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Directives of the Sources & Citations Exploratory Group

Approved by the Technical Standing Committee and published on 10 April 2015. Note: This group was suspended on 22 March 2016.

1. Mission

The Sources and Citations Exploratory Group (S&CEG) of the Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) is tasked with carrying out exploratory work, as defined in section 1.2 of the Technical Standing Committee (TSC) Operations and Policy Manual (O&PM), into the data representation of information about and information contained within individual documents, monuments, artefacts, interviews, and other sources of data of interest to family history.

The S&CEG shall research, compare and document the approach to sources and citations adopted by current applications and standards in wide-spread use. The S&CEG may include other such applications, standards and research in this work as they see fit. The TSC may also direct the S&CEG to consider any relevant ideas submitted to the TSC as part of its Call for Paper Submissions (CFPS). A list of such CFPSs is appended to these Directives as annex A.2.

The S&CEG shall draw on this research to reach a consensus on the broad manner in which sources and citations are to be modelled in a future FHISO standard. Consideration shall be given to compatibility with existing citation formats and the likely requirements for forwards compatibility. Areas requiring further research shall be identified, as should potential points of extensibility. Particular attention should be paid to those decisions likely to effect the work of other technical groups.

Not everything that may be considered part of a source or citation is within the scope of the S&CEG. In particular, the following subjects are considered beyond of scope of the S&CEG: dates and calendars, personal names, place names and other geographical data, cross-document information, documentation of inference and reasoning, human-targeted formatting of citation text, formats for integrating citations into existing data formats, support for hypothetical future use-cases, and metadata outside the usual scope of genealogical interest.

The S&CEG shall avoid placing onerous requirements on the choice of serialisation formats or data formalisms that may be adopted by the FHISO.

2. Operation

The S&CEG shall ordinarily conduct its business on the public mailing list. The S&CEG may after consultation with the TSC conduct business or hold meetings in other manners, providing it is consistent with principles of the standards development process given in section 6 of the O&PM.

Work may be prioritised and divided as the S&CEG sees fit. When a major section of work is completed, the S&CEG are encouraged to publish it as a Technical Group Note (TGN) to provide third parties and other FHISO groups with an indication of the future direction of FHISO’s work.

It is anticipated that the final deliverable produced by the group will be a formal Project Proposal (per section 4.1 of the O&PM) covering the content of a future FHISO standard relating to the concepts with in scope of the S&CEG. As FHISO’s policy with respect to modularisation develops, the TSC may direct the S&CEG to split this Project Proposal into several parts, or to liaise with other Exploratory Groups to produce a single Project Proposal jointly. The S&CEG may publish their recommendation as a Working Group Note once it is complete if they feel it would be premature to formal propose the creation of a Project Team.

The S&CEG may additionally produce any other deliverable permitted by section 3.3 of the O&PM, and it may produce CFPS Responses for any CFPS assigned to it per section 3 of the TSC Charter.

All deliverables produced by the S&CEG shall comply with the policies given in section 5 of the O&PM, and which any style guides that in the future be approved by the TSC or by FHISO’s Executive Committee. The TSC shall maintain as annex A.3 to these Directives a record of all deliverables produce by the S&CEG.

The S&CEG Coordinator shall keep concise minutes of the decision made by the S&CEG, and other events deemed worthy of record. The S&CEG Coordinator should liaise with the TSC to ensure these are made public no more than a month after the events being minuted. This task may be delegated to a Recorder appointed by the S&CEG Coordinator.

3. Governance

The work of the S&CEG shall be supervised by the TSC and is governed by the policies given in sections 2 and 3 of the O&PM, and section 4 of the TSC Charter. The TSC shall appoint an Coordinator for the S&CEG, and who shall be identified in annex A.1 of these Directives.

The TSC shall maintain as annex A.1 of these Directives a list of members of the S&CEG, which shall distinguish associate and transitional members. The TSC shall inform the S&CEG Coordinator of changes to this list. The S&CEG Coordinator is responsible for informing the TSC if in the S&CEG Coordinators opinion a member lapses into or reverts from transitional status. If other formal roles are established in the S&CEG, these shall be communicated to the TSC and identified in annex A.1.

All members of the S&CEG must abide by FHISO’s Code of Conduct.

Annex A

This annex contains supplementary information that is not formally part of the S&CEG Directives but is appended to them for convenience.

A.1. Members

A.2. Assigned CFPSs

The S&CEG has been assigned the following CFPS:

Other CFPS may be relevant in whole or in part to the work of the S&CEG; the S&CEG is encouraged to consult such papers and respond as they deem appropriate.

A.3. Deliverables produced

The S&CEG has not yet produced any deliverables.