches (March 31-April 4), but, since two of her evening meals were paid for, only three dinners (March 31, April 2, and April 4).
Meal Period Number of eligible meals Rate Total allowance
Breakfast (morning) 4 ⨉ $15.40 = $61.60
Lunch (afternoon) 5 ⨉ $21.56 = $107.80
Dinner (evening) 3 ⨉ $26.95 = $80.85
Total Meals Allowance: $250.25


The TEI will reimburse eligible individuals for reasonable actual hotel and lodging costs for stays necessitated by TEI meetings. In addition to board for a single individual, these costs may include internet access but not entertainment, newspapers, the use of a mini-bar, or meals (meals are reimbursed on a per diem basis). No other charges are permitted without prior arrangement. Such claims must be accompanied by receipts.

In reimbursing for such costs the TEI will pay for a maximum of one additional night before and/or after the event or activity. Individuals may exceed this maximum of the additional night(s) can be justified as a way of reducing the overall cost of the trip (e.g., when a Saturday overnight reduces the airfare more than the cost of the added hotel stay). Individuals considering such an arrangement should contact the Treasurer before booking their stay whenever possible.

Individuals sharing a room with friends or family not paticipating in TEI business should make separate arrangements with the Treasurer if the additional occupant results in extra costs being levied by the hotel. There is no need to make separate arrangements if the hotel in question charges by the room rather than number of occupants.

Reimbursement procedure

In order to be reimbursed a traveler should fill out a TEI Travel Reimbursement Form and send it to the treasurer at the address indicated on the form within 1 month of travel. Hotel, airfare, and other significant transportation related receipts should be sent with the form. Receipts for meals and incidentals should not be included.

In other matters

Every board meeting concludes with a list of action items which identifies a person responsible and a time schedule for single actions.

TEI-C Charter: The phrase ‘Participation in TEI-C activities...’ is interpreted to mean: ‘Participation in TEI-C offices...’

It is not required that the Executive Director be present at the Council meetings.

Appendix A: Information on standard meeting requirements

[Note: This information, currently an appendix to the operating procedures, should be merged with Hosting a TEI Conference and Members Meeting and the Conference Protocol!]
Usual attendance ranges between 60 and 100 participants:

Members' Meeting attendance

  • 2001 Pisa = 45
  • 2002 Chicago = 63
  • 2003 Nancy = 78
  • 2004 Baltimore = 66
  • 2005 Sofia ≅ 65
  • 2006 Victoria = 88
  • 2007 Maryland = 120
  • 2008 London = 125
  • 2009 Ann Arbor ≅ 85
  • 2010 Zadar = ≅ 70
  • 2011 Würzburg = 155
  • 2012 College Station = 55
  • 2013 Rome = well over 200
  • 2014 Evanston = 99
  • 2015 Lyon = 193

Appendix A.1: Sample Requirements for Typical 2-day Meeting

In the mid-2000s the Members' Meeting was held in a 2-day format (Friday & Saturday), with an additional day afterward for the Board meeting (Sunday). The following are sample requirements for a Members' Meeting of this format.

Rooms required

Day 1
1 plenary room holding 50-100 people
Day 2
6 rooms for special interest groups (roughly 10-15 people each) in the morning, and 1 plenary room holding 50-100 people for the afternoon. For the poster/demonstration session (in the morning), one room accommodating approximately 12-20 posters, with one table per presenter plus space to mount the posters. Power extension cords and Ethernet or wireless to each station are also needed. Ideally, refreshments can also be offered in this same space.
Day 3
1 room holding 12-15 people for the TEI board meeting

Equipment required

  • data projector and screen all three days
  • internet access (preferably wireless) all three days

Catering required

  • Day 1, evening reception
  • Days 1 and 2, morning and afternoon coffee breaks with some kind of snack (10:30 and 15:30) plus coffee available at the start of each day if unavailable easily from the surrounding environment

Since 2008 we have met for three days (Thursday through Saturday), with the Board still meeting on Sunday. Pre-conference workshops are held on one or more days before the first conference day (Thursday).

Last recorded change to this page: 2016-02-09  •  For corrections or updates, contact web@tei-c.org