Ecoinformatics.org is an open, voluntary collaboration of developers and researchers that aims to produce software, systems, publications, and services that are beneficial to the ecological and environmental sciences. Sub-projects are created and supported by ecoinformatics.org in order to build an active community that is developing informatics solutions for the ecological and environmental sciences.

Project Management Committee

A Project Management Committee (PMC) will make decisions for ecoinformatics.org that are consistent with the overall community-oriented mission of ecoinformatics.org. New PMC members can be added by a unanimous vote of the existing PMC members, and PMC members can be removed by a unanimous vote of the PMC other than the member in question, except that the PMC must always contain 2 or more members.

All correspondence with the PMC should be directed to the PMC mailing list:


We will support collaboration on development sub-projects that are approved by the PMC. Anyone with ecologically relevant development sub-projects who wants to share them with others can request a new sub-project be created. Requests should go to 'pmc@ecoinformatics.org', and the PMC will decide the relevance of the sub-project and, if approved, create it. Requests should include the proposed sub-project name (one short word), a short one-sentence summary of the sub-project, the name and email address of the initial sub-project members, and a paragraph describing the scope and relevance of the sub-project to ecoinformatics.org.

For each sub-project, we will provide an open access CVS repository with a web interface at http://cvs.ecoinformatics.org. Each sub-project will have a single CVS module and mailing lists for the commit logs and developer discussion (see below). Anonymous users can view the whole CVS tree and download anything through the web interface.

Each sub-project has a set of members who each have equal control over the decisions about the sub-project. At least one member is required to create a sub-project. The initial members of the sub-project are set as the only people that can initially make changes to the CVS module and mailing lists. New sub-project members can be added through a vote of the existing sub-project members that conforms to the voting procedures described below. Results of the vote should be summarized and sent to the PMC for the changes to be implemented. Sub-project members can be removed by a unanimous vote of the other sub-project members other than the member in question. This should be used ONLY when a particular member is being repeatedly disruptive to the stated goals and progress of the sub-project; it is not intended as a means to squash debate or stifle people's opinions.

Write access to a particular CVS module requires sub-project membership, and sub-project membership implies that an individual has full write access to the module for the sub-project. Write access to any module requires an account on cvs.ecoinformatics.org (which is created at the time of membership). All connections to ecoinformatics.org hosts, including for cvs commits, must utilize an ssh2 connection. Instructions are on the web site for setting up CVS over SSH.

Mailing lists are created for each sub-project by default for the cvs commit logs (subproject-cvs@ecoinformatics.org) and for developer discussion (subproject-dev@ecoinformatics.org). Requests for other module lists will be considered upon request by the PMC. All sub-project members must be members of the -cvs log mailing list (-cvs) using their 'user@ecoinformatics.org' address. In addition, the -cvs and -dev mailing lists are open to subscription by the public, but specific individuals may be removed from lists for disruptive behavior based upon a unanimous vote of the sub-project members. The -dev lists will be archived and publicly available, but the -cvs list will not be archived because it is available through the cvs log command.

Voting procedures

Adding new projects and managing sub-projects are intended to be light and fast under the ecoinformatics.org model. However, because conflicts do at times arise in collaborations, we have established the following formal voting procedures, which allow unusual situations to be resolved in a non-controversial manner.

Unless otherwise specified, the PMC will make all decisions about ecoinformatics.org issues. The PMC delegates decision-making for issues concerning specific sub-projects to the members of that sub-project, but reserves the right to override the sub-project on any issue. When a vote is needed for an issue, an eligible member will request a vote on the pmc list or sub-project development list. All eligible members may cast a single vote for each issue by responding to the request on the project or sub-project mailing list and choosing one of "approve", "disapprove", or "whatever". Unless otherwise specified by the PMC, approval for an issue will require that 2/3 of the votes cast by eligible members are "approve" and that there nobody has cast a "disapprove" vote. If fewer than 2/3 of eligible members cast a vote, then the issue will not be approved (quorum rule).

A note on "disapprove" votes: a "disapprove" vote is an effective veto for an issue, so it should be used with care. Casting a disapprove vote implies that the person casting the vote feels strongly that the issue should not pass AND is willing to invest the time to generate alternatives. It is only available in order to prevent a rule-by-majority mentality that silences individuals. If a sub-project member uses "disapprove" votes in a disruptive manner in order to slow down sub-project progress, the other members always have the option of removing membership status from that person (by a unanimous vote of the other members), although this should also be used with care and deliberation.

If three or more issues are rejected because of a lack of participation in voting by existing eligible members due to the quorum rule, then one of the eligible members can request that the PMC change the roster of eligible individuals for a sub-project to include only the active members. The requestor must provide ample documentation of the inactivity, and a rationale for the proposed changes to the roster of eligible members. After a public discussion on the development mailing list for the sub-project, the PMC will make a determination about the change and implement the change if needed. This clause is enacted in order to prevent projects from becoming deadlocked because a quorum cannot be reached simply due to cessation or decreases in participation by members for an extended period.


A variety of services will be maintained by ecoinformatics.org to facilitate our mission of collaboration. These include web sites, source code repositories, bug tracking systems, mailing lists and discussion fora, publications, and others as they become useful as determined by the PMC. The CVS service is a critical component of the collaborative environment and so it is described above. Suggestions for new services should be made to the PMC.

Licenses and Copyright

It is the responsibility of each sub-project to post only materials on this site that are in the public domain, or for which copyright has been assigned to one of the project members, or for which a copyright release has been obtained. In any case, it is also the responsibility of each sub-project to post an appropriate license within the sub-project CVS tree and in any distributions that lays out the rights and responsibilities of people who choose to download the software. In concordance with the Mission of ecoinformatics.org, sub-projects are encouraged to license their products using an open-source license, which include the GPL, BSD, and Apache licenses. Under no circumstances shall a sub-project commit software to the ecoinformatics.org CVS repository for which the committer does not have the right to distribute the software.