WG Deliverable Cover Document Template

@@Proposed Working Group Name@@ Charter

@@Day Month Year@@

This document is the charter of the @@wg-name@@ Working Group of the Semantic Technology Institute (STI) International.

Table of contents

  1. Mission
  2. Scope
  3. Out of scope
  4. Deliverables
  5. Schedule and duration
  6. Participation
  7. Meetings
  8. Communication, confidentiality
  9. IPR policy
  10. Updates to this charter

The following sections form the template of a proposed STI International working group charter; each contains a set of questions at the beginning that the the section should answer. Where appropriate, the questions are followed by a suggested text with parts to be filled in marked with at-signs @@like this@@. In a proposed charter document, please remove this part and the questions starting each of the sections.

Summary of the WG creation process:

STI International has Members (organizations), who sign up to this process as part of the membership agreement.

Any single Member or a group of Members (who may also represent Projects) may propose a new Working Group (WG) charter, to be approved by the Board. The Board either approves the WG charter or suggests changes for consideration by the original proposing Members.

A proposed WG charter should follow this template, but the proposal may change any points in this template, especially in Section 6 ("Participation") and in Section 9 ("IPR Policy"). Any significant changes to the template should be pointed out and justified in a document accompanying the proposal. Any proposed WG charter must specify who will chair it (an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization). Any proposed WG charter must specify a schedule that includes an expiration date for the WG. The Chairs of a WG or any Member of STI International may request charter extension or other updates, to be considered by the Board.

The Board may update the WG charter template at any time, and it should notify the Members of any significant updates. Template updates do not affect existing Working Groups.

1. Mission

Why does this WG exist?
What is the related work to which this group will tie its results?

2. Scope

What does this WG aim to achieve?

3. Out of scope

What is explicitly not going to be considered by this WG?

4. Deliverables

What existing documents are going to be inputs of this WG?
What documents (or other deliverables) should be produced by the WG?
What template will be used by the deliverables (if any)?
What is the development process for the deliverables?
What is the versioning policy for the deliverables?
Is the WG required to publish updates regularly?

The working group expects to take @@input document@@ as the starting point for its work. In the end, as indicated by the schedule below, the group will produce the following deliverables:

  1. @@spec@@ - a formal specification of @@result@@,
  2. @@primer@@ - an explanatory guide for dissemination of @@result@@,
  3. @@test suite@@ - a set of test cases covering the features of @@result@@,
  4. other supporting documents, as necessary.

The documents @@spec@@ and @@primer@@ will follow the attached template. Other documents produced by the WG should also follow this template, if appropriate; otherwise they will be accompanied by a cover document following the attached simplified template.

The process of developing the deliverables is as follows:

  1. Each deliverable under development has a set of Editors (appointed by the WG Chairs), responsible for updating the content of the deliverable. The editors publish the first dated Working Draft (as described in Section 8) with an initial version number 0.1.
  2. Apart from editors, a deliverable may have a greater list of Authors, which serves to acknowledge that these individuals have contributed significantly, but weren't involved as editors.
  3. The editors may update the deliverable at any time and publish a new Working Draft, notifying the Working Group about the new update.
  4. Every deliverable in an advanced stage of development has at least one Reviewer (approved by the WG Chairs). When the editors consider the deliverable finished, they will propose to do a final formal review with the Reviewer(s); less formal early reviews are encouraged.
  5. After the final formal review, the editors report on the reviewer comments, how they were handled, and may propose the deliverable to be closed by the WG. The WG may then publish a dated Final Draft, potentially with an increased version number (e.g. 1.0 for mature material), and communicate it to STI International members and the wider public as described in Section 8.
  6. The Working Group may, at any time, start a new version of a Final Draft deliverable; the selected Editors should then proceed to publish a first dated Working Draft with the appropriate increased version number; then the deliverable process is repeated.

In order to demonstrate progress, the working group is expected to publish an update of at least one of its deliverables at most 6 months after the last publication. Optimally, every Working Draft should be updated periodically. (This is a so-called "heartbeat requirement".)

5. Schedule and duration

What are the milestones for the WG?
When does the charter expire?

6. Participation

Who are the initial Chairs of the WG?
   (one organization or at least one concrete individual)
Who may participate in the WG?
What is the process for the prospective participants to join the WG?
What is the decision process for the WG?
How should dissent be managed?

The initial Chairs of the WG are: @@name1@@ (@@email1@@), @@name2@@ (@@email2@@).

The role of the Chairs is to guide and moderate the discussions, to appoint deliverable editors and reviewers, and to assure the timely progress of the Working Group.

The Working Group is open to participation by individuals from all members and projects of STI International. All participants must agree to this charter and abide by its rules, otherwise they may be removed from the WG.

Prospective participants may join or leave the WG by sending a simple request by email to at least one of the WG Chairs. The Chairs maintain a list of active WG participants.

Every deliverable under development is maintained by its Editors. Other members of the WG are expected to provide comments or other contributions, or raise issues. In case of disagreement within the WG, the members should seek the technically and scientifically most suitable solution to the issue at hand. Continuing disagreements may be resolved by the Chairs.

It may be helpful for the Working Group to maintain a list of issues and their resolutions, however, this is not required, as sufficient record (especially in case of dissent) may be provided in the form of meeting notes and mailing list archives.

7. Meetings

When and how will the WG meet?

The Working Group is expected to hold frequent regular distributed meetings (e.g. teleconferences), scheduled by the Chairs to optimize participation.

The Working Group may also organize face-to-face meetings, in order to utilize the increased bandwidth of such a setting. In case of limited participation in such a meeting, the WG should communicate the notes of the meeting to the participants who were absent, to give them a chance to catch up and comment.

8. Communication, confidentiality

How does the WG communicate its deliberations and progress?
How and where does the WG publish its deliverables and drafts?
How much of the WG communication is public?
Who has access to the non-public communication?

The Working Group maintains a public website at @@website-address@@ which contains this charter, links to the mailing list and its archive (as specified below) and all the deliverables, both final and those under development. All technical discussions by the WG should be public. The WG Chairs appoint the administrator(s) of the website.

The WG website may contain an area restricted only to formal WG participants, with information such as contact lists, meeting schedules and other administrative information. The list of WG participants may be public or restricted as decided by the Chairs.

The Working Group will mainly communicate using the mailing list @@list-address@@, publically archived at @@archive-address@@. The mailing list is open to contributions by the public, and any individual (even not formally participating in the WG) is allowed to subscribe to the mailing list. However, the Chairs may appoint a moderator for the list traffic and subscription in order to limit unwelcome disturbances.

Any Working Drafts and Final Drafts produced by this WG will bear a version number and a date. The policy for forming deliverable URIs is specified by the website administrator.

9. IPR policy

Who owns the copyright for the deliverables?
Who owns any related trade marks and registered names?
What is the patent policy of this WG?
How are the results of the WG licensed to STI International members and to other parties?

The Working Group (represented legally by STI International) will be the holder of copyright to all the deliverables produced by the WG. The deliverable editors must ensure that their deliverables do not infringe on copyright held by external parties.

Any registered names and trade marks are held by their respective owners. Organizations represented in this Working Group should generally not restrict the use of their registered names and trade marks in the deliverables of this Working Group, and any limitations should be clarified early, in order to avoid issues when the work is advanced.

The participants of this Working Group make a commitment to license any patents core to implementing the technology developed by this WG on a Royalty-Free basis to any and every interested party, unless a specific patent is explicitly exempted from this commitment. A patent is exempted if the participant does not have the authority to license the patent on a Royalty-Free basis, or if the participant does have the authority but chooses not to license the patent on a Royalty-Free basis.

Each participant must disclose all exempted patents of which they are aware (i.e. the participants need not perform an exhaustive patent search), as soon as possible after the moment when they become aware of the patent. Patent disclosures must be communicated to all the Chairs of the WG, and the Chairs should strive to resolve the situation so that implementations of the deliverables produced by the WG do not require any non-Royalty-Free patent licences.

10. Updates to this charter

This charter is maintained by @@author@@. Only the Board of STI International may authorize changes to this charter.


The charter template is maintained by the Executive Board of STI International.

Contact person in charge.