Issue 605: Improve voting process

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 

Post by Erin Canning (7 July 2022)

Dear all, 
I would like to raise three items for discussion, regarding the SIG meetings and processes. "Improve voting process" would be the second of these:

Background: At the SIG meetings we are voting for decisions after discussion. It is often unclear why some participants vote and others do not. Typically newcomers feel that they should not or cannot vote. When documenting the votes, there is no clarity on how many participants abstained and how many were not eligible to vote. At the moment, the recorded votes do not represent this situation accurately.

  1. In each vote, all present participants respond in one of four categories: yes, no, abstain, ineligible (for those participants who have not been voted as SIG members). All responses are recorded. Reasoning for opposing votes should be recorded in the minutes, and participants are encouraged to provide rationale if desired.
  2. During the first session, the status of voting members is explained and when everyone introduces themselves participants who are not already voted are asked whether they would like to be voted as SIG members so that they can have voting capacity.
I look forward to your thoughts. 
All the best,
Erin Canning


Post by Rob Sanderson (7 July 2022)

I agree completely, this would greatly improve the transparency of and engagement with the process.


Post by Pat Riva (12 July 2022)

I can say something about why I don't vote for all issues even when I was present for the discussion. I just don't have expertise in all the many areas covered by the CRM family. If the issue concerns, for example, whether a concept in archaeology has been well captured by a scope note, I will abstain. However, for a more logic-based or structural issue, or an editorial review of a text, I may well vote, even if it is in an extension for whose subject I don't have expertise.


I'm not sure about this concept of formal voting members and non-voting members in SIG. I think we have sort of taken it on the honour system that people will only vote if they feel comfortable with the topic concerned.




Post by George Bruseker (12 July 2022)

Dear all,

I also think that it would be useful to clarify who can or cannot vote and what is the formal basis of voting and to have voting come from this base. This does not mean that one has to vote if one formally is allowed to, simply that the voting community is made clear. This would then also be a reason to formally join the SIG (since one's institution could then vote). 



In the 54th CIDOC CRM & 47th FRBR/LRMoo SIG Meeting, the SIG reviewed the proposal by Erin Canning to better document the outcome of votes (yes/no/abstain/ineligible) and to broaden membership to the SIG (extend it to persons rather than representatives of institutions). This way the outcomes of the vote will be better understood.

Discussion points

  • It is unreasonable to expect every SIG member to be in a position to have formulated an opinion for every open issue and every family model. In that sense, they needn’t be rushed to vote just for the sake of voting. 
  • Not everyone can be made a SIG member. There are requirements that the members of the SIG also be CIDOC members (at least by two thirds). Otherwise, the CIDOC CRM SIG would not be able to retain its status as a CIDOC Working Group. 
  • The number of negative votes needs to be registered somehow. Because if there are many negative votes, then there is no consensus. 
  • People that are not members of the SIG but are active in this community (take up HW, participate in meetings, use the CRM and help expand it) should be allowed to have an opinion re. how to resolve the issues discussed: i.e., when asked to vote, they should be able to vote

Do not alter the current requirements for membership, however allow all participants present at a meeting to vote on issues they are interested in and/or involved in. Just as SIG members do, when opposing a proposal for a vote, they should offer some arguments backing their objections. In a similar vein, when they are voting for one among many alternatives, they should also back their opinion –like your average SIG member would do. 

HW: EC (&TV) to come up with a plan to encourage participants give an opinion. 

Post by Erin Canning (23 November 2022)

Dear all,

Please find homework prepared for Issue 605 in the below link: 


All the best,

Erin Canning


Note by the Editors: 

The issue will be closed on the grounds of there being nothing left to do. The SIG has revised the voting procedure (extending to non-CIDOC members that are actively engaged in the SIG). The documentation of the votes has also been agreed upon. 

The decisions will be documented in issue 354 (workflow for issue management). 


March 2023

Meetings discussed: