TEI: TEI Board Minutes: Zoom conference 3 March 2017


  • Hugh Cayless
  • Michelle Dalmau (chair)
  • Kevin Hawkins
  • Kiyonori Nagasaki
  • Laurent Romary
  • Kathryn Tomasek
  • John Unsworth
  • Pip Willcox (Secretary, minutes)


  • All: approve January minutes by email
  • LR: make further enquiries about the practicalities of using the sciencesconf.org system
  • LR: draft changes to the By-laws to reflect changes in membership levels and their names
  • LR: lead email conversation about draft wording for the “Wikipedia-style” banner for the TEI website and new membership charges
  • MD: liaise with JU to ensure LR has admin rights on Wild Apricot site
  • MD: circulate document from 2 years ago describing in-kind support from other organizations
  • LR/MD: work through membership list on Wild Apricot
  • All: use TEI’s google account to create joint documents which can then be shared with our personal accounts for editing and further work, ensuring all Board members have access
  • PW: circulate a draft email on assembling a working group to propose a Conference and Members’ Meeting code of conduct for comments
  • MD: connect PW with Bethany Nowviskie re. codes of conduct
  • MD: work on Rahtz Prize documentation
  • All: give feedback on Rahtz Prize documentation
  • LR/KN: review revisions to By-laws, particularly wording pertaining to the association management company
  • MD: finalize and publish documentation for Conferences and Members’ Meetings

1. Meeting Procedures and Other Announcements (MD):

Please check the minutes from our last meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tpLi6Q5vpCRr3rMaRFGFX7lPreP03EwQiPxWALIlJjA/edit

Approve January 2017 minutes: Minutes to be approved by email.

2. Review Call for Host (password protected) (MD)

People have commented on the draft Call document. Details on conference calls, procedures etc. have been added. Out of date information (e.g. previous By-laws) are to be removed by KH. JU supplied information on the budget and financial requirements. The Board will handle institution-specific questions as they arise with conference hosts.

Conference management systems: LR referred the Board to his emailed suggestion of a new conference management system that was not dependent on a company that is actually one person, to general agreement. His suggestion of a new conference management system (https://www.sciencesconf.org) is a French national platform, an open access system with useful features, e.g. abstracts being made available online immediately on acceptance of a camera-ready version. It is bilingual French and English, and the English language documentation is currently being finalized. It could be offered to the TEI-C at a cost-efficient rate or free of charge: discussions are ongoing about partnership of this website with other organizations (e.g. DARIAH) who would undertake ongoing technical support.

LR proposed a limited one-year trial of this new system, e.g. to register for workshops, as an opportunity for experimentation. LR can find immediate support for such an experiment.

Two commonly used systems, Conftool and Easychair, are excellent but over-specified for the TEI conference’s needs.

KN has some experiences of another free conference management system, Open Conference System, used by JADH for their annual international conference. This system could also be considered. We discussed the idea of each local organizer choosing their own system and this was rejected as continuity of user accounts and experience is important for regular submitters and attendees.


  • to use Conftool for 2017
  • to remove specific mention of Conftool from the Call, leaving a reference to a non-specific conference management system
  • to revisit the conversation when LR is in a position to provide more detailed information and we can discuss the merits of other systems

3. 2017 Conference Update (MD and KT)

The local committee is very efficient: their call and website are ready to go and awaiting information about Conftool from JU.

KT is sending the remaining invitations to join the Programme Committee this week, with a concentration on global spread, particularly the Pacific Rim and languages other than English.

The hosts have requested the $7,000 subvention up front and JU is dealing with this.

MD reports that Vienna is still publishing information and re-presenting data from the conference. PW suggested this is an added, less visible and sustainable bonus to hosting the conference, maintaining and expanding the local TEI community and possibly using the dataset in teaching/training: as such Vienna’s example could be used to attract potential future hosts

4. Membership Strategy: A Global Approach (LR)

a. Strategy: LR observed the membership strategy is closely related to the TEI-C’s financial strategy. We need to be clear on why and for what purpose we seek more members, and with what targets for membership numbers and what to use the funds they bring in for (e.g. to develop tools that would be available to members).

b. Project liaison: LR reported that France will offer the equivalent of 4-person weeks per year to support DARIAH. All DARIAH partners that work with text use TEI in some form. Making closer formal ties with DARIAH is a possibility. The Board has previously noted its desire for closer links to other projects, e.g. TAPAS.

c.Membership types

Institutional: With no institutional member that has precedence in the Consortium, so there is no ongoing in-kind contribution at the institutional level. PW suggested that contributions come from the institutions of Board or Council members, but these change through time.MD noted that TEI has moved beyond the “DH centre in the library”. LR agreed, noting that in other countries libraries had never been its home. The TEI-C should also look to other organizations including governments, research libraries, and other academic institutions.

Individual: The role of individuals against institutional membership has been discussed before. LR reported that individuals are keen to support the TEI. Previous Board members (MM) were in favour of dropping individual members. Others (MB) were keen to drop the fee to encourage more membership.Current Board members are all in agreement that individual memberships are an important part of our community. The Board favours a lower entry level, and multiple levels of individual membership.To encourage a diverse membership from around the world and noting currency-value differences, PW proposed multi-level subscription offers that were not tied to career levels. They could be labelled as “member”, “supporter”, “friend” or similar, rather than “student”, “early-career researcher” etc. It was further proposed that members at all levels should be full legal members of the TEI-C. The By-laws would need updating to reflect this. The opportunity could be taken to revisit the naming of institutional membership levels. MD suggested we also clean up Wild Apricot.

Additional administration: any additional administration the membership increase anticipated from the new charging levels brought would be taken up by the proposed contract with the association management company.

d. Giving opportunities: LR proposed opening the TEI up for donations from individuals (cf. Wikipedia) where the potential donors would be invited to become members. There could be a permanent banner on each TEI element page.

e. Alignment: MD suggested the TEI could align more closely with cognate organizations to represent the breadth of the TEI’s activity and contacts, and offer more mutual support.

f. Projects: LR suggested encouraging members of the community to include support for the TEI where project funding is external. Dixit (a Marie Curie Training Network) and TAPAS are examples of projects where this could be included: both asked TEI for a formal letter of support. MD: The TEI should ask in return for demonstration of project’s contribution to the TEI community, e.g. through tracking new membership that arrives via TAPAS. Such partnerships will be developed incrementally and pragmatically.

g. Implementation: LR’s duties as Membership Secretary will include contacting institutions, including those who have lapsed.


  • to change offered membership levels, starting at very low entry points for individuals
  • to discuss exact charging levels by email
  • to develop a banner for the website that inviting new membership
  • to identify and approach cognate organizations
  • to request projects asking for formal letters of support include some funding for the TEI
  • to track the contribution of projects requesting letters of support to the TEI community

5. Next set of action items:

a. Draft Code of Conduct (Pip)

PW will call for participation in a working group on this and will circulate a draft email for Board approval as this is the first working group we will assemble.

Writing a code of conduct for Conferences and Members’ Meetings was previously agreed (2014), and support by the Board was reiterated.

Codes of conducts are called on when things go wrong, and it is anticipated that the difficulty of drafting the code will be in planning its implementation in these cases, e.g. adjudicating on reported infractions, and deciding on appropriate and possible sanctions

b. Finalize Rahtz Prize, Nominations Due by April 1 (MD): MD will take this forward after the call for hosts and the hosting documentation is finalized

c. Review bylaw revisions: elections and roles (MD)

MD requested LR and KN review By-law revisions, in particular in light of our decision to use an association management company: as the Board has come to a different view on this, the bylaws may require revision to reflect this

LR reported that previous revisions of By-laws have not gone smoothly and suggested they only be changed where they prevent us continuing with other activities. KT and MD reminded the Board that this is necessary to ensure the TEI in its current form and activities abides by its By-laws with regard to its elections in particular, and to make the TEI’s governance and procedures transparent to its members.

d. Finish conference procedural documentation (Michelle): MD reported we have lots of documentation prepared about our Conferences and Members’ Meetings in FAQ-style. We intend the documentation should be in place to support the call for 2018 and 2019 hosts.

6. There was no other business.

7. 7. Date of next meeting: Thursday 13 April at the same time.