FORCE11 Endorsement Policy - Open for Comment

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NOTE: all comments have been reviewed by the board and a new Endorsement Policy has been posted on March 11, 2020 here: https://www.force11.org/about/endorsement-policy

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Below is a new, proposed endorsement policy for FORCE11 community consideration posted November 12, 2019.  The first section is the new text as submitted for review, the second section shows the redline (highlighting edits made to existing policy), and the third section offers a clean view of our current policy.  

The main differences are: A. the policy now explicitly states our vision is for a future that is more open, equitable and B. the policy no longer states that our policy is to never make endorsements.  Instead it leaves open the possibility to endorse but states that our endorsements are not necessarily exclusive. 

Community comments are welcome through February 15, 2020.  Please feel free to leave comments in the comment box at the bottom of this page or inline using the embedded hypothes.is-powered annotation tool.  

 

PROPOSED REVISED POLICY

(This section is the revised text submitted for community review.)

FORCE11 is a common ground for all interested in the Future of Research Communication. Members and sponsors of FORCE11 include commercial and non-profit publishers, funders, libraries, scholarly societies, universities, other private and public sector organisations, and individual researchers, librarians, publishing professionals, corporate and public sector managers.

These members approach research communication with different interests, concerns, and levels of participation. Often these interests are complementary. Sometimes they may be competing. However, all of us are working toward a more open, equitable future for research communication.

While we have a vision of research being more open and participatory for everyone, everywhere, FORCE11 is not an advocacy organization. Instead, we are an organization for the harmonization of community views. It acts by convening communities of interest from within its membership but the organization does not presume to speak for its members. It creates a space for members to work together to solve common problems and discuss questions of mutual interest and it encourages its members to become engaged in the world of research communications and to participate in external initiatives and organizations. 

FORCE11 does work with external agencies and organizations and it does support specific, member-initiated and member-developed initiatives. This cooperation and endorsement, however, is intended to be non-exclusive. The fact that FORCE11 cooperates with one organization or supports one specific initiative does not rule out member-initiated work with other different, perhaps even competing, initiatives and organizations.

 

CURRENT POLICY (REDLINED)

(This section allows you to see the changes made to our current endorsement policy in order to create the proposed version above. Additions are in green and italics. Deletions are in red and strikethrough.)

FORCE11 is a common ground for all interested in the Future of Research Communication. Members and sponsors of FORCE11 include commercial and non-profit publishers, funders, libraries, scholarly societies, universities, other private and public sector organisations, and individual researchers, librarians, publishing professionals, corporate and public sector managers.

These members approach research communication with different interests, concerns, and levels of participation. Often these interests are complementary. Sometimes they may be competing. However, all of us are working toward a more open, equitable future for research communication.

For this reason, FORCE11 does not itself certify or endorse external initiatives. It While we have a vision of research being more open and participatory for everyone, everywhere, FORCE11 is not an advocacy organization. Instead, we are but an organization for harmonization of community views. It acts by convening communities of interest from within its membership but the organization does not presume to speak for its members. It creates space for members to work together to solve common problems and discuss questions of mutual interest and it encourages its members to become engaged in the world of research communications and to participate in external initiatives and organizations. But it does not take a position on such external activities or initiatives in its own name beyond supporting research and development work in its field.

FORCE11 does work with external agencies and organizations and it does support specific, member-initiated and member-developed initiatives. This cooperation and endorsement support, however, is intended to be non-exclusive. The fact that FORCE11 cooperates with one organization or supports one specific initiative does not rule out member-initiated work with other different, perhaps even competing, initiatives and organizations.

Where a working group is convened through or statements are publicized by Force11 we suggest the following language: “[Name of group]: a community group/statement convened through FORCE11.”

 

CURRENT POLICY 

(This section allows you to see FORCE11’s current endorsement policy in order to compare without redline edits.)

FORCE11 is a common ground for all interested in the Future of Research Communication. Members and sponsors of FORCE11 include commercial and non-profit publishers, libraries, scholarly societies, universities, other private and public sector organisations, and individual researchers, librarians, publishing professionals, corporate and public sector managers.

These members approach research communication with different interests, concerns, and levels of participation. Often these interests are complementary. Sometimes they may be competing.

For this reason, FORCE11 does not itself certify or endorse external initiatives. It is not an advocacy organization but an organization for harmonization of community views. It acts by convening communities of interest from within its membership but the organization does not presume to speak for its members. It creates space for members to work together to solve common problems and discuss questions of mutual interest and it encourages its members to become engaged in the world of research communications and to participate in external initiatives and organizations. But it does not take a position on such external activities or initiatives in its own name beyond supporting research and development work in its field.

FORCE11 does work with external agencies and organizations and it does support specific, member-initiated and developed initiatives. This cooperation and support, however, is intended to be non-exclusive. The fact that FORCE11 cooperates with one organization or supports one specific initiative does not rule out member-initiated work with other different, perhaps even competing, initiatives and organizations.

Where a working group is convened through or statements are publicized by FORCE11 we suggest the following language: “[Name of group]: a community group/statement convened through FORCE11.”

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Comments

Hello,

I thought I'd write as one of the original aurthors of the current policy (I recognize par 2 and parts of 1 and 3 particularly). 

The proposed changes look fine to me!  Most of the additions do not add materially to the content, except replacing 'support' by 'endorsement' (which is a better term for sure).  And the deletions remove some of the more 'edgy' specific language. 

 

All the best and keep up the good work!

 

I would propose changing the sentence "The fact that Force11 cooperates with one organization or supports one specific initiative..." to "The fact that Force11 cooperates with any one organization or supports any one specific initiative..."  (My changes in bold...) This change is to make the wording more accessible and interpretable also for people (like myself) who aren't native speakers of English.

This starts with Force11, rather than the correct FORCE11, an error that is repeated multiple times.

Thanks for the comment.

Looks great! I like the new phrasing. Do you mean Force11 or FORCE 11? 

Thanks for the comment.

I think the decision to (potentially) issue endorsements is a positive one, but I wonder if this is at odds with some of the content of the third paragraph: Most importantly, if "the organization does not presume to speak for its members," what is an endorsement? It seems to me that the reason endorsements from membership organizations can be so powerful is because they are on behalf of their members, at least collectively. It's a big deal to be able to say, "We are a community of more than 3,000 people with a stake in scholarly communication, and we believe X is the best way forward." It seems like a vague cop-out to say "We endorse X, but our members might not, who knows."

The other part may be more of a semantic concern, but paragraph 3 also still says "Force11 [sic] is not an advocacy organization." If the organization is going to be making endorsements, that's a pretty straightforward example of an act of advocacy. Would "is not primarily an advocacy organization" be more appropriate?

I would challenge the assumption that more open is equitable. For whom?

Whilst many researchers would benefit from greater access to the literature, the make-it-open doctrine perhaps ignores the asymmetry between many individual's ability to leverage AI to process a corpus of literature, and the ability of major information companies to do the same. The literature can be processed by machine to promote discovery and invention. Will many open publications feed closed patent-protected proprietary technology? Is this fair?

I believe that the subject is overdue for discussion. I believe researchers should be free to do as they please, and I do not advocate Ludditry.

I presented in Montreal on the subject. My proposal for the subject to be a lunchtime discussion was not accepted in Edinburgh.

I believe there are enough organisations supporting the mantra of everything open. I would rather that Force11 remain a forum for the discussion of diverse opinions.

And in terms of endorsements, by whom and how are the endorsements to be decided? Until that is explained and agreed I would prefer that Force11 make no endorsements.

Thank you

Would it be possible to add research support staff in the first paragraph? With the current phrasing I would identify as a librarian although I would not necessarily classify myself as such.