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This is a first draft of bylaws to formalize the governance of OpenWetWare. Please feel free to edit this draft or add comments on the discussion page. The steering committee will be working to formalize these bylaws over the coming months.


This organization shall be known as OpenWetWare (OWW). The main web site of OWW shall be


The goals of OWW are to support open research, education, publication, and discussion in biological sciences and engineering. We promote and support collaborations among researchers, students, and others who are working towards these goals.


Any individual with an OWW account will be referred to as a user. All users are entitled to join the steering committee and to nominate themselves and others to the elected positions of the steering committee. Each user is entitled to vote for one candidate for each of the elected positions on the steering committee.

Steering committee

The committee has the following authority:

  • To look after the finances of OWW, prepare budgets and make spending decisions.
  • To control user accounts and to make publicly accountable and fair decisions on usage.
  • To control OWW content and to make publicly accountable and fair decisions on usage.

Elected Positions

  1. SC Coordinator
    • Organizes and chairs SC meetings
    • Prepares agendas
    • Manages tasks
    • Manages funding subgroup
    • Manages publishing subgroup
  2. SC Secretary
    • Takes meeting notes
    • Organizes the SC wiki area
  3. OWW Site administration team leader
    • Keeps site infrastructure functioning and updated
    • Manages upgrades
    • Implements new tools
  4. OWW Spokesperson
    • Talks to 3rd parties
    • Set up new interactions
    • Manages press


  1. The positions described in Article ? shall be elected by the users of OWW.
  2. The first term of the elected positions shall be 6 months.
  3. The first group of elected officers will be responsible for amending this article to set either 6 or 12 months as the length of subsequent elected terms
  4. Elections shall be held online.
  5. The mechanism for elections shall be as follows -
    • Nominations of any user for the elected positions will be accepted in an electronic form specified by the steering committee for a period of 1 week.
    • Nominees must agree to their nomination in writing or via email.
    • Within one week of the closing of nominations, the existing steering committee shall hold an on-line election for any contested positions.
    • All users registered before the nomination period ends are eligible to vote.
    • The election shall remain open for 1 week.
    • The existing steering committee will make public the results of the election.
    • The newly elected users will assume their elected positions at the next scheduled meeting of the OWW steering committee.


  1. The steering committee shall meet once per calendar month.
  2. The date, time and location of the monthly meeting shall be set by the SC coordinator.
  3. Committee members can participate in person or via-teleconference.
  4. The quorum for a meeting shall be 6(?) steering committee members.
  5. Votes on proposals put before the committee can be voted on in person, via phone or email.
  6. Decisions shall be reached by majority vote.

Declaration about the information on OWW always being open?