Governing Board

Board Composition

The SWC format governing board has five members:

1. NeuroMorpho.Org representative
A senior representative affiliated with and appointed by NeuroMorpho.Org with expertise in neuroinformatics as well as microanatomy of neurons and glial cells. The representative communicates NeuroMorpho.Org’s ideas for development to the board, but also conveys decisions to the NeuroMorpho.Org development team to implement changes in the format to currently published and future reconstructions.
2. Allen Institute representative
A senior representative affiliated with and appointed by the Allen Institute, that has expertise in neuroinformatics as well as microanatomy of neurons and glial cells. The representative communicates the ideas of the Allen Institute for development to the board, but also conveys decisions to concerned stakeholders within the Allen Institute.
3. Microanatomy expert
An expert in neuroscience and microanatomy with long-time experience and insight in the workflow of creating digital reconstructions. Appointed by election.
4. Computational modeling expert
An expert in computational neuroscience outside of NeuroMorpho.Org and Allen Institute with long-time experience in computational modeling of neurons using the SWC format. Appointed by election.
5. INCF advisor
An advisor affiliated with and appointed by INCF that can provide an international perspective and broad community feedback to the development of the format.

Until the first election has taken place, the governing board will consist of Giorgio A. Ascoli, Bengt Ljungquist, Sumit Nanda, and Lydia Ng, serving as interrim stewards. Appointment of fifth member by INCF pending.

Governing board member election

This section describes the process by which the two electable positions of the governing board are elected.

The SWC specification Governing Board consists of five members, each representing different stakeholders and serving a term of two years at a time. Elections for the two electable positions, microanatomy expert and computational modeling expert, will be announced to the NeuroMorpho.Org mailing list and Twitter feed as well as by the Allen Institute and INCF in their communication channels relevant to the position that is up for election. Each year, an election is held to replace the electable board member who has completed their two-year term or to fill a position that has become vacant. The election is confidential and is handled by the board, and the process is as defined below. The other three members will be appointed by the respective organizations at their discretion.

1. Nomination

  1. The opportunity for nomination is announced at least three weeks before the election takes place.

  2. Nominations will be made through an anonymous electronic form. It is thus possible and allowed to nominate oneself.

  3. Each nomination will include nominee’s email and name as well as a motivation why the nominee would be a good addition to the board.

  4. Current board members cannot be nominated.

  5. The nomination period will be at least 3 weeks and maximum of 5 weeks.

  6. After the nomination period has ended, the current governance board will:

    1. Make a list of potential nominees and confirm that the entries are valid, i.e. constitute a person that has a background in the area of required expertise, without judging it.

    2. Using provided email, contact all nominees to confirm that they accept their nomination and whether they wish to change the provided motivation.

    3. Make a list of confirmed nominees, including incumbent board member, provided they are not stepping down, and publish it through the same communication channels as for the call for nominations.

    4. Start the call for votes.

2. Voting

  1. The ballot will include all confirmed nominees as well as their provided motivation. The ballot will state when the voting period ends.

  2. The election is open to all members of the SWC format user community, the ballot will require the voter to provide name, email address, and a brief description of the relationship to the SWC format (e.g. using for computational modeling, art, or other purposes, or producing reconstructions, tool developer, etc). The email will be confirmed through an automatic process to filter out any invalid votes.

  3. Each voter may only cast one vote, including themselves, if nominated.

  4. From the start of the voting process, the voting will be active for at least four weeks and a maximum of five weeks.

  5. After voting has closed the governing board will:

    1. Remove invalid votes, including duplicates.

    2. For each vote, check the the description of relationship to the SWC format to confirm that it is valid.

    3. Count votes and make a list of candidates ranked by the number of votes.

3. Counting and selection

  1. The governing board will contact all candidates in the ranked list in order.

    1. If the nominee accepts the election, the election is completed. If the nominee declines, the next candidate on the ranked list will be contacted.

  2. If two top candidates get an equal number of votes, a special election will be held:

    1. All voters from the original election will be contacted and encouraged to vote in the special election.

    2. The list of candidates is limited to those with an equal number of votes.

    3. The special election period will be one week.

4. Announcement of results

  1. Following the completed election, the electee will be announced in the same channels used for the call to nominations.

  2. The electee starts their position at the governing board directly after the announcement.