Bylaws reviewed and approved by RDAP Association Membership January 4, 2019
Bylaws approved: March 20, 2019
Bylaws amended and approved by RDAP Association Membership: June 22, 2020
Bylaws amended and approved by RDAP Association Membership: May 8, 2023
The name of the organization is Research Data Access & Preservation Association, Inc., which can also be referred to as the “RDAP Association” or simply the “Association.”
The RDAP Association supports an engaged community of information professionals committed to creating, maintaining, advancing, and teaching best practices for research data access and preservation.
The RDAP Association community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, government, museums, and industry who represent a wide range of disciplines including STEM, health sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
The RDAP Association is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Association is governed by its Executive Board, whose officers are elected by the Association’s members.
The RDAP Association Executive Board is the principal body that shall consider and formulate the policies and procedures governing the RDAP Association in accordance with the recommendations of the membership.
The Executive Board is empowered to conduct the business of the RDAP Association, including but not limited to: strategic planning, approving, and enacting of project activities; discussing and recommending future policy or changes in policy to be adopted by the membership; making budgetary decisions for the Association; managing the activities of the Action Committees and Task Forces; and maintaining communication with the membership and scholarly and professional associations.
The Executive Board may vote to affiliate with any national, regional, or international organization whose objectives are consistent with those of the Association, provided that any associated costs are covered within the Association’s budget. Additionally, the Board may vote to establish relationships with like-minded communities that currently lack infrastructure to offer support and services. Representatives to such organizations shall be authorized by the Executive Board and appointed by the President; they shall report annually to the Executive Board and shall provide such other reports as requested by the Executive Board or the President.
The Executive Board shall consist of officers and additional representatives appointed from the membership. There are three elected officers, President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer, and two non-elected officers, President and Past President. The President of the RDAP Association shall chair the Executive Board. Additional members of the Executive Board shall be appointed by the President as needed. The past term’s Treasurer shall be an ex officio member for one (1) year. All Executive Board Members must be current members of the RDAP Association.
All elected and appointed voting members of the Executive Board, including the President, shall have equal votes on matters requiring formal approval by the Executive Board. Ex officio members are not voting members. In the case of a tie vote, the Past President shall cast the deciding vote.
Executive Board members shall generally serve two or three year terms, with appointments initiating with the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1.
In the event an Executive Board member is unable to serve a full term, the President shall appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term. A replacement must be a current member of the RDAP Association. In the event the President is unable to serve a full term, the President-elect shall fulfill the remainder of the President's term.
Any appointed or elected Executive Board member may be removed from office by the Executive Board when, in their judgment, they do not fulfill the duties of the office. Removal may be enacted by a majority vote of all other Executive Board members.
Executive Board members should follow the best practices developed for their positions and the Executive Board as a whole. The best practices document should be a “living” document such that when practices require updating they can easily be altered with the approval of the Executive Board. At a minimum, these documents should be reviewed and updated yearly.
The Advisory Board shall consist of the Chairs of Action Committees and Task Forces. All Advisory Board Members must be current members of the RDAP Association. Action Committees are created to support the RDAP Association business on a continuing basis. New Action Committees will be given a charge by the Executive Board. Action Committees are established or dissolved by the President with the approval of the Executive Board. Task Forces are created to support the RDAP Association business for a defined period of time. They are established and provided a charge by the President with the approval of the Executive Board.
The Leadership Team consists of the Executive Board plus the Advisory Board. The Leadership Team will meet at a minimum monthly with additional meetings as necessary.
1. Call for Action Committee Membership
A call to all members for volunteers to join Action Committees will take place each year and otherwise as appropriate. The list of volunteers will be reviewed by the Executive Board to finalize membership of each Action Committee. This is to ensure that each Committee has sufficient membership. Committees will self-select Chairs or Co-chairs. Chairs will be selected from the members of the previous year’s relevant Action Committee if possible; if not, the Executive Board may select chairs from the members who have served on that committee in the past. If an Action Committee has co-chairs, only one co-chair needs to have served on the previous year’s Action Committee. All chairs and members of Action Committees must be current RDAP members.
2. Terms of Service
Committees shall ideally have two chairs, each serving a staggered term of two years; re- appointment is permitted. If a Chair is not able to stay on for the second year, they will be requested to stay on for the second year as an ex-officio member of the committee. Committee appointments shall begin on May 1 and end on June 30 of the following calendar year, allowing for outgoing committee chairs and members to onboard incoming members and chairs prior to the end of their term.
3. Meeting Attendance
Action Committee Chairs are expected to participate in the RDAP Association Leadership Team meetings, and strongly encouraged to participate in the Annual Membership Business Meeting during the Annual RDAP Summit each spring. If an Action Committee has co-chairs, only one needs to attend Leadership Team meetings. If an absence at a meeting is unavoidable, the Chair will submit a report to the Secretary prior to the meeting and/or request a member of the Action Committee to attend and participate in their place.
4. Duties of the Chairs are
5. Established Action Committees
Each of the RDAP Association Action Committees should follow the best practices developed for their specific committee. The best practices document should be a “living” document such that when practices require updating they can easily be altered with the approval of the Executive Board. At minimum, these documents should be updated yearly. Each Action Committee is also responsible for maintaining records according to the established procedures, compiling their committee’s accomplishments for presentation to the membership at the Annual RDAP Summit, and contributing to the end of year report for Executive Board review and presentation to the membership at the end of the fiscal year. Established Action Committees are described below:
The Conference Planning Action Committee is responsible for all activities surrounding the programming of the Annual RDAP Summit, including collaborating with the Education and Resources Action Committee to select workshops (if applicable). This Committee will collaborate with the Treasurer and the Sponsorship Action Committee to ensure there is a budget. They will work with the Marketing Action Committee to ensure appropriate communication about the Summit.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (DEIA)
The DEIA Committee is responsible for supporting RDAP efforts to advocate for and actively support DEIA within our organization and within the fields of data management and curation. This committee will collaborate with the Executive Board and other Action Committees in their DEIA activities as appropriate.
Education and Resources
The Education and Resources Action Committee is responsible for all the educational efforts of the Association outside of the Annual RDAP Summit. This Committee also collaborates with the Conference Planning Action Committee to select workshops for the Annual RDAP Summit (if applicable). This Committee will collaborate with the Treasurer and the Sponsorship Action Committee to ensure there is a budget for their activities.
The Marketing Action Committee is responsible for developing a marketing plan for the Association and, when needed, for each of its functions. This Committee is responsible for all social media, and will collaborate with all Action Committees and the Executive Board to promote Association functions, news and information.
The Membership Action Committee is responsible for all activities involving recruiting new members and maintaining records of membership. This Committee will collaborate with the Treasurer as needed and is also responsible for coordinating the member awards program, Summit scholarship program, Summit Buddies (mentorship) program, and the Summit “New Member/New to RDAP” event.
The Publishing Action Committee is responsible for producing an online quarterly newsletter with the purpose of informing the membership and interested parties about the RDAP Association and topics of interest. This Committee is also responsible for curating the conference proceedings through the editorial offices of the Journal of eScience Librarianship (JeSLIB).
The Sponsorship Action Committee is responsible for all activities surrounding the sponsorship needs of the Association. This Committee will collaborate with the Conference Planning Action Committee and the Treasurer to ensure a budget for the Annual RDAP Summit. They will collaborate with any other Action Committee and the Executive Board on funding needs for Association activities.
The Website Action Committee is responsible for updating and organizing the website and association management system. Content may be provided by the Executive Board or another Action Committee but the Website Committee will implement the content.
This Committee considers usability of general website and member resources when making design decisions.
1. Call for Task Force Membership
Once a need is established by the Executive Board, a call to all members for volunteers to join the Task Force will be made. The list of volunteers will be reviewed by the Executive Board to finalize membership and help select Chairs or Co-chairs.
2. Terms of Service
Chairs and members of Task Forces shall serve a term established by the Executive Board to complete the charge of the Task Force.
3. Meeting Attendance
Task Force Chairs are expected to participate in the RDAP Association Leadership Team meetings, and strongly encouraged to participate in the Annual Membership Business Meeting during the Annual RDAP Summit each spring. If the Task Force has co-chairs, only one needs to attend Leadership Team meetings. If an absence at a meeting is unavoidable, the Chair will submit a report to the Secretary prior to the meeting and/or request a member of the Task Force to attend and participate in their place.
4. The duties of the Chair of the Task Force are:
The President-elect is responsible for establishing a timeline, soliciting nominations, composing a slate of candidates, developing and distributing an electronic ballot to the membership, tallying the votes, informing the winners, and announcing the winners to the membership. Election results will be announced to the membership in May of each year.
The offices of President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer are elected from among the RDAP Association membership. Elected officers cannot hold concurrent positions on the Executive Board, Action Committees or Task Forces.
The President-elect shall obtain written agreements to serve from all candidates. Candidates should indicate their willingness and ability to attend the Annual RDAP Summit.
The President-elect will work with the Marketing Action Committee to promote the election.
Elections shall be decided by a simple majority vote by voting members. Any ties shall be broken by a vote of the incumbent Executive Board, recusing any Board members running for the position.
Special elections to address additional needs of the Association may be authorized by a majority vote of all Executive Board members.
The President shall conduct the Annual Membership Business Meeting during the Annual RDAP Summit. This meeting shall be open for attendance by all members. All members will be provided with the date and location information of the meeting when the agenda of the Summit is announced. The President will present progress made by the Executive Board, Action Committees and Task Forces during the Annual Membership Business Meeting. This information will be included in the Annual report.
The Executive Board shall meet monthly in person or online to conduct the business of the RDAP Association. Meetings may be held in conjunction with any event convenient or appropriate for the Board members, and at a time and place designated by the President. Leadership Team meetings will be held monthly in person or online to update the Executive Board on the work of the Action Committees and Task Forces.
Meetings of Action Committees and Task Forces shall be arranged as necessary by the corresponding Chairs.
The Annual RDAP Summit provides a venue for reaching across disciplines, institutions, and organizations to learn about common solutions to issues surrounding research data management. Attendees of the Summit have multiple opportunities to expand professional networks and acquire practical knowledge and skills that can be applied to their own work and projects.
1. Location of the Annual RDAP Summit
The Executive Board may work with a Professional Events Coordinator hired to manage the Summit to determine the location of the Summit, when the Summit is to be conducted in person. The Board will provide the Coordinator with the region (e.g. southwest U.S., Caribbean, Canada, etc.) for the location and the Coordinator will then provide the Board with several options from which to choose. If circumstances arise, alternatives, such as a virtual Summit, may be held instead.
2. Timing of the Annual RDAP Summit
The Professional Events Coordinator will organize the Annual Summit to occur in early March of each year, if possible.
3. Announcement of Annual RDAP Summits
During the Annual Summit, the RDAP membership will be informed of the location and dates of the following Annual Summit, if possible.
4. Development of the Program for the Annual RDAP Summit
The Conference Planning Committee will follow the recommended practices developed for organizing the program for the Annual RDAP Summit. The program includes workshops, presentation sessions, evening activities, and anything the Professional Events Coordinator has not been contracted to provide.
The RDAP Association shall be self-administered as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization in the State of Ohio. The RDAP Association shall be responsible for its fiscal management (e.g. accounting, disbursements, invoicing, financial reporting, and audits); procurement of necessary legal services (e.g. review of contracts, agreements, templates for partnerships and collaborative activities, and execution of cooperative agreements); logistics (e.g. meeting arrangements, communications including project reporting, notifications, shipping, and delivery of materials, etc.); rights acquisition and management; licensing/managing subscription access to materials; developing and managing best practices; and other management activities as appropriate and feasible.
The Annual Report includes financial information for the fiscal year and projections for the upcoming year; major accomplishments of the Executive Board and its members towards fulfilling the goals of the Association; major accomplishments of each Action Committee towards fulfilling the goals of the Association; accomplishments of the Association as a whole; and goals for the upcoming year.
The Secretary is responsible for overseeing the writing of the Annual Report and will
The President is responsible for delegating the writing of sections to members of the Executive Board and Chairs of Action Committees as appropriate. The final draft will be approved by the Executive Board prior to distribution to the membership.
The Treasurer is responsible for federal and state audits. The Treasurer will conduct an informal annual audit and periodically organize a formal audit according to federal and state requirements. Summary information from the informal annual audit will be included in the Annual Report.
The fiscal year of the RDAP Association begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year.
Projects and activities shall be funded by monies raised by the RDAP Association, whether through membership fees, conference registration fees, grants, contributions, donations, or other means. The President, Executive Board, and Co-chairs of the Conference Planning Action Committee are responsible for fiscal decisions dealing with monies allocated to or raised by the RDAP Association. These officers shall consult with the membership on a regular basis concerning disbursement of funds. The Treasurer, President, and Secretary are responsible for managing the bank account and have spending authority.
No part of the net earnings of the RDAP Association shall be distributed to the benefit of any member or officer of the Association nor any private individual (except that of reasonable compensation which may be paid for services rendered to or for the Association).
Membership fees shall be used to support project initiatives, value-added services such as may become available, and/or activities that are funded through subscriptions, use fees, or mechanisms for cost-recovery. The membership fees are collected at the start of the fiscal year (July 1) and ensure membership until the end of the same fiscal year (June 30 of the next calendar year).
Assets acquired by the RDAP Association shall be the property of the Association unless otherwise specified and agreed to in writing.
If at some future time it should be determined that the RDAP Association is no longer serving the purposes for which it was organized, dissolution may be accomplished by the adoption of a resolution that the Association be dissolved. This resolution, which shall be preceded by a preamble setting forth the reasons for the dissolution, requires for its adoption the same notice and vote as to amend these Bylaws. In the event of the dissolution or termination of the RDAP Association, the distribution of the assets and property of the Association shall be determined by the Executive Board in accordance with any federal and state tax laws which apply.
Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Board, an Action Committee concerned with the Bylaws, or by petition of at least fifteen current members of the Association. Proposals originating in the Executive Board or in the Action Committees shall be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board before submission to the membership. Proposals originating by petition shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Board and shall be presented to the membership expeditiously for a vote and with the recommendation of the Executive Board.
Voting on amendments to the Bylaws shall be conducted by electronic ballot. A proposed amendment is considered adopted if it receives a two-thirds affirmative vote from members who cast a ballot. The Secretary shall arrange to add the adopted amendment to the official copies of the Bylaws.
These Bylaws shall come into force upon adoption by a two-thirds affirmative vote from members who cast a ballot.
The Secretary will organize a review of the Bylaws every two years for potential updates.