Minutes:Minutes:2018 March ConfCall

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Original minutes posted here

Attending: Hilmar Lapp, Nomi Harris, Karen Cranston, Peter Cock, Heather Wiencko, Chris Fields (existing board members), Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Yo Yehudi (candidate board members) [8 in total]

Meeting called to order at 11.03am EDT, 15:03 UTC.

Old business

  • Oct 2016 BoD meeting minutes
    • Approved - Hilmar raised, Peter second, approved by unanimous consent

New business

Hilmar welcomed B and Y and asked them to introduce themselves.

  • Term expirations and Elections for the Board (electronic ballot)
  • Introduction - Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, running for Board member at-large
    • Many many different open-source/science projects (OpenSNP is only one)
    • Mozilla!
    • Would like to get the OBF name out there, be more
  • Introduction - Yo Yehudi, running for Board member at-large
    • Intermine
    • Open Science - increase open source in open science
    • Also involved with Mozilla
    • SSI fellow this year
    • Outreachy - not just GSoC but WiS, increasing diversity
  • We have quorum for voting
    • 6/6 votes for Bastian and 6/6 votes for Yo! Congrats to both!
    • Action on Hilmar to add them to the Board mailing list etc.
  • Fiscal sponsor - experiences, lessons, possibilities
    • Our fiscal sponsor is SPI (https://spi-inc.org).
      • Dissolved our own incorporation and became an SPI associated project in 2012 (https://news.open-bio.org/2012/10/12/obf-now-spi-associated/).
      • Having a fiscal sponsor allows us to receive tax-exempt donations (501(c)3 in the US), without having to spend the effort of obtaining and maintaining our own 501(c)3 non-profit status.
      • One of the reasons we chose SPI over others was the good cultural fit (SPI is relatively hands-off) and tie-in with Debian-based bioinformatics community efforts (DebianMed).
    • Encountered a number of pain points over the years
      • Financial reporting is behind and slow
      • Travel fellowships generally come from BOSC account - pretty quick
      • Other reimbursements from SPI generally take longer
      • Lack of financial reporting sometimes for extended periods of time, which makes it difficult to verify receipt of sponsorship commitments, for example.
      • Transferring some of our domain name assets to SPI did not go smoothly, many delays. Sysadmin side of SPI is too slow and unresponsive to be considered functional.
      • AWS billing on someone’s personal credit card (and reimbursing later) is a high risk for the individual.
    • There are more alternatives now than there were back in 2012. This might be a good time to consider their pros and cons.
      • OpenCollective https://opencollective.com/
        • Application form
        • Yo came across OpenCollective for a project of her own. Very attractive, but need >100 stars. Several OBF Bio* projects would fit this.
      • NumFOCUS, Community Initiatives http://communityin.org/
        • The joint Carpentries just moved from NumFOCUS to Community Initiatives. See blog post: https://software-carpentry.org/blog/2018/01/fiscal-sponsor-transition.html
        • We probably don’t fit the annual budget and revenue size that CI is looking for in their fiscally sponsored projects.
        • NumFOCUS fiscally sponsors many projects that tie into our community and mission. Much of what motivated the Carpentries to move probably doesn’t apply to OBF.
    • SPI community includes associated projects that are similar to us, and hence should still be a good fit. The challenges seem to be precipitated by SPI not having paid staff, hence little to no accountability for meeting service level standards.

Any other business?

  • H3ABionet interaction - promotion of open science and open source across Africa

Hilmar moves to adjourn meeting at 11.51am EDT, 15:51 UTC. Peter seconds, approved by unanimous consent.