Purpose of this Policy

Scope of this Policy

Definitions

Guiding Principles

Publication Oversight

Publication Review Process Part I: Review

Publication Review Process Part II: Design & Promotion

SPN Publication Tiers

Templates and Documentation

 

Purpose of this Policy

Software Preservation Network working groups, committees, and individual members produce documentation for SPN members and the broader community of software preservation practitioners. The SPN Resource Publication Policy ensures that the work of SPN membership and affiliates is 1) within the scope of the network’s mission, vision values and strategic goals and 2) is reviewed and published in a responsible, effective, and timely fashion.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to all forms of documentation meant to be shared or published beyond a single committee, working group or member for the purposes of meeting the Software Preservation Network’s mission. This policy applies to documentation such as, but not limited to, articles, reports, data sets, webinars, and presentation slides. This policy does not necessarily apply to working drafts, research notes, brainstorming documents and other materials gathered and used by members in order to develop new resources for publication. The content of this policy should be followed as closely as is possible with limitations imposed by funders and partners – and in accordance with the guiding principles outlined in the SPN Data Management Policy. Ideally, all SPN published resources are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License (CC BY 2.0).

Definitions

  1. Resource: a container for storing information; examples include software, tabular data, journal article, data visualization/infographic, and video
  2. Resource Champion: the person designated to kick off the review process and shepherd the resource through to publication. If a group, such as a working group or committee, is collectively responsible for creating a resource, any member of that group can be designated as the Resource Champion. Individuals may also create resources and shepard them through to publication.
  3. Publication: the process of making a resource available to membership or the general public through review, editing, branding, and sharing
  4. Archiving: the process of storing, describing, and maintaining publications over time; As described in the SPN Data Management Policy, there may be reasons why certain SPN resources and publications are stored in multiple locations. The creation of persistent identifiers for publications, for example, will require ingesting a copy of the publication into an external repository that can assign persistent identifiers.

Guiding Principles

  1. SPN is a community of practice, and therefore, aims to publish findings and other resources for the benefit of our membership and the broader community of digital stewards.
  2. In light of possible funder and/or institutional review board restrictions on publishing data and/or research findings outlined in the SPN Data Management Policy, and in the event that membership chooses to make specific publications available to members-only for a period of time prior to broader publication (as a member benefit), embargos can be placed on publications. The length of the embargo is defined by the Resource Champion.
  3. SPN is committed to increasing accessibility over time. We will ensure that members and staff adhere to baseline accessibility guidelines outlined in the SPN style guide including color contrast, transcription, font size, etc.
  4. Committees, working groups and individuals are welcome to propose a resource for publication; ensure the publication adheres to SPN’s branding styleguide; and to ensure that publications are promoted under the guidance of the SPN Communications Manager.
  5. While the SPN Communications Manager has oversight of the publication process, the SPN Staff aims to build complementary templates and resources that transfer more ownership to SPN members. This policy may be updated with links to complementary resources over time.

Publication Oversight

To ensure this policy is followed, the publication process is initiated when a Resource Champion sends an initial email to SPN Communications Manager, and SPN Community Coordinator (with the committee co-chair or working group coordinator CCed if applicable). The most recent contact information for SPN staff members can always be found on the SPN Contact List.

 

Publication Review Process Part I: Review

The SPN publication process is divided into two parts: review followed by design & promotion. Sources for SPN publications including working groups, committees, and individual members. Once a the publication process has advanced to design & review the SPN Communications Manager, in collaboration with the Resource Champion, will determine the priority or publication tier for the resource.

Working Groups, Committees, or Ad-Hoc Groups of Members

  1. All members of the working group or committee must sign-off internally on the resource prior to kicking off the publication review. There are many models of group decision-making. Three common models include:
    1. rough consensus – post proposal and facilitator(s) determine when the group has reached a state of general agreement about the state of things or next steps
    2. lazy consensus – post proposal to the group and assume you have the community’s support unless someone says otherwise
    3. formal consensus – post proposal followed by three rounds of review to resolve questions and incorporate feedback
  1. A Resource Champion for the working group or committee is designated by the group.
  2. The Resource Champion sends the publication to SPN Communications Manager and SPN Community Coordinator, CCing the working group and committee members, and the publication review process begins.

Individuals

  1. The individual member must serve as the Resource Champion.
  2. The Resource Champion sends the resource to the membership or subset of membership to review.
  3. The membership has two weeks to make comments or suggested changes.
  4. The Resource Champion is encouraged to incorporate feedback into a new version and may do this on their own timeline.
  5. The Resource Champion sends the document to SPN Communications Manager and SPN Community Coordinator with a summary of edits taken from the membership, feedback addressed, or feedback left unaddressed, and the publication review process begins.

Publication Review Process Part II: Design & Promotion

  • The SPN Communications Manager will follow up with the Resource Champion within 2 weeks to gather any information required to continue the process and consult on which publication tier might be appropriate.
  • After information gathering is complete, the SPN Communications Manager will then provide a timeline and work plan according to the publication tiers for dividing any design or editing needs among the Communications Manager, working group, and Resource Champion, as applicable. Plans and level of work may vary according to each publication’s attributes — see publication tiers for more information.
  • Once all communications assets have been created, the SPN Communication Manager will provide the source working group, committee or individual a final opportunity for sign off alongside the rest of the SPN staff.
  • At this point, a DOI will be created by the Resource Champion by archiving a copy of the publication in Zenodo or institutional repository. This DOI will be applied to the publication by the SPN Communications Manager, and incorporated into a preferred citation for the resource will accompany the publication on the SPN website.
  • Once the document is ready for distribution, the SPN Communications Manager will post the materials on the website and assign the working group, committee or individual promotional assignments to spread the word according to the publication tier elected for the deliverable.

SPN Publication Tiers

The scope of communications work for any given deliverable depends, first and foremost, on the nature of the content itself. These tiers are meant to assist SPN Members, Working Groups, and Committees as they think through the level of promotion required for any given deliverable, particularly as it compares to other deliverables that the same WG, Committee, or individual might produce in the future. They are not meant to be restrictive — instead, think of these tiers as a conversation starter that outlines what is possible and helps us think strategically about our deliverables and how we release them.

GOLD Tier: “This is a Major Thing for our Group/Community and People Need to Know About It”

This tier is available to Working Groups and Committees and should be elected for your most high profile deliverables. Due to the high volume of work associated with this tier, each Working Group and Committee is allowed to elect this tier for two deliverables over the course of the seed-funded period (beginning after this policy goes into effect). An example of a deliverable that have received this level of treatment:

    • Graphics for social media, newsletter, website
    • Listserv coordination via Google calendar
    • Twitter: writing tweets, creating and inserting graphics, tagging appropriate handles
    • Special edition STACKTRACE
    • Rationale: the launch of the SPN Prospectus and the associated communications campaign that followed marked a major moment for SPN. SPN needed people to pay attention, engage with their work, and ultimately take a very important action—join the community. Note that the Prospectus campaign was more intensive than most (if not all) WG/committee deliverables, but some of the work linked above might be relevant when considering if this tier is appropriate.

As part of the Gold tier, the Communications Manager will assist with, or complete, the following tasks:

  1. Close proof of text for typos and/or grammatical mistakes
  2. Distribution of the deliverable on the SPN website (either under Resources, on the SPN blog, or in some cases, if there is enough unique content, on both); the Communications Manager will work with the WG or Committee, and Training & Education Working Group (if appropriate), to determine the best location for the content
  3. Full graphic design treatment (using SPN brand guidelines), which could include:
    1. Design of cover for a publication, text formatting, and general visual unification of the document for publication
    2. Creation of unique visual assets (i.e. Twitter graphics, graphics for blog posts or newsletters) that can be used to promote the resource across platforms
    3. Insertion of SPN logo and other SPN branding elements (colors, fonts) as appropriate
  1. Financial assistance with printing (if required)
  2. Assistance with editing listserv messages; coordination of WG members to send messages to various listservs on specific dates/times (using Google calendar invites)
    1. Note: listserv messages must be written by Resource Champion, WG Member, Committee Member, SPN Member, etc. Communications Manager will edit and coordinate the release of the message but is not responsible for authoring the text of the message.
  1. Creation, scheduling, and sending of 1-4 Tweets from the SPN Twitter account using graphic element
    1. For each Tweet, the Communications Manager will write, strategically schedule, tag collaborators, monitor and amplify engagement, reply to comments or delegate questions/comments/follow-ups to the appropriate person/WG/Committee
  1. Inclusion in SPN’s newsletter, STACKTRACE, if appropriate and space allows
  2. If requested, analytics for Twitter and the SPN website can be provided so that WG or Committee members can understand their impact and which portions of the messaging were most effective

SILVER Tier: “This Matters, but it Doesn’t Need the ‘Full Treatment’”

This tier is available to Working Groups, Committees, and individual representatives from SPN member organizations (with approval from community — see guidelines above). This tier should be elected for deliverables that require some level of public-facing announcement but are slightly lower in priority than Gold tier deliverables.

Each Working Group, Committee, and individual representatives from SPN member organizations is allowed to elect the Silver tier for one deliverable over the course of the seed-funded period (beginning after this policy goes into effect). An example of a deliverable that has received this level of treatment:

  • Service Provider Survey Call for Participants
      • Blog Post
      • Listserv coordination via Google calendar
      • Graphics (see blog post and Twitter)
      • Twitter: writing tweets, creating and inserting graphics, tagging appropriate handles
      • Inclusion in STACKTRACE
  • Rationale: the Service Provider Survey Call for Participants fell under the silver tier because the WG needed to reach specific audiences and the timeframe for responses was relatively brief (approx. one month). The WG had a specific yet simple call-to-action (take the survey) that could be effectively communicated with listserv messages and a few tweets. 

As part of the Silver tier, the Communications Manager will assist with, or complete, the following tasks:

  1. Light proof of the text for egregious typos and/or grammatical mistakes
  2. Distribution of the deliverable on the SPN website (either under Resources, on the SPN blog, or in some cases, if there is enough unique content, on both); the Communications Manager will work with the WG or Committee, and Training & Education Working Group (if appropriate), to determine the best location for the content
  3. Design of one unique visual asset (i.e. Twitter graphic, blog banner, publication cover) according to SPN brand guidelines
  4. Light formatting of text-based documents including insertion of the SPN logo and incorporation of other SPN branding (colors, fonts) where appropriate
  5. Creation, scheduling, and sending of 1-2 Tweets from the SPN Twitter account using graphic element. For each Tweet, the Communications Manager will strategically schedule Tweets, tag collaborators, monitor and amplify engagement, reply to comments or delegate questions/comments/follow-ups to the appropriate person/WG/Committee
  6. Inclusion in SPN’s newsletter, STACKTRACE, if appropriate and space allows

BRONZE Tier: “We Need this on the SPN Website”

The Bronze tier is available to all SPN members and should be elected for deliverables that need to be placed on the website, but need little to no other promotional work from the Communications Manager. If submitted by individuals, Bronze tier deliverables should be approved for publication by the community. All Bronze tier deliverables will be handled as time allows and are not subject to the two-week timeline outlined above.

As part of the Bronze tier, the Communications Manager will assist with, or complete, the following tasks:

  1. Distribution of the deliverable on the SPN website (either under Resources, on the SPN blog, or in some cases, if there is enough unique content, on both); the Communications Manager will work with the WG, Committee, or SPN member to determine the best location for the content
  2. Light formatting of text-based documents including insertion of the SPN logo and incorporation of other SPN branding (colors, fonts) where appropriate

All SPN publications will adhere to the following accessibility guidelines.

Templates and Documentation

  • SPN Brand Guidelines
    • SPN Accessibility Guidelines
    • Colors & Font pairings
    • Logo usage
    • Website:
      • Alt text for images
      • Image captions
    • Social media:
      • Alt text for images
      • Image captions
      • Breaking up the text, etc.
    • For publications
      • Use of headings/ers
        • Headings should be used in all documents to organize information. Headings should never be used purely as formatting tools. For example, if the current H2 format is more appealing visually for your document than the H1 format for top-level sections, change the H1 heading style instead of using H2 out of order.

Preferred citation:

SPN Policies & Procedures Committee. (2020, September 17). SPN Resource Publication Policy. Software Preservation Network. https://www.softwarepreservationnetwork.org/spn-resource-publication-policy/