TEI Conference Reminder

From: Malte Rehbein, malte.rehbein@uni-wuerzburg.de

This is a reminder that the registration for the TEI conference is now  open and that the early registration discount is available only until 31  August. Please check out the conference website (http://www.zde.uni-wuerzburg.de/tei_mm_2011/ ) for the programme (now final!) including keynotes, papers, micropapers and posters as well as pre-conference workshops and tutorials and excursions. Information about travelling and lodging is also available.

Statement from interim TEI Board Chair John Unsworth

From: John Unsworth
To: The TEI Community
Date: August 18, 2011

On August 11, Martin Mueller resigned as Chair of the Board of the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium, following a vote of no confidence from the TEI’s Board of Directors.  Since then, there has been a great deal of speculation on the TEI-L email list, on Twitter, and elsewhere, about how this came to pass and what it means.  The purpose of this statement is to replace speculation with an account of events that has the endorsement of both Martin Mueller and the Board of Directors.

On August 17th, the Board appointed and unanimously elected me to serve as interim Chair for the remainder of Martin’s original term.  At the end of that term, I will not stand for election or seek a new appointment as Chair.  As many of you know, I helped to establish the TEI as a non-profit membership organization in 2000, and served as the first Chair of its Board and later of its Council. My goal in serving as interim Chair for the next year and a half will be to address operational needs, to restore equanimity, and to ensure that there is a full and open discussion of strategic priorities.

Contrary to speculation, the change in leadership at the TEI was not a result of Martin’s thoughtful August 4th, 2011 letter to the Board (see http://bit.ly/nG0Ga2). The issues that he raises in that letter are important and should be taken up by the community.  As Chair, Martin focused his attention on finding a new Treasurer, finding ways to bring down costs, bringing in new members, and finding ways to stabilize and improve TEI’s place in the landscape of digital humanities.  All of these were and are critical problems and useful strategic activities for the Chair.

The core issues leading up to Martin’s resignation were differences of opinion about the nature and purpose of the Board itself, and about day-to-day priorities in the business of the TEI (partly having to do with the sequencing of elections and appointments), the relationship between Board and Council, spending priorities (with respect to SIGs, professional services, and meetings), and the role of the Chair, a position described in the TEI Bylaws as one that “shall, subject to the direction of the Board of Directors, generally supervise and manage the affairs of the TEI-C.”  Disagreements over these issues developed within the Board, and between some Board members and their Chair.  Some Board members felt important tasks were going unattended to, and differed with the Chair on strategic priorities. Others, including the Chair, felt that the Board was not efficient in its deliberations, and was excessively concerned with procedure.

In the end, these disagreements about priorities and leadership style hardened into irreconcilable differences.  On August 11,  the Chair called a meeting to discuss budget matters, and four of six voting members, a quorum of the Board, attended.  A vote of confidence was called but failed to pass, and Martin resigned.  A brief account of that meeting was published on August 15 on TEI-L, and it is available at http://bit.ly/pqyGsJ.

The purpose of the foregoing is to explain how we arrived where we are; it is not meant to decide who got us here.  I am certain that everyone involved felt they were doing the best thing for the TEI, but the situation needs to be de-polarized.  We’re a community of people with significant shared interests and values, but we are also a minority in some important larger communities, so it’s in our interest to focus on what we share, and to design and pursue a collective strategy with respect to those larger communities.  In order to plan that strategy, and attend to its implementation, the community needs to speak on issues both conceptual and operational, and the Board and Council need to listen.  In fact, I am sure they would welcome mandates from the community.

Some procedural issues have been raised, on Twitter and on TEI-L, that also need to be addressed.  There has been much speculation regarding the Board’s structure and its decision-making process in the case at hand. The Board consists (as it has always consisted) of voting and non-voting members.  All of its voting members are elected by TEI member institutions.  Officers of the Board are elected (and if necessary, appointed) by the rest of the Board.  The question has also been raised whether the Board exceeded its authority by calling a vote of no confidence.  The bylaws do not provide explicit advice on the proper procedure for removing a Chair, but logically there must be one, and if the Chair is elected by the Board, the Board must be able to vote to replace him or her.  There has also been speculation about whether recently approved changes to the TEI Bylaws were in some way a backdrop for these events.  Both the old and the new bylaws stipulate the same procedures for appointing a Chair and for repopulating the Board.  Both old and new bylaws say that a Chair may be either an elected Board member or an appointed one: Martin was appointed by the Board, so his departure as Chair entails his departure from the Board, but it does not create the sort of vacancy that necessitates a special election by member institutions.

Finally, on behalf of the Board, I invite discussion of the TEI’s future strategy and operations, with the hashtag #teifuture on Twitter, and the subject line “Future of the TEI” on TEI-L.

User survey: have you ever used any element other than tei:add and tei:del as a child of tei:subst?

TEI Council has recently been discussing the correct content model of tei:subst. It is our considered opinion (see http://purl.org/TEI/FR/3393244 ) that the only appropriate children of tei:subst are tei:add and tei:del.

The schema and the guidelines currently allow the elements (corr orig reg sic unclear app damage restore supplied surplus) in subst, but in our opinion this is an error, and we propose to fix it in the future. (These may all of course be children of add or del, which would be the appropriate way to nest them inside one part or the other of a substitution.)

Because we are concerned with backward compatibility and finding a sensible path toward deprecation of old content models, we would like to hear on-list from anybody who uses or has used any element other than add and del as a direct child of subst. Will your XML be broken by future versions of the TEI schema that restrict this usage? What were these elements attempting to represent? Can we find a more canonical way to express what you were trying to say with this combination of elements?

Please pass this question on to any TEI users you know who may not be on this mailing list.



Dr Gabriel BODARD
(Research Associate in Digital Epigraphy)

Department of Digital Humanities
King’s College London
26-29 Drury Lane
London WC2B 5RL

Statement from the TEI Technical Council

Dear TEI community and board,

Following the recent events, the TEI council discussed the issue on a telephone conference yesterday and wished unanimously to express the following statement.

Laurent Romary

A statement from the TEI Technical Council on the recent actions of the TEI Board of Directors

The TEI Technical Council is shocked and saddened by the sudden actions at the TEI Board of Directors which led to the resignation of its chair and the implications this may have for the ability of the TEI Board of Directors to work effectively as representatives of the TEI community.

The TEI Technical Council appreciated the willingness of the outgoing chair to provide a vision for the TEI that could have contributed to reforming the TEI Consortium as an organization. We believe that the events announced by the TEI Board of Directors on 15 August 2011, pending greater explanation, have caused real harm to the TEI Consortium, and we wish to know the Board’s plans for restoring the Consortium’s reputation and good standing in the community.

The TEI Technical Council continues to function and wants to get on with its job of improving and openly maintaining the Guidelines and associated systems and resources on behalf of the TEI community. We hope that the TEI Board of Directors will consider the issues that the outgoing chair raised as it moves forward, and we desire a greater transparency and accountability in TEI Board of Directors activities, notwithstanding the minutes of meetings it already publishes. We call for reforms that introduce mechanisms to make TEI Board of Directors activities more transparent and built on greater consultation with the TEI community.

NISO/DCMI Webinar: International Bibliographic Standards, Linked Data, an the Impact on Library Cataloging

NISO/DCMI August webinar announcement

***Please excuse cross-posting***

NISO/DCMI Webinar: “International Bibliographic Standards, Linked Data, and the Impact on Library Cataloging”
DATE: 24 August 2011
TIME: 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT (17:00-19:30 UTC)
REGISTRATION: http://www.niso.org/news/events/2011/dcmi/linked


The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is responsible for the development and maintenance of International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), UNIMARC, and the “Functional Requirements” family for bibliographic records (FRBR), authority data (FRAD), and subject authority data (FRSAD). ISBD underpins the MARC family of formats used by libraries world-wide for many millions of catalog records, while FRBR is a relatively new model optimized for users and the digital environment. These metadata models, schemas, and content rules are now being expressed in the Resource Description Framework language for use in the Semantic Web.

This webinar provides a general update on the work being undertaken. It describes the development of an Application Profile for ISBD to specify the sequence, repeatability, and mandatory status of its elements. It discusses issues involved in deriving linked data from legacy catalogue records based on monolithic and multi-part schemas following ISBD and FRBR, such as the duplication which arises from copy cataloging and FRBRization. The webinar provides practical examples of deriving high-quality linked data from the vast numbers of records created by libraries, and demonstrates how a shift of focus from records to linked-data triples can provide more efficient and effective user-centered resource discovery services.


Gordon Dunsire is a freelance consultant with 25 years of experience working in academic libraries and ten years in digital library research. He is a member of IFLA’s ISBD/XML Study Group and FRBR Review Group, and he chairs the IFLA Namespaces Task Group. He is currently a member of a W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data.

Thomas Baker, Chief Information Officer (Communications, Research and Development) of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, was recently co-chair of the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and currently co-chairs a W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data.


For registration and webinar technical information, see http://www.niso.org/news/events/2011/dcmi/linked.  Registration closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on 24 August 2011.  Webinar presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to the site following the live webinar.  Registrants will
receive access information to the archived webinar following the event. An e-mail message containing archive access instructions will be sent within 48 hours of the event.