Terms of Reference
Revised version as agreed in Berlin, October 2022
- Aim of Document
The aim of this document is to clarify the various working arrangements for the International Committee of Representatives of Indexing Societies (ICRIS). It is not intended to replicate the International Agreement, nor is intended to be binding. Rather, its purpose is to provide guidance for ICRIS members. Further, it is a living document that may be amended at any time as seen fit by a simple majority of ICRIS members.
- ICRIS Membership
As outlined in the International Agreement, each Society and Associate group or network will appoint an international liaison to represent its interests on matters of international import and to maintain open communication with the other Societies and Associates. Collectively, these liaisons are the International Committee of Representatives of Indexing Societies (ICRIS), a group that has no legal persona.
- ICRIS Chair
The chair of ICRIS meetings is the International Coordinator. This person sets the agendas for and runs both the formal and informal in-person meetings of ICRIS. Further information on this role can be found in the International Agreement.
- ICRIS Email List
- Aim of the list:
The aim of the email list is to share information (including newsletters) and enable discussion amongst the ICRIS representatives in each Society and Associate group or network about both practical matters (for example, meeting dates) and international issues of importance to indexing (for example, management of The Indexer; the progress of the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Indexing Working Group).
Membership in the ICRIS list differs from membership in ICRIS, as follows:
- Membership in the ICRIS list includes preferably two but no more than three representatives of each Society and Associate network.
- Membership includes two representatives of The Indexer.
- The representatives of each Society and Associate network are the international liaison and at least one other individual.
- International representatives to ICRIS meetings who are not normally members in the ICRIS list should be given temporary access before the meeting so that they can be aware of issues of discussion and to obtain the agenda and minutes.
- Emails to list:
Emails to the list include the following:
- agenda, minutes and other official documents
- Society and Network newsletters
- proofing and promotion of The Indexer
- Society and group/network information of international interest
- discussions about issues of international indexing concern or interest
- advance notice of proposed indexing conferences to avoid conflicting dates
- routine circulation of this guidance document
- Aim of the list:
- Online ICRIS meetings
- Timing: Online meetings take place biannually at a suitable time of day for all attendees (as far as possible) and when the time difference between Australia and North America is at a minimum (11 hours). Only one online meeting will take place in years when a Triennial meeting is held.
- Attendance: One nominated representative from each Society and Associate Group or network (normally the international liaison) is requested to attend, together with up to two other members (ideally including the chair or another member of the governing body).
- Chair: The meeting will normally be chaired by the ICRIS representative or the chair of the Society currently hosting the online meetings. Each Society chairs two online meetings, with chairing rotating among the Societies on a calendar year basis.
- Agenda: The chair prepares the draft agenda and circulates it on the ICRIS list before the meeting to allow other members to add agenda items.
- Minutes: Minutes are usually taken by a volunteer, who need not be a member of the hosting Society, and posted on the ICRIS section of The Indexer website after approval by the meeting chair.
- Decision-making: Decisions that affect all societies are often discussed at these informal meetings. Although practice may change subsequent to these discussions, these decisions are not binding and all decisions must be formally ratified at the next Triennial meeting.
- ICRIS Meetings at Indexing Conferences
- Timing: ICRIS meetings should take place before the formal start of the conference.
- Attendance: One nominated representative from each Society (often, but not always, that Society’s international liaison) is requested to attend.
- Other international participants in the conference may attend as guests, by invitation from the chairperson.
- For the time being, no restrictions are placed on the number of host Society members who may attend, but this invitation is at the discretion of the chairperson and is subject to the consideration of other ICRIS members.
- Costs of attendance: As outlined in the International Agreement, one authorized ICRIS representative from each Society may have their Conference registration waived by the hosting Society. Any additional costs, such as accommodation, travel expenses or special events, are not part of this agreement.
- Meeting room costs: The Society hosting the conference covers any room and refreshment costs; refreshments are not a requirement.
- Chair: the meeting is normally chaired by the ICRIS Coordinator. If they are unable to be present, a chair should be appointed from the members present.
- Agenda items and agendas: The ICRIS Coordinator prepares the agenda and circulates it on the ICRIS email list ahead of time to allow other list members to suggest additional items if needed.
- Minutes: Minutes are usually taken by a volunteer, often a guest who is a member of the host Society.
- Decision-making: Decisions that affect all societies are often discussed at these informal meetings. Practice may change subsequent to these discussions, but all decisions must be ratified at the next Triennial meeting.
- Triennial Meetings
- When: Future triennials are to be held in 2025, 2028, 2031, etc.
- Where: Location of the Triennial rotates between Societies. Before each Triennial, one Society will normally have volunteered to host the next Triennial, to be confirmed at the meeting. The decision will be made by a simple majority vote. To date, the sequence has been as follows:
- 2022: Berlin, Germany (hosted by NIN, DNI, SI)
- 2018 – Shanghai, China
- 2015 – York, UK (hosted by ANZSI)
- 2012 – Brighton, UK
- 2009 – South Africa
- 2006 – Toronto, Canada
- 2003 – Sydney, Australia
- 2000 – Cambridge, UK
This sequence is not binding.
- Hosting a meeting: See ICRIS Triennial guidelines.
- Review of International Agreement: Well before the Triennial meeting, the governing bodies of the Societies and Associate groups and networks will be asked to review the International Agreement and suggest changes. Draft proposals for changes will be prepared by the ICRIS coordinator and distributed via the ICRIS liaisons for comment. Proposed changes will be agreed at the Triennial meeting.
- Decision making: Changes to the International Agreement, Terms of Reference and other key decisions are returned to the governing body of each Society for ratification. The Coordinator is notified of the Societies’ decisions via email. Decision-making is by a 75 per cent majority of Societies.
- Member Newsletters
As part of the International Agreement, Societies and Associate groups and networks share their online member newsletters via the ICRIS email list (see Schedule D of the International Agreement) for sharing with members of the other Societies and Associate groups and networks. These publications must not be made publicly available; they are for sister Society members only. ICRIS list members need to be aware that Key Words (ASI) is only to be shared with governing body members, not general membership.