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The General Assembly of Custodians

Published onOct 21, 2022
The General Assembly of Custodians

The General Assembly consists of two types of custodians (see Fig. 1, 02 and 03):

  • Full Custodians: members of the OBC who have opted in to being fully involved in the OBC’s governance; and

  • Associate Custodians: members of the OBC who have opted out of being fully involved in the OBC’s governance or individual organisations within collectives that are OBC members (collectives only have one full Custodian allocated to them). Associate Custodians have or retain the right to serve in an advisory capacity within the Assembly of Custodians (meaning they can attend AGMs and cast a vote in non-binding matters and participate in OBC discussions).

On becoming a member of the OBC, publishers, publishing services providers, and libraries can choose to opt in for a full governance role (at which point they become Full Custodians) or opt out (at which point they become Associate Custodians). Custodians are allocated into three caucuses during the application process, Publishers, Libraries, and Service Providers (see Fig. 1, 04-06), and are represented in the OBC by a named individual (proxies can be appointed, see Article 16 of the OBC’s Articles of Association). Collectives of OA publishers and open services providers have only one named representative within the OBC, who can choose to be either a Full or Associate Custodian. Full Custodians within each caucus elect two representatives from their ranks to serve on the Board of Stewards (see Fig. 2, 09), according to a set schedule.

Rights and Responsibilities of Full Custodians (see Fig. 1, 02)

  • Attend and fully participate in Annual General Assembly of Custodians (AGACs), including voting where required and contributing to discussions if desired;

  • vote on and/or approve annual activity reports, financial audits and annual financial statements, and any changes to the OBC’s Articles of Association (constitution) (proposed by the Board of Stewards);

  • put forward agenda points to be discussed during an AGAC;

  • elect Stewards to the BoS;

  • can stand for election to become a Steward on the BoS; and

  • can nominate representatives who are willing to serve on the BoS (self-nominations are allowed) on the BoS;

Rights of Associate Custodians (see Fig. 1, 03)

  • Can attend AGACs;

  • participate fully in AGAC discussions; and

  • cast votes on non-binding matters raised for a vote in AGMs.

Annual General Assembly of Custodians (AGAC)

The GAC comes together yearly as part of an Annual General Assembly of Custodians (AGAC) during which they can address, discuss, and vote on issues of concern. The annual meeting will follow protocols set by Articles 13-20 in the OBC’s Articles of Association.

Livy Onalee Snyder:

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