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Membership Committee: How to evaluate and process CC Global Network membership applications

4 first things to do:

  1. Check the applications pending of approving at least weekly when possible.
  2. Read carefully each application submitted. Also, read carefully the vouching statements made by the vouchers for each applicant. There, you will find more information about the person applying and their connection with and interest in the Commons.
  3. In case a supporting voucher’s statement is not clear enough to you, you can ask the voucher for clarification. To do that, just press the button "Ask for clarification" at the bottom of the voucher textbox. This will alert the voucher of your request to respond. After asked for clarification, the voucher statement will display a message indicating that some member of the Membership Committee asked for that.
  4. Remember to be up-to-date with the Charter of this Committee.

  • As part of the Membership Committee, you approve or decline to approve the applications of vouched membership applicants on the Network webpage. This process applies both to Institutional Members and Individual Members.
  • An application must be approved by 5 members of the Membership Committee who agree that the person or organization meet the criteria for membership. We have established an electronic procedure for this process on the CC Network page. This page is exclusively for use by the Membership Committee, and you must not grant access to this portal or share information that is reflected there.
  • Things to know:
    • We will try to analyze the applications weekly, in a rolling basis.
    • Members of the Membership Committee who already vouched in favor of a Member may not participate in the approval process; that is, the person or organization applying needs to be confirmed by 5 other members.
    • You must also abide by the Evaluation Criteria Applicable to Vouchers and the Membership Committee, set forth below. You will be asked to affirmatively state that you are acting consistent with those criteria.
    • Once a Member is approved, they will become part of the Creative Commons Global Network and, as such, they will be able to vouch others following the rules for Vouching contained in this document.
    • In case the individual or organization fails to gather the approval of 5 members of the Membership Committee, they will have the chance to apply again once the Global Network Committee (GNC) is first convened.
    • Keep in mind that the overall policy of the vouching process is to assume that applicants will abide by the Charter (and policies referenced therein). We expect that those seeking membership are genuine in their desire to work in support of the goals and mission of the network and Creative Commons. There are procedures for removing a member if it is determined that the member has violated the principles of the Charter, the Code of Conduct and Policies described therein and/or additional rules established by any Platform, Workgroup or Chapter or has, in the sole discretion of the Membership Committee, has conducted it/oneself in a manner that conflicts with the values of Creative Commons.

By vouching for an applicant, you consent to Creative Commons using your personal information consistent with our Privacy Policy.

Your decisions and actions in the course of vouching or declining to vouch for an applicant must be based on the best interests of CC and the CCGN, and not based on personal relationships or benefits. Avoid situations where your personal activities and relationships conflict, or appear to conflict, with these interests, including situations where you may have or appear to have an indirect conflict. We expect at a minimum that you avoid vouching or declining to vouch for an individual with whom you have more than a platonic, collegial or personal relationship, or to whom you are related. In the case of an institutional membership application, vouching or declining to vouch for an entity with which you have an employment or contractual relationship is not allowed. These are minimum guidelines. We trust you to use your best judgment, but if you have questions feel free to contact network-support@creativecommons.org.

How to approve new members

Once an application has been formally vouched (the Members mentioned as vouchers confirm their vouch online), members of the Membership Committee approve or reject the application based on this guide. If the application receives 5 votes from the Membership Committee, the application is approved.

Check the list of applications on approving stage

Go to the "Global Network Application Approval" page in the WordPress Admin section of the site. There, you will see the list of current applications that are at the approving stage.

Membership Application screen

Each application shows the type of application, its state, the number of Vouches and Votes for it, and the application date.

The username is the link to the Application details page. To Vote on the Application you must follow that link heading to the Application details.

We use 3 different colors, letting you know different information about the applications. With colors we identify whether you already voted for an application (green background), somebody asked the vocher for clarification (light orange background) or if the voucher already updated the information requested to be clarified (light blue background)

Membership Application screen

Review Application Details and vote

Application details screen

On the Application Details page is the information the Applicant entered when applying to become a member.

After reviewing this information, and following this Guide, you can vote in favor of, against, or abstain from voting on the Application using the buttons at the bottom of the page.

Make sure to follow the Evaluation Criteria Applicable to vouchers and the Membership Committee below and to discuss any concerns with the rest of the Membership Committee before voting.

Once you have voted you cannot alter your vote, so double-check that you have chosen the correct option before submitting the form.

Asking for clarification

If you are part of the Members Committee, you will be able to see, right below the statement wrote by each voucher, a button labeled 'Ask for clarification'. You should press this button in case you think the statement of support wrote by the voucher is not really clear or is not helpful for giving you a better sense about the application.

Once you ask for that clarification, the application will be displayed in a different color on the "Applications for Approval" window, showing now a light yellow color, as in the image below.

Asking for clarification

Evaluation Criteria Applicable to Vouchers and the Membership Committee

Creative Commons is an organization committed to the freedom and equality of individuals, no matter their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, age, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, immigration status, or other protected category. Accordingly, you may not take any such factors, or any other factors prohibited by applicable law, in consideration when vouching for or refusing to vouch for an applicant. Similarly, Creative Commons encourages persons to speak up if they in good faith report violations of law. You may not take an applicant's whistleblower activity into consideration in vouching for or declining to vouch for an applicant.

All personal information collected as a voucher or as a member of the Membership Committee follows the terms of the Master Privacy Policy. Please find there more information about how we collect and retain personal information.

All personal information that was submitted and collected for the purpose of vouching or declining to vouch for an applicant will be deleted after 21 days from the time a decision is made by the Membership Committee about the applicant (whether positive or negative), with the exception of actual vote of the voucher (only Boolean data is preserved, but none of the personal statements the voucher may have provided are).

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, we are happy to help you by email at network-support@creativecommons.org. Or you can always check the updated documentation in our Github page.