COMBINE Coordination

COMBINE activities are overseen by a coordination board. This version of the document was agreed by coordinators vote on 2019-07-13.

Composition of the Coordination Board

The coordination board consists of standard representatives and additional members following two procedures:

  1. Each core standard of COMBINE selects one delegate to be a COMBINE coordinator (every standard is free to decide their own procedure for selecting their representative). This delegate can be an editor of this standard, or someone else endorsed by the standard community, but must not already be a COMBINE coordinator for a different standard. Each standard can decide to change their delegate at any time. The COMBINE coordinators can request for a change of delegate at any time. Such a request must be accepted by a majority of the COMBINE coordinators (minus the coordinator in question).
  2. The COMBINE coordinators can appoint or demote additional members to the coordination board. This may happen if, for example, the coordinators feel the members' particular skills or position in the community would make a useful addition to the composition of the COMBINE coordinators. Such additional members must be unanimously accepted by the existing COMBINE coordinators. Additional members may also be asked to leave the coordination board. Such a request must be accepted by a majority of the COMBINE coordinators (minus the member in question).

The core standards in COMBINE with a corresponding representative are listed here:, and the process for becoming a standard is described here:

Organization of the Coordination Board

The board elects a chair and vice-chair, each with a two-year term to assist in the smooth running of the board (full responsibilities are outlined below). They are both elected by a majority vote of the coordination board members, though the vice-chair would in most cases be expected to be promoted to chair at the conclusion of their two-year term as vice-chair. The vice-chair though must be confirmed as the new chair by a majority vote at the time that the chair’s term has ended.

Either the chair or vice-chair can be removed at anytime via a majority vote of the coordination board. In the event that a chair or vice-chair is representing a COMBINE standard and that standard decides to replace them, the board may either decide unanimously to add that person to the board as an additional member or they may decide to elect a new person to the role being vacated by the departure of that member.

Responsibilities of the Coordinators

While the entire community is encouraged to contribute to the COMBINE project’s mission, COMBINE coordinators are in charge of ensuring smooth proceedings of these tasks. The following is a partial list of the responsibilities and activities of the coordinators.

  • They represent COMBINE’s interests to the larger community.
  • They make sure that regular communication is maintained between the core standards composing COMBINE and external stakeholders.
  • They ensure communication between the individual COMBINE standards, e.g., in respect to interoperability or harmonization of annotation.
  • They coordinate the organisation of the annual COMBINE meeting and the HARMONY hackathon, and assist with the organisation of other COMBINE events.
  • They guide communities developing candidate standards through the process of becoming COMBINE core standards (documents).
  • They coordinate outreach activities and represent the COMBINE community.
  • They propose and/or formalise procedures guiding COMBINE's activities.
  • They maintain the COMBINE website.

Responsibilities of the Chair

  • Schedule and coordinate regular meetings of the coordination board.
  • Ensure that progress is being made on action items identified by the coordination board including the organization of meetings, outreach events, and other initiatives.
  • Serve as the main point of contact for the COMBINE community and represent the community as such.

Responsibilities of the Vice-Chair

  • Coordinate meetings of the coordination board when the chair is unable to be present.
  • Assist the chair in monitoring progress of action items.

Voting Procedures

  • All votes require a two-thirds quorum to be valid (currently there are 8 standard representatives and 2 additional members, so quorum is 7 members).
  • The chair and vice-chair have a vote like any other member.
  • All motions for votes (except the election of the chair/vice-chair) must be framed to include the following four options:
    • Accept
    • Reject
    • Abstain (are not counted towards the total number of votes)
    • Table (reject based on current information but may change vote with further discussion)

In other words, a motion is accepted if Accept / (Accept + Reject + Table) is greater than 0.5.

  • For elections of the chair or vice-chair, the voting proceeds as follows:
    • A single candidate is voted on using the same procedure as a regular motion.
    • If there are two candidates, then the one receiving the majority of the votes wins.
    • If there are more than two candidates, then there are multiple rounds of voting where the candidate with the least votes is removed after each round.