Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
29 lines (19 sloc) 4.21 KB

Citation Style Language - Project Governance

This document defines the mission of the Citation Style Language (CSL) project and formalizes how the project is governed. We wish to clarify what users can expect from the project, ensure that available funds and resources are used fairly and effectively, help focus the efforts of contributors, and put in place a clear decision-making process. We hope the latter allows conflicts to be resolved when consensus cannot be reached, thereby stimulating the pace of CSL development. That said, the CSL project has a long tradition of cordial discussion and consensus seeking, which we hope will remain the core of our governance model.


The CSL project wishes to facilitate the advancement of science and scholarship by automating the correct formatting of citations. We hope to save researchers time and help improve the quality of scholarly literature. To this end, we will continue to develop the CSL specification and maintain the CSL citation style and locale file repositories. We promise to keep CSL free and open source. We will aim to maximize CSL's interoperability and reusability, and encourage its use in new contexts.


The xbiblio-devel mailing list is our “public square”, and the central place for announcements, deliberation, and decision-making for all things related to CSL. Anyone may join the mailing list, and its archives will always be publically available.


The role of the board members is to shepherd the development and maintenance of the CSL in accordance with the project mission, and to allocate any funds made available to this purpose.

The board should consist of four people, to be selected once a year via the mailing list. If there are more than four candidates, an election will be held for the four seats. If there are fewer, a board consisting of as few as two members may be installed, but efforts should be made to fill the open seats.


  • Each year, the board, with the input of the mailing list, will create a list of goals and/or priorities for the CSL project. The final list will be presented on the mailing list and published at
  • The board will announce any funds made available to the project on the mailing list. Each year, the board will present a budget based on these funds, for which the board will seek consensus. The use of the funds must support the mission of the CSL project.


  • The board is allowed to make small adjustments to the use of funds (annually not to exceed US$250.- per item, or $1000 total) without first notifying the mailing list. Any adjustments made will be mentioned in the budget for the next calendar year.
  • All significant decisions regarding CSL (including any changes to this document) should be discussed on the mailing list and decided by consensus. When mailing list members are unable to reach consensus, the board may make an overruling decision as long as all board members agree. This should be a measure of last resort, to be used mainly against trollish/unconstructive objections and not to stifle discussion.

Licensing of Software and Citation Styles

To facilitate the easy adoption of CSL, all styles and software produced in the context of CSL will be published under open licenses that place minimal restrictions on their use. In particular, we will release any citation styles and documentation under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Where possible, we will release software under the MIT License and otherwise use a license approved by the Open Source Initiative.

Repository Maintenance

The GitHub repositories of the CSL project are important resources. A minimum of two board members will hold administrator rights to these repositories at any time. The board is in charge of adding and removing maintainers of the CSL repositories. Maintainers are tasked with reviewing and accepting CSL styles and other contributions. To limit the risk of mistakes, only administrators and active maintainers may hold write access to the repositories.