ACH Executive Council Minutes 2004: Draft
June 11, 10am-2pm, Göteborg
John Bradley, Charles Bush, Marilyn Deegan (as Editor of Literary and Linguistic Computing), Julia Flanders, Michael Fraser (Minute taker), Lorna Hughes (Chair), Laszlo Hunyadi (as ALLC-ACH2004 Programme Chair), Nancy Kushigian, John Lavagnino, Lisa Lena Opas-Hänninen (representing the Busa Award Committee), Steve Ramsay, Geoffrey Rockwell (Publications), Ray Siemens (IFDISH, Outreach), Stéfan Sinclair, Natasha Smith, Jan-Gunnar Tingsell (for report on ALLC/ACH 2004), John Unsworth (for IFDISH) .
Martha Nell Smith
3. Welcome and introductions
The meeting was declared quorate.
4. Report on ACH/ALLC 2004 (Jan-Gunnar Tingsell)
Lorna welcomed Jan-Gunnar Tingsell and commented on the wonderful oraganisation of the conference. Jan-Gunnar reported there were 180 registrations which is fine since the break-even was 150. The tutorial was cancelled due to lack of registrations (only 6). There will be more statistics presented during the opening session.
5. ACH Executive Business
Lorna welcomed everyone to the formal meeting. It was noted that there is a parallel LLC publishers tender meeting taking place with Geoffrey Rockwell representing ADHO and John Unsworth representing ACH.
Lorna reported that ADHO, the federation of humanities computing organisations, had proposed a name change to IFDISH (International Federation of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities).
Lorna noted that the next time the Busa award is made will be at an ACH conference.
5.1. Review of 2003 action items (see http://www.ach.org/documents/minutes2003.html)
[all to be discussed under relevant agenda items]
JU: posters at the conference: to be discussed under 2004 Programme Committee
JU: compiling statistics from conference chair: to be discussed under 2004 Programme Committee
JU: programme committee schedule posted, automated reply to proposals
JU: coordination with related organisations
MK: document nominating committee timetable and assumptions: to be discussed
RS: more encouraging letter to nominees not elected
JU: rotation of Busa committee members
JU: concerns about Busa committee process (time and effort), discussion with ALLC
JU: mulilingual concerns and continued archiving at UVA
JU: contact individuals about 2005 programme committee.
[Unclear: Annual appointment of Secretary and Treasurer. Review of Officers listed on the Web (Immediate Past President's term has expired; ACH rep to TEI is no longer an operative category; do we still need to list liaisons to ACM and ACL?).]
5.2. Report on Finances (Chuck Bush)
Chuck reported a $17860.08 balance which doesn't include a grant from ALLC £6042, expected to receive in hand at this conference. There are no outstanding debts except for the payment to Brown for hosting the Web site (last time charged was $1500). The invoice from Brown only appears when Brown believes work has been undertaken which justifies it.
The Busa award presented at the NYU conference incurred expenses paid out of the general fund. It is proposed to use the ALLC grant to clear the internal debt ($2200) and establish the fund for the next Busa award. It was noted that there was a long-standing plan to raise funds for the Busa Award but this hasn't yet happened [to be further discussed under the relevant item].
Lorna reported that Chuck was happy to remain treasurer and the Council thanked Chuck for his on-going work. Lorna reported that the move to LLC will enable ACH to raise revenue as a proportion of the subscriptions paid. The share is calculated as the value of North American subscriptions. Unfortunately, the Federation has proven difficult to implement from OUP's perspective. In a six month period the subscription process was not present and the ACH had lost its revenue stream. This resulted in the grant from ALLC (based on what the ACH should have received from the journal). The ALLC grant was also intended for transitional activities within the new structure (e.g. new publications, additional meetings, revamp of web site). On an individual basis, it was observed, that most were aware CHum was not the ACH journal. However, there are probably institutional subscriptions which have not transferred to LLC (where the subscription was based on CHum being the official journal of the ACH). It was also noted that LLC is significantly cheaper than CHum.
ACTION: It was agreed to remind members to notify their respective libraries of the change of journal.
It was clarified that individual subscriptions claiming loyalty to the ACH but which were not North American in origin will benefit the ACH. This applies also to the relevant institutional subscriptions (i.e. North American instititional subscriptions). It was agreed that this was a beneficial relationship for the ACH.
It was questioned what the ACH brings to ALLC. Collaboration, especially the conference, is a key aspect. This model is applicable to other activities, not least the journal where the number of articles submitted has increased. Certainly, the ALLC sees it as a beneficial relationship.
There was some discussion of the fact that the organization needs to consider ways of spending our increased income, either through new initiatives or through funding for existing activities.
ACTION: The members of the Executive Council will consider appropriate initiatives to fund.
5.3. Report on Membership (Julia Flanders)
Julia reported that the Membership Committee has been stripped of members through rotation and the Committee has not been charged with new tasks. Many of the issues are being addressed by IFDISH.
It was noted that this present time was a good time for a recruitment drive. In addition, there were still issues relating to non-standard memberships to be resolved and also institutional membership and affiliation. Within IFDISH ACH is not as free to develop membership model which may clash with other membership models within IFDISH. One model would be to suggest a representative for a IFDISH membership committee, perhaps one from USA and one from Canada.
It was proposed that the recruitment drive for institutions was best operated at the federation level. The membership committee might relate more to current membership and outreach. It was agreed to propose representation from the Membership committee to IFDISH.
How do we recruit people to roles within IFDISH who are not on the Council? It was noted that some committees did draw members from ordinary members. The policy depends on the By-Laws.
Stéfan volunteered to be a member of the committee if it required a representative from Canada.
Michael F. volunteered for outreach; Natasha expressed an interest in recruitment of graduate students.
Julia proposed to step down as chair of the committee. Lorna agreed to remain on the Committee.
AGREED: These suggestions were approved without dissent.
The current membership list did not reflect new subscriptions received through OUP. It was noted that the new publisher would have to supply membership information in a meaningful way.
ACTION: Lorna will liaise with OUP and ALLC as appropriate about obtaining a current and accurate membership list.
5.4. Report of the Nominating Committee (Natasha Smith) and Selection of and charge to the Nominating Committee for the 2004 elections
Natasha drew attention to her report and invited questions. The process was smooth and worked as it should have done, with a new President and Vice-President and three new Council members. The Council thanked the Nominating Committee for their work and welcomed the new members. Stéfan was welcomed as new Executive Secretary. Thanks were expressed to the out-going members of the Council, with particular thanks to John Unsworth as out-going president. John will continue to serve as immediate past president. It was wryly questioned whether John could be re-elected as immediate past president. John will continue to liaise with IFDISH as the ACH representative. Thanks were also expressed to Lorna for facilitating an IFDISH meeting on 10 June 2004.
AGREED: It was agreed that the web site needed updating accordingly (with a correction to Julia's term of office).
It was noted that three members will rotate off this year (John Bradley, John Lavagnino, Martha Nell Smith).
Natasha agreed to continue to serve as chair of the Nominating Committee. Other members will include: Chuck, Nancy, with addition of Steve Ramsey.
Council were reminded that terms of office commence from 1 Jan. It was observed that this could prove awkward where committee chairs were expected to report to the Council meeting following their departure. In practice, for committees where it was not essential to also be a member of Council, departing Council members were not obligated to resign from such committees (e.g. jobs committee). In addition, it was noted that departing members were requested to document the roles and responsibilities for any positions held.
ACTION: It was agreed to ensure that better documentation be provided for forthcoming handovers.
It was noted no names had been received for the next elections. This issue was deferred to the business of the nominating committee.
5.5. Report on the ACH Web Site (Elli Mylonas)
Julia reported on behalf of Elli that few updates had taken place on the ACH web site. Ideas for how the web site might be developed within the new context would be welcome.
It was noted that the new journal publisher would incorporate better ACH branding.
ACTION: It was agreed that Julia, Elli, Stéfan and Lorna would discuss the web site further.
The council thanked Elli for her work.
5.6. Scheduling of future exec meetings (Lorna Hughes)
AGREED: It was proposed and agreed that the 2005 meeting should occupy a full day and take place a day before the conference.
ACTION: It was agreed that the responsibility for attending the meeting should be notified to potential Council members.
ACTION: In addition, it was proposed and agreed that the ACH should investigate subsidising the costs to attend Council meetings where institutional budgets do not exist.
6. Allied associations and activities
6.1. Report on the ACH MLA sessions (John Lavagnino)
John summarised his report and drew attention to the process for undertaking the organisation of sessions. John noted that the reporting on the MLA sessions could be best undertaken by graduate students.
It was queried whether IFDISH should be an affiliated organisation of MLA. This will be invesitaged further.
6.2. Report on Humanist (Willard McCarty)
AGREED: It was agreed to defer discussion for later by email, given Willard's absence in Australia.
6.3. Report of the Employment Committee (Julia Flanders/Wendell Piez)
Julia reported that the Committee continues to run the jobs database. The rotation of members has resulted in the absence of a mentoring scheme this year. However, Julia also noted that any mentoring scheme might best be operated as an IFDISH activity. This was agreed.
ACTION: It was agreed to nominate non-Council members to the Employment Commitee.
It was noted that ALLC was interested in the model developed by ACH.
AGREED: Julia agreed to continue to serve on the Committee. It was agreed that Wendell be a member, together with Stephen Ramsey. It was proposed to include a graduate student member of ACH on the Committee.
It was noted that the mentoring scheme had been well received by those who had participated in it. The scheme might also have a presence at MLA and other relevant conferences.
7. IFDISH working groups
7.1. Organizational structure (John/Lorna)
Lorna opened this item by reminding members that there is now a joint journal and a negotiated revenue stream. Lorna introduced the draft Procedural Guidelines for the IFDISH. It was emphasised that these are guidelines and it was hoped that they might be presented to the ACH AGM. At the Victoria conference, these will be endorsed as policies. The first IFDISH conference will be in 2006.
The guidelines will not be in conflict with the existing by-laws of associations. This is especially applicable to the ALLC which is a registered charity and legal owner of LLC. On the other hand, it was desirable not to create any new legal entities.
One possible outcome, for example, might be that ALLC, as the legal charity, would eventually change to IFDISH and ALLC, the membership organisation, would be constituted along the lines of ACH.
The allocation of votes on the IFDISH steering committee membership will be based on proportional representation, according to the income of the respective organisations. Initially, this means that ALLC have three voting members to ACH's one.
COCH/COSH sees an opportunity to become involved in IFDISH. However, the organisation also has its own journal (Text Technology) and its own conference and has no wish to jeopardise support for Text Technology. COCH/COSH is constituted as a regional organisation (Canada). In this model subscribers to LLC from Canada will benefit the income of COCH/COSH. There was some discussion about the potential conflicts of interest which might arise from this model. It was observed that ACH might then become the organisation for the United States rather than North America (or beyond).
It was queried whether LLC will change its name. LLC will not change its name in the next couple of years but the subtitle of the journal will make it clear that it is the journal of the IFDISH.
There was a strong feeling that the journal should change its name but it was acknoeledged that there were other issues outside ACH control. Discussion was deferred until later in the meeting.
It was observed that humanities computing activities which take place in libraries and elsewhere, which should be accounted for through 'affiliation'. The TEI was another case in point for which the journal-based model was not appropriate.
ALLC has appointed three representatives to the IFDISH committee.
AGREED: The Council proposed and agreed with no dissent that the ACH representative be John Unsworth.
For the present there would be a total of four voting members on the IFDISH committee. Non-voting members can also serve on the committee. Activities include publications and conferences and it is expected that ACH representatives would serve in this capacity (e.g. Julia and Geoffrey). Jean Anderson will serve as non-voting treasurer.
JU reported that difficult legal questions had been overlooked. However, proceeding will take place in good faith. The legal constitution of ALLC is such that it is owned by its members whereas IFDISH is an umbrella for organisations rather than individuals. This issue is not resolved by stating that the ALLC Board is also the Steering Committee. By virtue of belonging to some chapter members will be members of the ALLC as the owning body, though this a legal requirement which, in practice, may have little affect on member organisation activities. It is unclear whether the constitution of the ALLC Board is written into the ALLC by-laws. If not, life will be easier.
The activities will continue even if the legal framework has to further develop. The steering committee's first task is to conceive the legal framework prior to considering further affiliated organisations (e.g. COCH/COSH). The publication of a free electronic journal will also be high on the agenda, separate from the publication of LLC.
JU reported that the Association's Journal has been put out to tender. Two publishing houses, Blackwells and OUP, have made presentations to the publications sub-committee and presented detailed tender documents. While the details of these discussions remain confidential, it was noted that both proposals are favourable, and would be an improvement on the present deal the Association has with OUP. A decision about which publisher the Association wishes to select will
be made within a short time, and Marilyn Deegan will liase with LH (as ACH president) and Harold Short (ALLC Chair) on drafting follow up materials, and on proposed additional provisions that may be required. The ACH Executive council expressed that this would be agreeable in the interests of expediency.
JU was asked to comment on the anxiety felt about mergers with other organisations. JU reported that ALLC have built a brand over a long period and want to mitigate the risk of losing ownership of the journal should the federation be dissolved. An exit clause will be specified and relationships will be made explicit. It was noted that the ALLC membership had been consulted some time ago without substantial objections. It was reported that David Robey has been elected President of the ALLC (and Harold Short remains Chair). The Procedures have been approved for circulation to members by ALLC.
7.2. Publications (Geoffrey Rockwell)
The decision to award the contract to publish LLC will be made prior to July but as soon as possible.
Geoffrey reported on the IFDISH publications acting committee which proposes the formation of a standing committee, distinct from an editorial committee, which would identify and kickstart new activities. The proposal is to develop a new online journal, complementing the printed journal; a proposal in which ACH is well-placed to take forward. A draft request for comments relating to the proposed publications committee has been developed. In theory, any given publication might be owned by a particular association. If the electronic journal has costs associated with it then either they might be top-sliced from income or paid for by the ACH. The legal ownership of the journal could pertain to the institution publishing it. The budget is likely to be in the region of $15,000 per annum.
Members of the acting committee currently include Ray, Geoffrey, Edward Vanhoutte, Elisabeth Burr, and possibly John Unsworth.
AGREED: There was general agreement that ACH take the lead with the publication of an online journal on behalf of the federation.
7.3. Conferences (Julia Flanders)
The IFDISH process has resulted in a welcome revision of the conference protocol which consolidates evolved good practice. It was agreed to defer further discussion.
There was some discussion about the best way to bring in people to strengthen the conference theme from whom the community may not have heard. On the other hand the Programme Committee have commented in the past on the number of panels which tend to be proposed. Programme Committee members have been surprised in the past at their inability to invite individuals to contribute beyond simply suggesting they submit a proposal. It was generally agreed that the PC was bound by its own legislation, especially with regard to the evaluation procedure.
The Committee thanked John Bradley for the development and support of the reviewing system
7.4. Selection of and charge to the Programme Committee for IFDISH 2006
It was noted that the ACH Council should elect three members to the 2006 IFDISH conference.
AGREED: Kevin Hawkins at UIUC was suggested. Lorna also volunteered together with Stéfan.
8.1. Report on the 2004 Programme Commmittee (Laszlo Hundi)
Laszlo commenced his report with thanks to the ACH members on the PC and to John Bradley for this systems support. There were 99 reviewers of around 156 submissions with 85 papers and posters accepted. Twenty countries are represented. There will be a poster prize (digital camera), to be decided by PC members and announced in the closing session. The reviews process was difficult with not all reviewers submitting on time and with some discussion about improving the evaluation process. It was not possible to please all of the people all of the time but Laszlo was grateful for the support he and the committee received. Overall Laszlo was happy with the outcome.
ACTION: Laszlo agreed to review the proposed conference protocols and feedback comments based on experience this year. It was also suggested that feedback might relate to the fundamentals of the conference or the practicalities.
The Council expressed its thanks to Laszlo.
8.2. Report on ACH/ALLC 2005 (Ray Siemens)
Ray circulated a bookmark flyer which included the URL [http://web.uvic.ca/hrd/achallc2005/] to the web site and expressed his hope to see everyone there.
8.3. Report on the Programme Committee for ACH/ALLC 2005
Members from ACH include Alejandro Bio, Susan Schriebman, Neil Freistat, Joe Jones.
Alejandro reported on the 2005 PC. The real work will start from the present time, an email list having been established, with a meeting to be convened during this year's conference. The theme of the conference is to be decided but may relate to the spreading of the digital word with an emphasis on dissemination, multilingulism and enculturation. The promotion of the conference, establishment of the web site, refining the evaluation procedures and enlisting reviewers will be subjects of discussion.
8.4. Bids for IFDISH 2006
No formal bid but an expression of interest had been received from the Sorbonne. A full bid will be circulated in due course.
8.5. LLC (Marilyn Deegan)
Marilyn reported that the journal is now on schedule, the impetus for which was the tender process. Marilyn reported that she is seeking to broaden the reviewer list with more members from ACH. Given that LLC is the journal of both associations there is a concern to ensure a greater and broader number of papers be submitted. Special issues on relevant themes would be welcome. Marilyn further reported that there was discussion ongoing about the name of the journal (which could, for example, remain as 'LLC' without expansion of the abbreviation) and the concern to ensure the content reflected the breadth of humanities computing. The ACH was invited to propose one or more members for the editorial team. It was queried whether four issues were sufficient. Marilyn replied that with regard to submissions currently received and the rejection rate, four issues were about right. However, under the new publishing arrangement it is likely that accepted articles will be made available in advance of printed publication. It was suggested that in the longer-term that the journal (and the conference) should address issues relating to multilingualism. A forthcoming issue on new scholars in humanities computing had included a mentoring aspect to assist new authors. Marilyn reported that a better web presence for the journal had the option of publishing multi-lingual papers. It was questioned whether the page size of the journal was likely to change as IFDISH expands. Marilyn responded that one model might result in higher institutional subscription fees to bear the cost of any increase in size or number of issues. The indexing of LLC within various abstracting services was raised and it was suggested that this should be taken forward by any IFDISH publications committee (this also applies to what clusters in which the electronic version might be included).
JU reported to Marilyn the outcomes of the earlier ACH Council discussion and recommendations.
It was suggested that IFDISH might consider appointing a paid membership officer as well as enforcing membership services from the publisher.
The Council thanked Marilyn for her report and expressed their enthusiasm for the new arrangement.
8.6. Report on the Busa Award (John Unsworth/Lisa Lena Opas-Hänninen)
John reported on the Busa Award Committee proceedings which were not without problems in this year. The identity of the award needed to be better defined, whether scholarship or community building, for example.
AGREED: Lorna was nominated as Chair of the committee and Stéfan and Stephen Ramsey as members. Carried without dissent.
It was noted that the ALLC is interested in augurating a prize in memory of Antonio Zampolli.
It was suggested that prizes might also take the form of bursaries for graduate students or for outreach to the non-humanities computing community.
Lisa Lena reported on the outcomes of the Busa Committee Award for 2004 and have decided to award the prize to Susan Hockey. It was noted that the process takes three years. There were eleven nominations with previous round's nominations carried forward. Nominations for the next award should be solicited in Sept 2004. A short list of three was formed and each were invited to submit CVs and five humanities computing-related publications. Espen Ore and Lisa Lena will continue as the ALLC representatives.
Author: Michael A. Fraser. This document last updated: 10 September, 2004.