Thoughts on our Charter

Although I have experience in designing my own digital project (through NINES) and in working on pre-existing ones (through Documents Compass’s Adams and Madison papers projects), I’m getting my first taste of being on a team that will work together to design and manage a project.  Since my thinking tends to be more detail-oriented than abstract, the act of coming up with a charter to govern our interactions before we have a sense of the project itself is a challenge, but a welcome one.

Here are some thoughts on our charter:

  • Equal Credit: Like Alex, I think that we should find a way to have all Praxis Program participants get equal credit, although I’m not sure of the best method.  Would designating authorship with alphabetical order be the clearest, or should we just say “by the Praxis Program” and add our names in a footnote?
  • Publicity Opportunities:  I think we should each be able to submit articles or attend conferences about our personal contributions to the project, and we should be able to add it to our CVs, but we should always openly acknowledge that this project is a joint venture.  We shouldn’t be able to put someone else’s article about the project on our CV unless we actually helped that individual write the article.
  • Sharing the Work: Although I think we should all try our hands at every aspect of the project, it seems reasonable that some people might prefer to spend more time on some elements than others.  Therefore, once we’ve settled on the features we want our project to have, maybe we should divide it into subsections and appoint each member to head a subsection.
  • Conflict Management: Since conflicts may arise regarding features or the intended audience of Prism, setting up some sort of voting system to resolve conflicts might be a good idea.  However, I feel as though the head of a subsection should maybe have a larger say in matters directly involving the subsection, since we don’t want someone to be forced to work on a feature he/she believes is doomed to fail.
  • Maintaining the Project: I would imagine that we as a group would not want to run the project for the rest of our days, so we should maybe see if one person wants to be in charge of it after the project is over, at which point the rest of us would become the “advisory board,” or to see if Scholar’s Lab would like to take charge while still listing us as authors/founders.
  • Outcomes: In addition to releasing working software, I would also expect us to release the open source code and to use the project for our professional development.

Annie was a 2012-2013 Scholars' Lab Fellow, a 2011-12 Praxis Fellow and a PhD candidate in the Department of English.

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