I sent the post below (third paragraph down) via email yesterday. I'm posting it here now. The first paragraph below is my comment to Martin's response. His original response is the second paragraph down.
I have no problem using the term "proposal" instead of "charter" on the online submission form, or eliminating the word altogether from the web site or the form. But I really don't want to make substantial changes to the process outlined on the web site (again, see http://web.uvic.ca/hcmc/researcher/planning.php). A project "overview" is not the same as a submitted proposal, because it involves our evaluation, approval, resource allocation, etc. If these items belong in the plan (especially for smaller projects), so be it, but they need to belong somewhere, agreed upon formally by all, to "hang on the wall" in the formal Documents category of the project blog. For larger projects, the "overview" proceeds to and is superceded by a plan. The overview is "what", the plan "how". I don't mean to cover old ground, but Stewart and I set up the process posted on the web site after some discussion and consultation, and I would prefer to stick to it.
Martin: Incidentally, the word "charter" has to go. It's meaningless in this context, and part of the problem with evaluating these documents is that nobody knows what they are. It's a proposal. Once it's accepted, it should be superceded by a plan. Everybody knows what they are and what they're for. You evaluate and accept or reject a proposal; you follow a plan. What do you do with a charter? Hang it on your wall?
Scott: As of the moment we have laid out a process for charter creation that involves consultation and write up by one of us (see http://web.uvic.ca/hcmc/researcher/planning.php). These are guidelines based on practices, and can be changed if we feel another method would be more effective.
My questions are:
- Do we want to change our practices around charter creation (allow folks to submit without consultation) or do we wish to address only the mechanism?
- We have agreed already that charters "precede" blogs, so where do we post charters initially?
- Charters require consultation and review, so how do we circulate criteria/charter effectively for comment and approval? (A blog seems the obvious place for this. Perhaps we create another blog called "Proposals"?)
I like the idea of an online submission form but realize quite clearly that any charter submitted by a researcher will need substantial revision after consultation with us. We could close the online form to internal use only, or just expect that substantial revision will be required regardless of who submits it originally.
Comments, questions and suggestions, please.