INKE Administrative Structure, Omnibus Document
Lynne Siemens, Raymond G. Siemens, Richard Cunningham, Teresa Dobson, Alan Galey, Stan Ruecker, and Claire Warwick
| School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org | Faculty of Humanities, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
email@example.com | Department of English, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org | Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
email@example.com | Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org | Humanities Computing Program, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
email@example.com | Department of Information Studies, University College London, London, UK
| School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
KEYWORDS / MOTS-CLÉS
INKE, administration, research, collaboration / INKE, administration, recherche, collaboration
- 1.0 Preamble
- 2.0 Statement of Management and Administrative Operations, from the Application
- 3.0 Researchers
- 4.0 Research Area Groups Committee (RAG)
- 5.0 Researchers and Research Partners / Associate Researchers and Associate Research Partners
- 6.0 Partners Committee
- 7.0 International Advisory Board
- 8.0 Executive Committee
- 9.0 Project Manager
- 10.0 Funding Agency
- 11.0 Stakeholders and the General Public (from the Grant Application)
- 12.0 Project Charter
This document reflects the distributed administrative structure to be put into practice by the INKE group for the purpose of governing itself as it carries out work on its MCRI-funded initiative. The INKE group consists of  academic researchers,  academic research partners (many invested as stakeholders as well),  an international advisory board,  a partners committee,  individual research area groups (RAG) each with their own (co)leads who act as administrators for the group and form the overall RAG administrative group committee, and  an executive committee (EC) that represents all areas of activity in the research endeavour and also includes an administrative / management advisor (who carries out work and provides leadership on process, not research content) and a project manager. Taken as a whole, the structure of the group is an embodiment of the distributed administrative and authoritative principles that have evolved over the several years of the project’s foundation, and the materials that follow have been assembled and authored by the entirety of the administrative team in that spirit.
Ultimately, this document represents an agreement we have made with each other for how we will work together in pursuit of achieving the goals outlined in our research application, in recognition of the fact that the research funding isn’t made to specific individuals but, rather, to the group as a whole—on the basis that we as a group will make every attempt to follow the plans we have made to date.
This document is also closely aligned with the processes outlined in two related documents: the annual calendar and the annual RAG planning process.
Limitations: We note that we are doing something different here from typical small-group or individually-oriented Humanities research. Given the nature of the process used to originate what is manifest in this document, it is not surprising that some of the structures and even understood roles that are found in this document are defined in ways that are at a slight departure from SSHRC definitions – even though, in most cases, they reflect consultation with SSHRC guidelines, best practices (manifested in the MCRI program review), and the input of a number of external consultants including past MCRI directors and leaders and the research offices of a number of involved institutions. The INKE administrative team understands this, and the definition of roles and their interoperation is an attempt to augment those laid out by SSHRC. We realise, however, that ultimately we are in a position where, if the roles we’ve defined and the patterns of interoperation we’ve outlined fail, we must necessarily revert to our funding agency’s definitions and prescribed patterns of operation.
Concerns, Conflicts, Grievances: As noted in the document, these issues are handled in via the line of authority laid out in the document. Concerns of this nature among the administrative group are handled through an e-mail to the EC, via the director; the director will then circulate that e-mail to the rest of the EC. Open communication is valued in INKE. Attempts to retain anonymity will be made only on request, and it cannot be guaranteed that these attempts will be successful.
Next Steps: This document has and will see evolution as follows:  tentative adoption of its operating principles at the 10 March INKE administrative meeting (which allows us to begin planning work for year 1),  non-substantive editing by the project manager in March with substantive suggestions flagged for discussion by the admin group at the end of March and possible revision reflecting the outcome of that discussion,  reflection on the document and the operation it enables at a meeting of the administrative group in late May, and possible revision (including input by SSHRC and others at the April administrative meeting), and  discussion among the administrative group toward recommending its full acceptance by the EC at that committee’s first meeting (with provision for discussion/revision of the document at each EC meeting, to ensure that there is a process to change the document and what it represents). This document was accepted by the EC on May 24, 2009.
2.2.6 Management to Sustain Collaboration and Coordinate All Research Initiatives: To achieve our goals, this integrated program of research requires careful management, as diagrammed below (arrows indicate the flow of discussion and contribution) and described as follows:
Figure 1: INKE Supporting Administrative Structure
- an executive committee, comprised of Siemens (as director), and a lead representative from each of the research sub-area groups (Cunningham, Warwick, and Ruecker), plus ex officio, the chair of the advisory board, and the chair of the partners committee, the project manager, our administrative / management advisor, and a student research assistant representative;
- an international advisory board of approximately 3-5 experts in the areas engaged by our work, to be invited from among the following pool: Patricia Clements, Gwen Davies, Patricia Demers, Sara Diamond, Neil Fraistat, Katherine Hayles, Susan Hockey, Lynne Hughes, Lev Manovich, Cathy Marshall, Jean-Guy Meunier, Franco Moretti, Martin Mueller, Catherine Plaisant, Stephen Ramsay, Steven Reimer, Bob Stein, Peter Stoicheff, and John Unsworth;
- a partners committee, representing our stake-holding research partners; and
- a sub-area research administrative structure, comprised of the leaders of each sub-area’s research group and (in this way) representing all researchers and students involved in the project, and including Galey and Cunningham (for TS), Warwick (for UX), Ruecker (for ID), and Siemens (for IM).
This structure privileges the contributions of each group, foregrounding the demands of the research and functioning bi-directionally.
In this structure, research groups operate under the detailed project plan from which this document is derived, and which has been developed in conjunction with our administrative and organizational advisors. Operations are carried out according to a project charter developed and agreed upon by the entire team. Integration and coordination, as well as oversight of work consistent with the project plan, take place in conjunction with the sub-area research administrative structure, the EC, the advisory board, and the partners committee. Representatives of the research area administrative structure meet via teleconference monthly, and the EC, the advisory board, and the partners committee meet by teleconference during the year as needed; each group meets in person at least once annually, with the exception of the advisory board. The EC will act as trustees of the project’s research direction and of the research budget, working in consultation with members of the advisory and partners’ groups, approving the release of research funds (via subcontract structure, and in consideration of our research plan) to individual areas and researchers based on an annual reporting cycle which includes evaluation of past work and next-stage work projection and budgeting. E-mail discussion groups will be established for each section management group, all researchers, and for postdoctoral and research assistants. Our management, administrative, and research structures support best practices identified in the SSHRC MCRI program performance report (Kishchuck 2005), and the advisor to our administrative, management, and team research practices will play an integral part in identifying, introducing, supporting, and studying / evaluating the positive impact of these practices on our work.
INKE researchers are
- academic researchers, with active research involvement in the INKE program of research
- individuals representing a research partner, with active research capacity in INKE
- listed as co-investigators, collaborators, or the PI on the grant application, and may also include
- postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate research assistants (defined in the context of our funder, which is Canadian), hired with INKE funds to work on the project, and
- with the agreement of RAG and the executive committees, they may also be researchers brought in via other funding mechanisms which directly contribute to INKE research
- differentiated from consultative researchers and partners, who
- offer invaluable expertise, advice, and research materials, playing a consultative role in the intellectual direction and conduct of the research, and
- are not actively involved in INKE grant-funded research, but may be involved in adjacent or related research activities, including other grant-funded research in which members of our research team are involved.
As a member of the INKE research team, all researchers
- are under the direction of team leaders, contribute to achieving the goals outlined in INKE’s research plan, and articulated subsequently by the INKE EC, RAG committee, and team leaders
- abide by the principles and practices laid out in the INKE charter
- abide by the SSHRC and Tri-Council policies on the use of grant funds and on the use of human subjects in research, as well as the regulations of their local institutions
- receive named co-authorship credit on presentations and publications that make direct use of research in which they took an active, as opposed to passive, role (i.e. research to which the individual made a unique and discernable contribution with a substantial effect on the knowledge generated); otherwise, receive indirect credit via the INKE corporate authorship convention
- use INKE resources, including human resources and travel funds, only in the pursuit of INKE’s research objectives, and with the approval of Research Area Team Leaders
- suggest opportunities for dissemination of INKE project prototypes and other research results
- receive direction upon request from any member of their sub-area research team, researcher or partner, provided the request is identified as pertinent to the research of the sub-area research team (the research environment is both collaborative and integrated, and this is intended to augment existing patterns of communication)
- co-ordinate publications and presentations on INKE research through their team leaders, and provide electronic copies of all submitted paper drafts, presentations (incl. materials like PowerPoint presentations), abstracts, and reader reports to team leaders for deposit with INKE management and archival system
- respect the confidentiality of unpublished INKE materials (incl. source code) and expect the confidentiality of their own unpublished materials to be respected in return; the agreement surrounding this and other related concerns are found in the INKE Intellectual Property statement below
- wherever possible seek publication venues that support open-access or conjoint publication, recognizing that having INKE research published in prestigious venues is no less desirable
More specifically, those who are listed as co-investigators on the INKE application are expected to
- make a significant contribution to the intellectual direction of the research, play a significant role in the conduct of the research, and may also have some responsibility for financial management of the research
- meet with their sub-area research team leaders, and possibly other INKE researchers at the same time, via teleconference, skype, or videoconference once per month, or as needed in exceptional circumstances, to (1) set research goals, responsibilities, and timelines in accordance with the broad research schedule established in the INKE grant text, (2) articulate the aforementioned in a detailed research plan, (3) report on progress and on milestones attained and articulate these in quarterly progress reports, and (4) ensure the transmission of work from one team to another in accordance with stipulated deadlines plus coordinate dissemination activities
- meet with at least one of their team leaders in person once per year, or as needed in exceptional circumstances, preferably at conferences where all parties would normally be in attendance, and where it is convenient to so meet; the purpose of this meeting is to discuss research-related concerns
- interview, hire, and supervise postdoctoral fellows and research assistants in consultation with team leaders and following executive-approved research plans for their areas
- as appropriate, provide mentoring and collaborative opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and research assistants, and whenever possible seek funding to bring postdoctoral and graduate assistants to major INKE meetings and conference presentations
- provide research area leaders with reports that itemize completed research tasks, note any dissemination relating to the research, provide the names of post-doctoral and graduate student personnel and the duration of their employment, and detail the funding and training opportunities provided those individuals; they will also provide other reports on work-in-progress, and otherwise, as need for the project and as requested by the project managers or others in the project administration
- upon voluntarily leaving the INKE project, or upon being asked to leave, relinquish their claim to all INKE funds, resources, and credit for subsequent work undertaken by the team
Postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate assistants
- follow the direction of their immediate supervisor in carrying out INKE research and, when appropriate, consult with team leaders directly
- receive mentoring as requested from their supervisors and other INKE researchers, especially in matters of professionalization and related issues; partners and collaborators may help with this process as well
- receive credit for significant contributions to INKE’s research; significance will be determined by the line of report
Intellectual Property : Those working with INKE understand the value of conjoint collaboration in INKE’s research commons (methodological and informational), and understand  that the material (of any kind, and in any media) a researcher brings to INKE as part of their research involvement will become part of INKE’s research commons and remain among the material that INKE researchers may continue to draw upon in INKE work, with full acknowledgment of INKE and the originating researcher;  that, should a researcher leave INKE, the material of the research commons (of any kind, and in any media) that was not explicitly in the leaving researcher’s origin can continue to be used in that researcher’s own research only with the explicit written permission of the INKE EC, and then it can only be used with full acknowledgment to INKE and the original researcher;  INKE will retain first right of refusal for publication and commercialization of any work that the researcher undertakes with the INKE research commons;  that all INKE researchers will use the work of others -– including those in the INKE group, and in the research commons -– with full acknowledgment of that work’s origins; and  that those who make use of INKE materials of any kind, disseminated in any media and via any dissemination principles, do so with full acknowledgment of that work’s origins.
For presentations or papers where this work is the main topic, all team members should be co-authors. We will adopt the convention of listing the team itself, so that typically the third or fourth author will be listed as “INKE Research Group,” while the actual named authors will be those most responsible for the paper. The individual names of members of the INKE Research Group should be listed in a footnote, or where that isn’t possible, through a link to a web page. Any member can elect at any time not to be listed, but may not veto publication. For presentations or papers that spin off from this work, only those members directly involved need to be listed as co-authors. The others should be mentioned if possible in the acknowledgments, credits, or article citations.
Note: Grievance, Conflict and other concerns will be handled via a line of authority structure, a line of authority structure, from GRA/RA/postdoc to researcher to research area leader in the RAG structure to EC via the director, with those above in the line of authority copied on all documentation of the issue and its resolution. For example: if a GRA has demonstrated an inability to carry out their assigned responsibilities, the GRA will be warned by their immediate researcher, who will at the time of warning forward documentation, by e-mail, of problem areas and direction for improvement, cc’ing that documentation to the RAG team leader and the director. A researcher may be dismissed or asked to resign if he or she continues to demonstrate an inability to carry out the foregoing responsibilities; in the case of dismissal, the research area leader, in conjunction with the INKE EC, will issue formal notice including a detailed justification in writing. Suspension of duties pending appeal will be effective immediately.
Sub-area research groups form the backbone of INKE’s research and administration. RAG leaders report to, and take direction from, the EC via the project director; members of Sub-Area Research Teams (researchers) report to RAG committee through their Sub-Area Research Team Leader(s). RAG leaders, established via the research application planning process, are active researchers themselves with administrative oversight of the work carried out in their research teams. They
- comprise a group of sub research area leaders, including the Project Director, who serves as Chair. Members of RAG committee are responsible for coordinating and overseeing research in each of the following four research areas: Textual Studies, User Experience, Interface Design, and Information Management. The members of RAG and their respective areas of responsibility are as follows:
- Interface Design
- Dr. Stan Ruecker, English and Film Studies, University of Alberta
- Information Management
- Dr. Ray Siemens, English, University of Victoria
- (On Leave: Dr. Susan Schreibman, Digital Humanities Observatory, Royal Irish Academy)
- Textual Studies
- Dr. Richard Cunningham, English, Acadia University
- Dr. Alan Galey, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
- User Experience
- Dr. Claire Warwick, Department of Information Studies, University College London
- have active representation on the EC, as per the terms of that committee
- carry out operations with respect to what’s outlined in the annual calendar, the annual RAG planning process documents, and the project charter, and
- with their respective research area teams (as per the researchers section of this omnibus document)
- via teleconference, Skype, or videoconference once per month, or as needed in exceptional circumstances, to (1) set research goals, responsibilities, and timelines in accordance with the broad research schedule established in the INKE Grant text, (2) articulate the aforementioned in a detailed research plan, (3) report on progress and on milestones attained and articulate these in quarterly progress reports, and (4) ensure the transmission of work from one team to another in accordance with stipulated deadlines plus coordinate dissemination activities
- in person once per year, or as needed in exceptional circumstances, preferably at conferences where most members would otherwise be in attendance, and where it is convenient to so meet
- with the chair of the meeting responsible for the agenda and carrying out commensurate reporting (including minuting) to the EC, via the project administrative space
- as a group
- via teleconference, Skype, or videoconference at least once per month, or as needed in exceptional circumstances, with the purpose of (1) set research goals, responsibilities, and timelines for respective sub-groups, (2) review and synchronize the detailed research plans of each Research Area Team, (3) report on progress and milestones attained, and (4) ensure the integration and transmission of work from one team to another in accordance with stipulated deadlines
- in person at least once per year, or as needed in exceptional circumstances, preferably at conferences where most members would otherwise be in attendance, and where it is convenient to meet
- with the chair of the meeting, typically the director, responsible for the agenda and carrying out commensurate reporting (including minuting) via the project administrative space; decision-making by consensus first, then by straight vote; quorum is more than 50% of the voting members.
- coordinate, integrate, oversee research and research reporting, and coordinate communication and dissemination in their respective areas, entailing
- writing, in consultation with team members and others, a detailed annual research plan explaining how INKE research goals will be accomplished and submitting this plan to the EC in order to acquire INKE research funds – all as reflected in the planning process
- ensuring document or data exchanges between research area sub-groups according to the annual research plans
- distributing funds to researchers, after approval of the research plan and budget by the EC (funds and research contracts to be coordinated at UVic, by the research office via the project manager);
- liaising with relevant partners in order to ensure research integration and exchange;
- dissemination activities provide direction upon request from any member of their sub-area research team, researcher or partner, provided the request is identified as pertinent to the research of the sub-area research team (as per the researcher description);
- handle RAG reporting duties, which requires them to
- receive and review Research Reports from individual active researchers (defined in the previous section) that itemize completed research tasks, note any dissemination relating to the research, provide the names of post-doctoral and graduate student personnel and the duration of their employment, and detail the funding and training opportunities provided those individuals;
- synthesise material in consistent fashion from these Research Reports with a view to submitting Sub-Area Team Reports to the project administrative space on a quarterly basis, and include in that additional materials required by the MCRI reporting structure;
- present Research Area Team Reports in RAG committee meetings and informing researchers and partners of published reports on a quarterly basis;
- organize activities relating to the sub-area conference in the year specified in the INKE Grant text, including
- arranging hosting, advertising, assuming program chair (or co-chair) duties, and making local arrangements for the event;
- editing the sub-area research team research volume emerging from the aforementioned conference in accordance with the timeline stipulated in the INKE Grant text;
- disseminate (including publishing and presenting) INKE work within and beyond the academic community according to the presentation and publication schedule outlined in the INKE Grant text and in the year-by-year project plans for each area.
- recognise that, like researchers who leave the project, if they leave the project (for whatever reason) they relinquish all rights to the research and research products of the INKE team, and sole rights to those they created themselves with INKE funding.
The foregoing are the minimum responsibilities expected of members of the RAG committee. Other considerations follow:
- Conflict of Interest : any arising potential conflict of interest situations should be reported to the EC via the director. In situations where conflict of interest is identified, the individual in the conflict of interest must remove him/herself from decision making, though will have the opportunity to propose a course of action for the remaining members of RAG (or other pertinent administrative entities) to consider.
- Exiting the Project : In the event that a member of RAG anticipates being unable to fulfil his or her duties for a foreseeable amount of time (for example, a sabbatical leave), he or she must make a formal request for a leave of absence to the EC in writing, outlining steps taken to ensure that RAG administrative duties are carried out during this time. If the leave is granted, the RAG leader may recommend a replacement, or that no replacement be sought. If granting such a leave is deemed to be a detrimental to the continuity of the INKE project (as determined by the EC), the EC may ask the RAG leader in question to consider either continued work in a reduced capacity or resignation.
- Grievance or Conflict : These will be handled via a line of authority structure, from research area leader(s) in the RAG structure to the EC via the director, with those above in the line of authority copied on all documentation of the issue and its resolution. Decisions relating to grievance or conflict will be handled by the EC. Should this arrangement prove insufficient, the director will seek advice on how to handle the situation in consultation with some or all the chair of the advisory board, the chair of the partners committee, the UVic research office (which is institutional point of contact for SSHRC) and SSHRC MCRI officer. Grievance or conflict settlement may result in a request for leave, resignation, or dismissal, in which case policies associated with the appropriate request will be enacted.
- Resignation : Any member of the RAG can resign from the RAreaG committee at any time, without formal statement of cause, and in doing so recognizes that they do so in the knowledge that they leave ongoing (and resultant) research/budget planning in the hands of the executive committee (which represents all research areas). Notice of one full annual research cycle is required.
- Inability to Carry Out Duties : If any member of the RAG committee demonstrates an inability to carry out the foregoing responsibilities, this situation will be handled via a line of authority structure, from research area leader(s) in the RAG committee structure to EC via the director, with those above in the line of authority copied on all documentation of the issue and its resolution. A RAG leader may be dismissed or asked to resign by the EC if he or she continues to demonstrate an inability to carry out the foregoing responsibilities; in case of dismissal, the EC will issue formal notice including a detailed justification in writing. Suspension of duties pending appeal will be effective immediately, and those dismissed are asked to recognise that they leave ongoing (and resultant) research/budget planning in the hands of the EC (which represents all research areas) – though, situation permitting, every attempt will be made to ensure that the dismissed member will not lose status as a researcher, nor lose access to research monies
- Appeal: Appeal processes must be initiated within 30 days of notification. If an appeal is not initiated within this timeframe, it will be understood that the individual has accepted the decision of the EC.
- The EC, through the project director, will relay news of any such changes to those who are impacted by those changes.
Partners in our research – individual researchers, research teams, and larger groups and entities of several types – play integral roles in INKE in advisory, consultative, active research, and associative capacities. At INKE’s inception, consultations involved building research relationships with individual researchers in key areas of endeavour and partner groups in the stakeholder areas most pertinent to our programme of research.
With researchers, this has ensured appropriate representation and expertise in areas key to our anticipated work. INKE’s initial researcher network was established in the time leading at time of application to the MCRI program, and includes Ray Siemens (U Victoria), Richard Cunningham (Acadia U), Teresa Dobson (U British Columbia), Alan Galey (U Toronto), Stan Ruecker (U Alberta), Susan Schreibman (Irish Academy), Claire Warwick (UC London), Michael Best (U Victoria), Ann Blandford (UC London), Lynn Copeland (Simon Fraser U), James Cummings (U Oxford), Wendy Duff (U Toronto), Michael Eberle-Sinatra (U Montréal), Janet Fast (U Alberta), Julia Flanders (Brown U), Christopher Fletcher (U Alberta), Dominic Forest (U Montréal), David Gants (U Florida), Bertrand Gervais (U du Québec à Montréal), Matthew Kirschenbaum (U Maryland), Richard Kopak (U British Columbia), Pierre Lévy (U Ottawa), Alan Liu (U California at Santa Barbara), Karon Maclean (U British Columbia), Shawn Martin (U Pennsylvania), David Miall (U Alberta), Brent Nelson (U Saskatchewan), Marc Plamondon (Nipissing U), Milena Radzikowska (Mount Royal C), Geoffrey Rockwell (U Alberta), Lynne Siemens (U Victoria), Stéfan Sinclair (McMaster U), Christian Vandendorpe (U Ottawa), Josée Vincent (U de Sherbrooke), Paul Werstine (King's UC, U Western Ontario), John Willinsky (Stanford U and U British Columbia), and Matthew Zimmerman (Irish Academy).
With partners, these relationships ensure our direct involvement in essential stakeholder areas, including: general and scholarly publishing (together with open-access publication); public and academic libraries; educational software development; computing science and information management; standards development for electronic texts; disciplinary departments in the humanities; professional readers; and members of the reading public. Partners also play an important role in the technology transfer associated with the prototypical computing interfaces that INKE will produce; by participating in ongoing discussion about and planning of the research program, and by indicating how such work might best serve interests beyond those of pure research, all partners will continue their own pioneering efforts in the areas engaged by our work. INKE’s initial partnership network was established in the time leading to the application to the MCRI program, and includes the Canadian Association of Research Libraries / Association des bibliothèques de recherche du Canada, the Canadian Century Research Infrastructure project, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Ebrary, Early English Books Online, Text Creation Partnership, the Electronic Literature Organisation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Incaa Designs, the Internet Shakespeare Editions, Nouvelles technologies / nouvelles textualités, the Oxford Text Archive, Presses de l’Université de Montréal, Proquest, the Public Knowledge Project, Service BC (BC Provincial Government), Synergies, the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium, Transliteracies, the Versioning Machine, and U Alberta Press.
Existing Types of Researchers and Partners
Non-exclusive categories of researcher and partnership involvement have since inception included:
- Advisory: providing input into discussions of pertinence to our research and its program, at times requested
- Consultative: advisory involvement on a longer term basis (through our consultative structures) and/or involvement in research-related activities like, among others, production and dissemination, also providing resources for these and other activities (including data)
- Active: engaged in carrying out research activities with the INKE team, contributing both significant research time and, possibly, other resources of their own.
New: Associate Researchers and Associate Research Partners
Since receiving news of the award, INKE has learned to recognize that one function of MCRI program funding is for MCRI groups to function as a locus of research activity in areas of MCRI funding, creating a identifiable research network around this locus—and, by extension, it can be seen as a mission of our group to create possibilities in this direction as well.
Associate researchers and associate research partners, two newer types of INKE researcher and partner, can be seen as an essential part of this activity. Associate researchers and partners can fall into any of our non-exclusive partner categories, providing that they meet the appropriate criteria and follow the process of admission outlined below.
Associate Researchers and Associate Research Partners: Process for Admission, and Criteria for Assessment
Advisory and consultative associate researchers and partners have research and stakeholder agendas with key elements that are closely aligned with INKE’s research agenda, and can contribute in meaningful ways to INKE’s agenda and that of the communities INKE engages. Active associate researchers and partners fit similarly, and more specifically
- are groups whose research agenda has key elements that are closely aligned with INKE’s research agenda,
- have a fully funded program of research they will complete independent of INKE funding, but have clearly defined areas of research confluence such that we could imagine there being readily apparent efficiencies in use of our own resources if we draw them into our active research network (and there is explicit commitment of their resources in this direction as well, requiring verification), and
- understand the nature of allied research endeavour as INKE has articulated it across its administrative research structure, and agree to operate within the framework specified by INKE’s governance documents.
The process of admitting an associate researcher or partner is handled via a detailed letter of request, and pertinent appendices, to the EC on behalf of the researcher or partner, and submitted as a single package by one of RAG leaders as champion for that potential associate. This letter makes the case for partnership employing the terms of the category of association being requested. Since requests for association will be seen to be particularly desirable in areas where INKE teams recognize a particular need for partner representation, this should be addressed in the letter as well. Further, a number of pertinent details about the pragmatics of that association must be documented in the letter and via attachments to the letter before the process of admission can proceed, including:
1. the name of the associate, affiliation (academic and group, if pertinent), contact information (surface mail, phone/fax, and electronic), and CV of research lead;
2. the project title and description, plus URL;
3. the total number of researchers involved in the association / number who will be involved in INKE-allied activities (these must be named);
4. the total amount of research resources involved (funding, and in-kind) / amount of research resources that will be involved in INKE-allied activities; and
5. indication that the associate acknowledges and understands the terms and conditions of association as outlined in the document, and documents referred to in this document.
The decision for admission of association lies with the EC, in consultation with the chair or all of the partners committee and possibly other members of the RAG committee, and will be handled in as timely a fashion as the schedule of the EC allows.
The main role of the partners committee, as described in research application, is in “representing our stake-holding research partners” in the work carried out by INKE.
What does the Chair of the Partners Committee do?
- Attends regular meetings of the INKE EC
- Serves as one means of bringing partner ideas, issues, and concerns to the attention of the INKE EC
- Meets at least once a year (in person or virtually or if possible at other venues where committee members will already be present) with other members of the Partners Committee to update them on project progress and to learn their thoughts
- Ensures the participation of the Partners Committee in the annual planning cycle, reviewing and commenting upon materials presented to them
What do members of the INKE Partners Committee do?
- Represent INKE stakeholding research partners, and assist in documenting the research flow in both directions (from partners and to partners)
- Meets at least once a year (in person or virtually or if possible at other venues where committee members will already be present) to discuss partner ideas, issues, and concerns
- Discuss opportunities for dissemination of INKE project prototypes and other research results
- Advise the Chair on issues to bring forward to the INKE EC
- Propose and discuss opportunities for shared research activities with the INKE team, providing recommendations to the INKE EC
- Advise the INKE EC on establishing clear criteria for considering new partners, beyond those partners established in the application phase, and provide advice to the INKE EC on the addition of new associate partners
- The committee will be comprised of a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 partner representatives, including the Chair, each of whom serve for a term of three years, renewable with approval of the committee and the EC; ideally, representation will be equitable across the 4 thematic areas of the grant, and take into account other distributions as well
- The EC establishes the membership of the partners committee, in consultation with the RAG members and current committee membership. Each partner organisation may suggest to the director a representative to serve on the committee, acknowledging that appointment is made by the EC.
- Partners and their representatives may choose to be identified as:
- Active: sharing in research activities with the INKE researchers
- Donating: providing data or other resources
- Production: attempting further development and dissemination of INKE prototypes or ideas
- Consultative: providing input to discussions
- serves as a consultative body for the INKE group
- bringing knowledge and skills to INKE that are complementary to the knowledge and skills of members of the EC, the Partners Committee, and the Project’s Administrative structure of Research Area Groups.
- making recommendations and/or providing key information and materials to INKE, primarily via the EC, but holding no formal authority to govern INKE nor to issue directives
- is comprised of members invited by the EC, in consultation with RAG committee members, for three year (renewable terms), and meets/accord with the following criteria
they must be able to
- meet as a group in person or via teleconference, skype, or videoconference, etc. with the INKE EC not less than once per year, or as needed in exceptional circumstances
- assist the INKE project by making others within their professional sphere aware of it
- provide advice and insight relative to the project vision and strategic direction
- provide information on the needs and views of our stakeholders
- Provide links to communities, businesses, organisations, and government agencies
- join members of the INKE project for meetings or advisory consultations at conferences where the IAB member is otherwise in attendance, and where it is convenient to so meet, and be generally accessible to INKE-affiliated people, provided the request is channeled through a member of the Administrative structure and is identified as pertinent to INKE
- the IAB will ordinarily have five members, one of whom will serve as Chair, though it may have as few as three members at any given time, of which
- no member will be in a position to receive funds from INKE, nor will any member of the IAB be a partner or a member of a partner organization.
- members of the IAB will bring unique knowledge and skills to the governance structure of INKE at pertinent stages of our work. Given this, it is anticipated that membership will change as the project enters different phases. It is expected that those with the most experience and expertise in starting large projects will form the IAB initially. Those with experience and expertise in enhancing and ensuring communication and mid-term productivity will form the IAB subsequently. And those with expertise and experience in wrapping up and assessing large projects will form the IAB latterly.
- IAB members can resign at any time, without formal statement of cause. Any member of the IAB who chooses to resign must notify the INKE EC via written letter of resignation to its chair. It shall be the responsibility of the EC to notify other members of such action.
- The chair of the IAB ensures actions of the board in accordance with the above, and ensures the participation of the IAB in the annual planning cycle and necessary meetings.
Works in consultation with the Advisory Board, Partners Committee, and the research area groups (RAGs) through its internal representational
- membership is drawn from the leadership of the RAGs and represents that group through the EC’s internal representational structure
- takes advice from the Advisory Board, as outlined in that board’s mandate, and ensures the function of that board in accordance with that board’s mandate; it also appoints members of this board and its chair, in consultation with the RAG leaders and current Advisory Board members, and in the understanding that they are able to perform the duties of the board as outlined in this document; the EC also calls the meetings of this group
- works with the Partners Committee, as outlined in that committee’s mandate, and ensures the function of that committee in accordance with that committee’s mandate; it also appoints members of the committee and its chair, in consultation with the RAG leaders and current Partners Committee members, and in the understanding that they are able to perform the duties of the committee as outlined in this document; the EC also calls the meetings of this group
- acts as the chief point of contact between all parts of our governance structure (including the research team) and our funding agency on issues relating to INKE, through the Chair
Acts as trustee of the project’s research direction and of the research budget:
- At the annual meeting, it approves the release of research funds to research area sub-groups and its researchers, based on an annual reporting cycle which includes evaluation of past work and next-stage work projection and budgeting. Internal reporting, management, and planning remain the role of the research sub-area groups. Decision-making is minuted, and all actions that are not able to be handled by consensus will be passed by majority vote of the voting members.
- It releases funds via a subcontract structure with RAG leaders and researchers, and in consideration of the research plan and fulfillment of annual planning and reporting structures. In all but exceptional cases, it releases 75% of funds at the outset of the annual research plan, and the remaining 25% at point of review of successful completion; the only exceptional case noted is that of the requirements of the UCL accounting system.
- Operates under similar conflict-of-interest guidelines in decision-making as SSHRC. Specifically, this is in reference to discussion of, and voting on, research sub-area groups’ reports, research plans, and budget proposals. Here, we invite the EC representative of the RAG to present and answer questions relating to reports, research plans, and budget proposals, but leave the room for committee discussion and voting; in cases where this applies to the Director, a deputy will be appointed to chair this part of the EC meeting’s proceedings.
- Meets in person once a year, with provision for teleconferencing for some members at this time. Meets by teleconference throughout the year, as needed, called by the Director. A majority of voting members must be present for quorum to be reached, though it is understood that it is preferable for all members of this committee to be present at meetings.
- Is the top of the line of authority structure that governs the relationships in our administrative structure and handles grievances and complaints, and acts as the chief authority on issues of INKE dissemination, the chief contact point for SSHRC and the media, is responsible for gathering materials relating to reporting and other administrative cycles of the grant; and, through the Director, is responsible for the project manager, being the project manager’s direct report.
- discussion of the role of the project Director/PI, as this role might deviate from what is documented in the SSHRC guidelines (see: http://www.sshrc.ca/web/apply/background/definitions_e.asp#1)
- documentation of the fact that our administrative structure is more broadly-based than other MCRI administrative structures, distributing some elements of typical ‘Director’ leadership across a larger group, in this case the EC and the RAG committee.
- notice that SSHRC will expect to interact with our group as they do with others, and will expect the Director to act in a role akin to their definition of that role. (We will be expected to meet that expectation, regardless of the structure we put into place. This should only be an issue if our administrative structure proves not to be effective.)
- Reports to the Executive Committee through the Project Director
- Through the Project Director, takes direction from the Executive Committee and the RAG administrative group
- Is ex officio member (non-voting) of Executive Committee
- General support and oversight on full-project specific matters. These include:
- Coordinating reporting on (by providing means for the admin group to report on)
- Research area research plans
- Research area budgets and overall budget
- The status of integrated research work at regular intervals
- Coordinating, handling and facilitating internal and external communication (via listservs, project website, blogs, wikis, etc)
- Administering the project budget
- Providing secretariat functions for the Advisory Board, Executive Committee, and Partners Committee
- Coordinating with university and partner research offices and other university departments at the administrative level (research communication will be handled by the admin group)
- Providing research and communicative data management support for the whole project, as well as individual research areas
- Providing advice on area project plans and reports
- Providing coordination and direct support for UVic events
- Managing the local research lab
- The agency itself, which sets the general targets for our work and its impact in its program descriptions (see http://www.sshrc.ca/web/apply/program_descriptions/mcri_e.asp)
- the adjudication committee (and reviewers, working via the adjudication committee) who have provided recommendations for us to implement in our work (see those documents)
- the mid-term evaluation committee, who will ensure that our work meets the burden of the program and of the promise of our research application (criteria available at https://etcl.updatelog.com/projects/1092698/file/6718284/MidTerm%20Review,%20Procedurespurpose.doc [under password])
- the MCRI performance report, which outlines best practices (see Kischuck 2005; http://www.sshrc.ca/web/about/publications/mcri_performance_e.pdf)
- General Public & Industry : information architects; information managers; web designers; journalists; librarians; teachers; publishers; professional readers and writers; artists; administrators; lawyers; doctors; and managers.
- Members of Academic Units in Universities : academic libraries; archives; book history; classics; communications; computer science; distance education; education; English; film and new media studies; fine art and design; history; languages; linguistics; offices of learning technologies; philosophy; psychology.
- Members of Academic Associations : Association for Canadian College and University Teachers of English; Modern Language Association and its press; Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing; Association for Computers and the Humanities; International Reading Association; International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media; National Reading Conference; National Council of Teachers of English; Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing; Society for Textual Scholarship; Society of Archivists (UK); Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (UK); American Library Association; American Society for Information Science and Technology.
- Members of Open Community Organizations, and those they impact : Open Source Initiative; Creative Commons; GNU Project.
The International Advisory Board (IAB)
The foregoing are the minimum responsibilities expected of members of the International Advisory Board and of the INKE EC relative to each other. The IAB is understood to have no further responsibilities to the INKE Project, nor any of its members as pertains to the INKE project, except as they may agree to as the project progresses. The EC is understood to have no further responsibilities to the IAB or members thereof, except as may develop as the project progresses. The aforesaid notwithstanding, the EC is understood to have duties and responsibilities to the INKE Project beyond those articulated in this document.
The Executive Committee (EC) is comprised of Ray Siemens (as project director, and chair of the committee), and a lead representative from each of the research sub-area groups (Richard Cunningham [TS], Claire Warwick [UX], Ray Siemens [IM], and Stan Ruecker [ID]), plus ex officio the chair of the advisory board, the chair of the partners committee, the project manager, our administrative / management advisor, and a student research assistant representative.
The EC has the following duties, working roughly as captured by the diagram above:
The EC must be in a position to respond to demands of the funding agency, further details of which will become evident at the April 2009 meeting of the Program Officers at U Victoria. It must ensure that all structures – management, administrative, research, and otherwise – support best practices identified in the SSHRC MCRI program performance report (Kishchuck 2005; http://www.sshrc.ca/web/about/publications/mcri_performance_e.pdf), and the advisor to our administrative, management, and team research practices will play an integral part in identifying, introducing, supporting, and studying / evaluating the positive impact of these practices on our work.
Related documentation, if any is required, may include the following; this could also be handled by extension of this document:
We note, as well, the involvement of the funding agency in our work, including
Note: This is section 8 of the grant application. Full reflection of how we have discussed integrating stakeholders is spread across the application.
Our list of partners was constructed by identifying stakeholder areas, then building research relationships with groups representing key stakeholder areas. Thus, representatives of stakeholder areas pertinent to our work manifest themselves as involved research partners – having committed to our cluster collaborations and shaped the program of research we propose here; this group remains as per our earlier application. While participating in discussion about the research program for the past three years, and by indicating how such research might best serve interests beyond those of pure research, those involved have also continued their own pioneering efforts in the areas engaged by our work and promise to do so as our work together continues. Another important role our stake-holding research partners will play is in the technology transfer associated with the prototypical computing interfaces for books and electronic book objects that our work will produce; many are in the position of developing and bringing out the prototypes for widespread use.
We wish especially to highlight the fact that our work is likely to have a very broad stakeholder community ranging from the general and professional reader, to K-12 education and the corporate world of information technology and design. We have recently organised a symposium involving both academic and corporate presenters (including representatives of Microsoft Research and Hewlett Packard Labs) and as a result were invited by Microsoft Research to present a position paper on our work at the BooksOnline'08 Workshop at CIKM (Napa, October 2008). Our research is known and of interest to some of the most well known international information technology corporations, and we plan to expand their knowledge of our work via further research-related activities such as these symposiums, and further with indirectly affiliated groups such as NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship), the Digital Library Foundation’s Aquifer Project, IBM’s Many Eyes Project, MONK (Metadata Offer New Knowledge), and SEASR (Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research).
Stakeholder areas essential to our work include those in: general and scholarly publishing (including open-access publication); public and academic libraries; educational software development; information management and computing science; standards development for electronic texts and other materials; government agencies; K-12 and university education; humanities and social sciences disciplines; professional readers; and members of the reading public, who read online. Beyond these, specific impacted areas also include those, worldwide, in:
PROJECT NAME: INKE
Research Project Charter
DATE: 7 July 2009
This charter is to be understood within the context of the administrative governance documents and the INKE grant. It is subject to review and update by majority vote of the admin leaders.
1. We are interested in disseminating the results of this project as widely as possible, with credit to us for doing it.
2. We will move the work forward according to the research schedule that we are committed to SSHRC to deliver, including the various timelines/milestones, budgets, students, and activities described in the INKE grant.
3. We would prefer for this work to generate further projects that can also be funded.
4. We will ensure that everyone on the project has access not only to our research results, but also to our working documents.
5. We wish to communicate in such a way as to preserve professional dignity.
6. We will guide ourselves by reference to the SSHRC MCRI best practices document, which is entitled PERFORMANCE REPORT: SSHRC’s Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) Program
7. We will strive for transparency in decision making and communication.
8. We will actively involve our organizational partners in the project.
9. We will try to take this opportunity to learn more about project management of large teams.
10. We would like to foster goodwill among all the participants.
11. We will work collaboratively.
12. We will support the development of graduate students in content expertise and collaborative skills.
13. We will recognize both individual and shared intellectual property.
14. We acknowledge that time commitments should remain manageable for all participants.