Issue 603: Contextualize issues in a more informative way

Starting Date: 

Post by Erin Canning (7 July 2022)

Dear all, 

I would like to raise three items for discussion, regarding the SIG meetings and processes. "Contextualize issues in a more informative way" would be the first of these:

Background: At the SIG meetings we are following a protocol with the working documents for introducing issues for decision. We cannot assume that members (especially newcomers) read these documents before the issues are discussed because: a) the volume of the documents and the background reading is too large, b) some (most) of them are prepared too soon before the meeting and there is no time to review them. Newcomers may not be completely aware of the process.

Before each SIG meeting one of the CIDOC-CRM chairs to hold a briefing meeting with the session chairs, to remind them that inclusive and informative introductions are needed for the whole duration of the meeting.
Before or at the beginning of each meeting an informal and non-technical discussion among newcomers is held, convened by one of the members of the editorial group.
Reminder to homework owners that working documents should be distributed to the listserv at least one week before the meeting dates in order to give participants sufficient time to get up to speed.

I look forward to your thoughts. 

All the best,
Erin Canning

Post by Rob Sanderson (7 July 2022)

While I agree with the sentiment, everyone is busy and getting homework done early is frequently a challenge. Especially when there is no guarantee that the issue will actually get discussed at the SIG.

Getting people to attend pre-meeting meetings is also often a challenge. I would propose that further changes, such as those outlined in your other two emails, would be prerequisites to more formalized approaches to issue contextualization during meetings.


Instead, I would put the burden on the issue's creator to ensure that the explanation is sufficiently approachable before it makes it to a SIG agenda. Then that description can be read in advance and summarized at the beginning of the discussion. This could be combined with something George has proposed of allowing the agenda to be formulated such that issues that are well described and easy to engage with are prioritized, whereas group wordsmithing / editorial tweaks can be deprioritized to smaller groups.



In the 54th CIDOC CRM & 47th FRBR/LRMoo SIG meeting, Erin Canning gave an outline of the proposal to contextualize issues during SIG meetings. Erin raised three points with the SIG, namely that 

  • Informative introductions to issues and sessions should be provided by the chairs of each session—in collaboration with one of the CIDOC CRM SIG chairs
  • Gentle intro to CIDOC CRM SIG procedures session should be held prior to meetings, to ensure that newcomers are not at a loss
  • Reminders should be sent to HW owners that they need to share WDs prior to the meetings through the mailing list


Discussion points: 

  • Ns: 1, 3 an editorial group issue.
  • No.2: SIG members running the sessions can inform the SIG concerning how the pre-meeting went. It was quite informative and EC & TV received positive comments.


For point (1) the SIG needs to rely on the commitment of the Editord to ensure that the meetings run smoothly. For point (2), the Editors can plan an introductory session for newcomers and report back to the SIG how it went (during the Community session). For point (3), make sure to increase the number of HW reminders sent. 

HW: Erin Canning to consider ways to encourage participation and better contextualization of issues


Rome, September 2022

Post by Erin Canning (23 November 2022)

Dear all,
Please find homework prepared for Issue 603 in the below link:

All the best,
Erin Canning

In the 55th joint meeting of the CIDOC CRM and SO/TC46/SC4/WG9; 48th FRBR/LRMoo SIG meeting, EC went over some statistics concerning participation at SIG meetings (unique participants over time, participants per meeting, meetings per individual) in order to assess how to best enable participation at SIG meetings (link to presentation here).

Overall take-home message: new ways to participate (online meetings) have resulted in a surge in participation. 


  • The statistics presented reflect the attendance of SIG meetings rather than the active participation at meetings. Not every attendee is actively engaged, and listening in at meetings is not necessarily a bad thing –assuming one does not want to offer an opinion re. the issues discussed. 
  • Impossible to have operating knowledge of all issues on every topic that the SIG is working on. In that sense it’s expected that most people will attend discussions that do not closely relate to their domain of interest/expertise and become more active when they actually do have something to contribute to the overall discussion. 
  • Online and hybrid meetings have resulted in a surge in attendance, not participation necessarily. 
  • Training sessions for newcomers is a very good idea. The early morning workshop served the purpose of encouraging participation. Should try to hold such sessions in all future meetings. 
  • Mentoring professionals (who would benefit from using the CRM but feel over-encumbered from having to learn the model first) use the CRM seems worth the effort. We should be able to identify and engage said individuals/institutions through CIDOC. The idea would be to match each SIG member to another CIDOC member that is interested in learning about using the CRM and do the mentoring on a one-to-one basis (online) and report back at the meetings. International Institute for Conservation has adopted this practice and it seems to be working fine. 
  • Proposal to distribute questionnaires of the type “Was the meeting up to your expectations?”/ “What can be improved?”, etc.  

How to proceed: 

HW: TV will put together a proposal for one-on-one mentoring, that can be shared with the board of CIDOC. To be shared with SdS, MD, & CEO by the end of the Christmas holidays. 

Belval, December 2022