The Carpentries Committee Guidelines


Committees are an integral part of The Carpentries community. Establishing committee guidelines will ensure sustainability, reduce burnout, and ensure clear lines of communication and appropriate transparency for all Carpentries committees. The following guidelines are recommendations to help committees establish guidelines, consistent documentation, and governance structure.

Committee Guidelines

To ensure sustainability, accountability and effective communication for our committees, we propose the following guidelines. Each committee should:

  • Hold regular meetings (at least 4 per year)

  • Post meetings on the community calendar

    • Meetings do not necessarily need to be public. For the Code of Conduct Committee only business meetings are public, not incident meetings.

  • Post meeting notes or minutes in a consistent location. Minutes can be public or private, depending on the committee.

  • Appoint a committee chair or co-chairs, with a description of their responsibilities

  • Identify a chair/co-chairs succession plan

  • Identify chair, and potentially committee, term limits

  • Include contact information for the committee

  • Host at least one community call per year

  • Provide a roles and responsibilities document for the committee

  • Provide a short description of what the committee does

  • Provide a public list of current and past committee members

  • Identify processes for onboarding new members

  • Identify a process for offboarding members

  • Include a process for recruiting and selecting new members

  • Appoint a core team member liaison

  • Appoint an Executive Council liaison

  • Utilise The Carpentries communication pathways

Public Documentation

Each committee should have a public page with the following information:

  • Committee Name

  • Short Committee Description

  • Link to roles and responsibilities

  • Link to committee materials: (e.g. the committee’s GitHub repo, and/or section of the handbook)

  • Contact information for the committee

  • Information for when meetings are held

  • Link to meeting notes (current)

  • Link to meeting notes (past)

  • Name of committee (co)-chair

  • Name of incoming committee (co)-chair or vice-chair

  • Names of individuals in other committee roles

  • Executive Council Liaison

  • Core Team Liaison

  • Current committee members

  • Information for how to join the committee

  • Past committee members

Internal Documentation

The committee should also have an internal document for the committee members that includes:

  • Link to onboarding information

  • Link to offboarding information

  • How the chair and other roles are selected

  • Information on recruiting or selecting committee members: e.g. language, rubric

  • These guidelines are recommended, not required.