1. Purpose. The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (hereafter DORA) is an initiative to advance practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally and across all scholarly disciplines.
2. Organizational status. DORA operates under the sponsorship of the American Society for Cell Biology (hereafter, the Administrative Entity) and therefore follows the ASCB bylaws. The DORA Steering Committee may amend this document with a two-thirds majority vote.
3. Purpose of these Procedures. These Procedures outline the basic rights, responsibilities, and governance practices of DORA, and may be augmented with details set forth in DORA Policy statements.
4. Supporting organizations
A. Supporting organizations provide financial or in rare instances “in kind” support to DORA. Any organization that is committed to, and supportive of, the principles described in DORA and is a DORA stakeholder, including but not limited to scholarly societies, publishers, institutions, funders, metrics providers, and researchers, as determined by the Steering Committee, may become a member through an application process. The Steering Committee will make membership effective after confirming satisfaction of the criteria below and as may be set forth in Policy.
i. Is a signatory of DORA (see Policies for additional eligibility requirements)
ii. Provides a supporting statement that summarizes the organization’s commitment to the DORA recommendations and any competing interests. The supporting statement will be made public by the organization once membership is made effective.
iii. Is judged by the Steering Committee to be an organization in good standing
iv. Meets the dues obligations set out below
B. The Steering Committee may at its discretion accept or revoke the membership of an organization by a two-thirds majority vote (the organization in question having recused itself from the vote) or upon the organization’s failure to meet its dues obligation.
C. Supporting organizations sign a Membership Form with a 3-year term—but may cancel at the end of any year.
D. Benefits for supporting organizations are determined by a fee structure as follows.
i. Contributor – $5,000+ per year
– Listing of the name of the organization on the DORA website as Contributor.
– Digital badge to indicate an organization is a member of DORA
– Receipt of a quarterly report summarizing the progress and status of the initiative
– Receipt of DORA’s public annual report accompanied by a letter from the Executive Board
– Access to an annual supporting organizations meeting with the program director and/or another member of the Executive Board to receive updates on DORA activities and plans for the future
– Voting rights on changes in the menu of membership benefits or, for an affected organization, on any increase in fees over baseline amounts
– Early access to trainings and materials developed by DORA that help organizations improve their approaches to research assessment
ii. Sustainer – $15,000+ per year
– All the benefits of the Contributor level
– Listing, including logo, on DORA website as sustainer
– Possible position on the Steering Committee, which steers strategic priorities and targets for DORA
iii. Visionary – $50,000+ per year
– All the benefits of the Sustainer level
– Listing, including logo, on DORA website as visionary
Adjusted membership fees are available for organizations located in developing economies in accordance with the procedures specified in the DORA Policies manual as established and updated by the Steering Committee from time to time.
In rare instances, the Steering Committee will consider “in kind” support based on documentation of clear cash equivalencies of employee time provided or other tangible items. A two-thirds majority vote is required for approval of an “in kind” donation.
5. Steering Committee
A. Governance is through a Steering Committee and an Executive Board composed of a subset of Steering Committee members. The Chair of the Steering Committee is the Vice Chair of the Executive Board.
B. Composition. The Steering Committee comprises a standing member from the Administrative Entity, representatives from supporting organizations, at-large members, and the Program Director, who will serve in an ex officio capacity. At-large members are general members that have the same voting rights as representatives of supporting organizations. There will generally be one at-large member for every representative from a supporting organization. Additional information about the Committee size and specific selection procedures may be set forth in Policy. Members should represent diverse geographic regions. The composition of the Steering Committee will as far as possible reflect that of DORA’s signatories, including but not limited to: scholarly societies, publishers, institutions, funders, metrics providers, and researchers. The size and additional procedures for determining the composition of the committee may be specified in the DORA Policies manual as established and updated by the Steering Committee from time to time.
C. Selection of supporting organization representatives on the Steering Committee. Supporting organization representatives will be selected in accordance with the procedures specified in the DORA Policies manual as established and updated by the Steering Committee from time to time. Supporting organization representatives on the Steering Committee will normally serve for a term of 3 years; the term of office may be renewed in accordance with the procedures specified in the DORA Policies manual. Representatives of supporting organizations (or their designated alternate) serve in a voting capacity. If a designated alternate attends a meeting in addition to the main representative, they do so in a non-voting capacity.
D. Selection of at-large steering committee members. At-large members will be selected in accordance with the procedures specified in the DORA Policies manual as established and updated by the Steering Committee from time to time. At-large members of the Steering Committee will be individual DORA signatories that come from diverse backgrounds, academic fields, and geographic locations. At-large members serve in a voting capacity and do not represent the organizations of which they are members. At-large Steering Committee members will normally serve for a term of 3 years; the term of office may be renewed once upon vote of the Steering Committee with the member in question recusing themselves. At-large members may be removed with or without cause upon two-thirds majority vote of all Steering Committee members.
E. The duties of the Steering Committee members are as set forth below and as may be further specified in Policy:
i. Act in the best interests of DORA and support the vision of DORA
ii. Attend and actively participate in Steering Committee meetings
iii. Steer key strategic priorities for DORA to ensure they are aligned with the needs of the academic community seeking to improve research and researcher assessment
iv. Approve supporting organizations
v. Approve policies for the good of DORA
vi. Raise awareness and adoption of DORA, especially in their respective stakeholder communities, by:
– Helping to promote DORA and encourage new signatories
– Identifying new contributions for DORA’s Resource Library
– Operating as far as possible in line with the relevant DORA recommendations (must also be signatories of DORA)
– Speak and write on behalf of DORA as necessary
vii. Serve on DORA task forces as needed
viii. Approve meeting minutes
F. Quorum. For meetings of the Steering Committee, a quorum is presumed to exist unless the Chair indicates otherwise, at which time no votes may be taken.
G. Decisions. Unless specifically stated otherwise, decisions are approved by a simple majority vote.
H. Frequency of Meetings. The Steering Committee is expected to meet “virtually” each quarter according to procedures set forth in Policy. Additional meetings will be scheduled as required.
6. Executive Board
A. The Executive Board is a subcommittee of the Steering Committee and is composed of a Chair, a Vice Chair, the Program Director who will serve on the Board in an ex officio capacity, and up to three additional members. The Executive Board has authority over all matters that are not explicitly assigned to the Steering Committee.
B. Composition and selection of the Executive Board. Members of the Executive Board should come from diverse backgrounds, academic fields, and geographic locations. Members of the Executive Board, with the exception of the Program Director, are elected by and from the Steering Committee through a self-nomination process (the member(s) in question having recused themselve(s) from the vote). The term of service is for 3 years, renewable once upon vote of the Steering Committee. Executive Board members may be replaced upon two-thirds majority vote of all Steering Committee members.
C. The duties of the Executive Board are as set forth below and as may be further specified in Policy:
i. Refine and execute strategic priorities and targets for DORA
ii. Attend and actively participate in Executive Board meetings
iii. Raise the funds necessary to support DORA
iv. Recommend budget for approval by the Administrative Entity in accordance with its bylaws
v. Annually review the remit and scope of DORA and make public a concise summary of its key activities and future objectives on the website
vi. Report on the progress of major DORA projects and activities to the Steering Committee to ensure they align with DORA’s vision and strategic priorities, as defined by the Steering Committee.
D. Duties of the Chair. The Chair shall help set the agenda for meetings in consultation with the Program Director, preside at meetings of the Executive Board, act as a spokesperson for DORA, and see that decisions are carried into effect.
E. Duties of the Vice Chair. The Vice Chair serves as Chair of the Steering Committee and fulfills the duties of the Executive Board Chair in the absence of the Chair.
F. Quorum. For meetings of the Executive Board, a quorum exists when at least four voting members are present. No votes may be taken without a quorum.
G. Decisions. Unless specifically stated otherwise, decisions are approved by a simple majority vote.
H. Frequency of Meetings. The Executive Board is expected to meet “virtually” bimonthly. Additional meetings will be scheduled as required.
A. Management and general. The Administrative Entity provides services to support DORA, including but not limited to work done by employees and contractors. Such expenses accrue to and are the responsibility of DORA. The Administrative Entity shall report on management and general operations of DORA as necessary to the Executive Board.
B. Staffing. The Administrative Entity supports DORA through the hiring and management of DORA staff in consultation with the Executive Board.
C. Budgeting and reporting. In advance of each calendar year, the Administrative Entity shall, based on a review of DORA’s proposed activity for the following year, produce a budget for review by the Executive Board, which then recommends the budget to the Administrative Entity’s Council for approval. An adopted budget may be revised upon approval of the Executive Board, provided they are given one month’s notice in writing of proposed revision. The Administrative Entity shall report on financial performance against the budget at least twice a year to the Executive Board and once a year to supporting organizations.
D. Supporting organization dues. Each supporting organization is responsible for submitting to the Administrative Entity its membership fees annually.
E. Performance. At least annually, the Administrative Entity will evaluate the performance of employees serving DORA. Upon four-fifths majority vote, the Executive Board may request changes in employees or other contractors providing service to DORA.
F. Fiduciary responsibility. While the Administrative Entity is assumed to accurately and faithfully report on financial and other activity, Executive Board members have an express fiduciary responsibility to DORA. As such, the Executive Board may engage, no more than annually, a third-party audit of the Administrative Entity’s management and reporting of DORA activity, the expense of which will be borne by DORA. DORA’s income and expenses are subject to audit by the Administrative Entity’s external auditor, who is required to meet privately with the Administrative Entity’s Finance & Audit Committee annually to review related financial management practices and performance.
8. Intellectual Property
A. Because DORA is not a separate legal entity, the Administrative Entity has ultimate responsibility for DORA and owns the DORA logo and Copyright/IP that DORA creates, for example on the DORA website. Unless agreed otherwise by the Steering Committee, all such materials will be made available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Adopted: Friday July 19, 2019
Revised: August 20, 2021 to take effect January 1, 2022.