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UIPO members engage with each other through an email list, annual meetings, and occasional virtual events. UIPO welcomes applications from prospective members who meet the criteria for membership. Members must:

  1. Work at or substantially on behalf of academic institutions or research libraries.
  2. Be directly responsible for copyright information policy and education (practitioners, not solely scholars).
  3. Demonstrate commitment to the interests of libraries and the public on matters of copyright.

UIPO members follow three sets of rules:

  • Membership
  • Confidentiality and Information Sharing
  • Code of Conduct

To apply to join UIPO, please complete our application form. The UIPO Membership Committee will acknowledge applications within 10 days of submission and notify applicants of a decision within 30 days of submission.

At this time, there is no cost associated with joining or being a member of UIPO. We are exploring the possibility of membership dues.

Membership Rules

These rules are aimed at encouraging and enabling broad participation. They are also intended to maintain some elements of shared professional values and positioning, while expanding on prior membership allowances. They will be routinely assessed and should evolve, with the approval of the membership, to more accurately reflect the needs of the membership.

I. Criteria for Membership

UIPO members represent a range of institutional affiliations, job titles, organizational positions, and degrees held. There is no single institution type, job title, or organizational position that is required or preferred for membership. Nor are there requirements for years of experience or for holding specific degrees. 

There are three criteria for membership to join and remain in UIPO. Members must:

  1. Work at or substantially on behalf of academic institutions or research libraries.
  2. Be directly responsible for copyright information policy and education (practitioners, not solely scholars).
  3. Demonstrate commitment to the interests of libraries and the public on matters of copyright.

II. Process for Joining

Colleagues who meet the criteria for membership are invited to submit an application to join UIPO. The application process is coordinated by the Membership Committee. The process is intended to be a review of whether the applicant meets the current eligibility requirements, with additional provision for objection from existing members. Applications are reviewed and applicants notified within 30 days of submission.

The application process is as follows.

  1. Eligible colleagues submit an application. In the application they:
    1. Submit demographic information: name, institutional affiliation, and job title.
    2. Describe their role with copyright information policy and education at their institution.
    3. Affirm commitment to the interests of libraries and the public on matters of copyright.
    4. Describe how they will contribute to and participate in UIPO, pursuant to the UIPO mission statement and the rules of participation.
    5. Affirm adherence to the UIPO Code of Conduct.
  2. The Membership Committee acknowledges receipt of the application and reviews it for conformance with criteria for eligibility within 10 days of submission, clarifying information with the applicant if necessary. If the Membership Committee does not approve the application, the applicant is notified and the application process is closed.
  3. Upon approval by the Membership Committee, the applicant’s name will be put forward to the entire UIPO membership for approval. 
    1. Members have 14 days to raise objections. Objections should be directed either to criteria for membership, or criteria for removal, as specified elsewhere in these membership rules.
      1. Objections do not automatically disqualify applicants; they are considerations for further review.
    2. Objections must be transparent: they may be raised publicly directly to the list, privately to the Membership Committee, or confidentially to the Membership Committee Chair. Note that the content or nature of private and confidential objections will be anonymously shared to the list by the Chair.
      1. Objections are part of list archives and will be visible to applicants who are approved to join after further review. 
    3. If an objection is raised, the Membership Committee will request clarification from the applicant, unless the objection can be addressed by information shared in the application (e.g., job responsibilities, etc.), or is of such nature as to warrant immediate rejection (e.g., documented harassment, misconduct, etc.).
  4. The Membership Committee makes a final decision and notifies the applicant within 30 days of the application submission. The final decision will be announced to the list after the eligible candidate is notified.

III. Requirements for Active Membership

UIPO members are expected to actively participate in UIPO and broadly within the community. Members will adhere to the rules of conduct and participation and annually confirm that their jobs continue to meet the Criteria for Membership.

Rules of Conduct

  1. Members will adhere to the UIPO Code of Conduct and the Rules of Confidentiality and Information Sharing (below).
  2. Different educational backgrounds are expected and input from all members is welcome.
  3. Conflicts of interest will be disclosed as warranted, e.g., when standing for election or when recusing oneself from a conversation. Conflicts of interest may include but are not limited to board membership, research partnerships, and legal representation.

Rules of Confidentiality and Information Sharing

All list members must maintain a commitment to confidentiality. 

  1. Posts on the UIPO list and statements at UIPO events should not be shared with non-members without the author’s or speaker’s permission. (See exception below about publicly available information.)
  2. No permission is needed to share publicly available information with non-members, so long as the sharing member removes or does not disclose attribution information.
  3. Otherwise, requests for permission to share information outside of UIPO should include asking whether the author or speaker wants to receive attribution for the information. Attribution information, such as the author’s or speaker’s name, email address, and institution, should not be shared with non-members without the author’s permission.

Rules of Participation  

Engagement in any of the following areas is considered participation for the purposes of active membership requirements.

  1. Participate in UIPO list discussions.
  2. Attend UIPO meetings, as able.
    1. Participate in planning or other committee preparation, regardless of ability to attend.
  3. Support UIPO public statements.
    1. Help with drafting.
    2. Provide editing and/or criticism.
    3. Sign on as personally decided, with or without institutional affiliation, no justification necessary.
  4. Serve on UIPO committees.
  5. General community involvement.
    1. Attending or presenting at other meetings and conferences.
    2. Discussions off-list with UIPO members.
    3. Writing papers, public communications, and similar texts.
    4. Collaborating on research projects, grants, and similar scholarly endeavors.
    5. Mentoring colleagues.

While continuous, active engagement is encouraged, there are times when members may be less active; lulls are to be expected as work and life responsibilities shift.

Changes in Criteria for Membership

Job changes and retirement are two expected career trajectory changes that may result in members leaving UIPO. The Membership Committee may raise issues of continued eligibility during annual check-ins or sooner if the member announces their job change to the Committee or to the list, but this will not result in automatic changes to membership status. It is expected that members will usually make their own determinations as to when their career trajectory has changed in one of the ways outlined below, with the Membership Committee acting as an overriding check only in rare circumstances. 

Job Changes
  1. Job changes are required to be reported annually during the membership review conducted by the Membership Committee. Members may announce job changes at the time they occur if they choose. Other members of UIPO are welcome to notify the Membership Committee of unannounced or not yet announced job changes of another member.
  2. If members are no longer directly responsible for copyright policy and education through a lateral move or move to an administrative-level position in an academic institution or research library, they are requested to assess their direct contribution to and benefit from the group and to recuse themselves from UIPO membership if they determine their career trajectory no longer meets the membership criteria defined above. 
    1. There may be times when lateral moves into non-copyright policy positions are made, but the member anticipates returning to copyright policy work in their future career trajectory. Members are encouraged to consult with the Membership Committee in this circumstance if they have questions about their continued eligibility.
  3. If members move into an administrative-level position in an academic institution or research library without direct responsibility for copyright policy and education, and with a junior colleague at the same institution who is directly responsible for copyright, and that junior colleague is a current UIPO member or is eligible for membership, the senior member is requested to assess how their continued membership may affect their junior colleague’s ability to participate freely and develop professionally, and to recuse themselves from UIPO membership as soon as may be appropriate to support their junior colleague’s professional independence. Multiple individual members from an institution are expected, with recognition that development of junior colleagues is to be prioritized.
  4. Members are encouraged to consult with the Membership Committee for advice on continuing membership following other job changes not specified above. The Membership Committee reserves the right to make final decisions on continuing membership in the event of a difference of opinion between members and the committee.
Emeritus Members 

UIPO members who have concluded their careers are invited to remain in UIPO as an Emeritus Member. An official “retirement” from any given position does not necessarily mean that that person is concluding their career; if a person continues to do work that meets other eligibility requirements, they could maintain active membership.

  1. Members who retire from positions eligible for UIPO membership may elect to move to Emeritus Member status. Emeritus Members are eligible to remain in UIPO until they choose to leave.
  2. Emeritus Members are welcome to participate as they wish, although they are not held to the same active participation expectations as regular members. They may not stand for election, but all other modes of participation are open to Emeritus Members. Furthermore, Emeritus Members are encouraged to monitor the list for discussions where their experience or institutional knowledge would be of direct benefit, but to be mindful of making space for current members to develop their own expertise.
  3. If retiring members choose to leave UIPO, they will be missed and bid farewell with all best wishes.

IV. Criteria for Removal 

Members who violate the rules of conduct or who are no longer actively participating may be removed from UIPO at any time by the Membership Committee.

Violating Rules of Conduct

Members found to be in violation of the rules of conduct will be subject to review and removal by the Membership Committee. 

  1. A formal mediation process will be followed to address rules of conduct violations.
    1. A subgroup of UIPO members is appointed for mediation by the Steering Committee; subgroup appointment is confidential.
    2. The subgroup will meet individually and/or jointly with parties involved.
    3. If a decision to remove is recommended, parties will be notified privately followed by a public announcement to the list by the Membership Committee Chair.
  2. The Membership Committee reserves the right to immediately terminate members for threatening behavior or actions without initiating the mediation process. 

No Longer Actively Participating

Members who are no longer actively engaging with UIPO or the community as outlined in the Requirements for Active Membership will be subject to review and removal by the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee will make reasonable efforts to confirm members’ wellbeing and interest in remaining in UIPO before removal. Membership changes will be assessed as needed throughout the year.  Additionally, the Membership Committee conducts annual check-ins with all members to confirm participation and interest in maintaining UIPO membership.

V. Support for Membership

UIPO will maintain a Membership Committee and a mentoring program to support membership.

  1. The Membership Committee should have a minimum of  5 members, with four elected members, each serving 2-year elected terms, staggered so that 2 people roll off in year A and 2 people in year B, repeating. The Chair (one of the 4 elected members) will be elected to a 2-year term, serving as Chair-Elect in their first year; a Chair will be elected annually. Members may serve for two consecutive terms, after which they cannot stand for election again for two years. Election of Membership Committee members will coincide with and follow the rules of election for the Steering Committee members. Rules regarding vacancies for the Chair, Chair-Elect, or members will follow those adopted for the Steering Committee. One member of the Steering Committee, selected by the Steering Committee, will also serve on the Membership Committee. 
  2. Membership Committee responsibilities include:
    1. Coordinating review of eligible candidate’s applications.
    2. Addressing violations of active membership requirements.
    3. Directing annual membership review.
    4. Coordinating the mentoring program.
    5. Engaging in outreach and recruitment activities.
    6. Any additional responsibilities noted in the membership rules or at the request of the Steering Committee.
  3. A mentoring program is coordinated by the Membership Committee. New members are paired with a current member to be available to answer questions about UIPO function, to explain aspects of copyright law that may not be familiar, and to introduce them to fellow members. Mentor/mentee pairs are formally paired for one year from appointment, although pairs are welcome to informally continue their mentoring as long as they choose. To support the mentoring program, the Membership Committee will:
    1. Coordinate mentors by annually calling for volunteers to serve as mentors.
    2. Appoint mentors for new members.
    3. Periodically check in with mentor/mentee pairs during mentoring year.

Code of Conduct

Your Participation

UIPO is dedicated to developing and maintaining a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment, one that will strengthen collaboration, promote intellectual freedom, and support honest discourse and debate that is free from all forms of harassment and inclusive of all people. Small actions you can take will help us meet this goal. For instance, we suggest: listening as much as you speak and remembering that colleagues may have expertise you are unaware of; encouraging and yielding the floor to those whose viewpoints may be under-represented in a group; using welcoming language, for instance by honoring pronouns and favoring gender-neutral collective nouns (“people,” not “guys”); accepting critique graciously and offering it constructively; giving credit where it is due; seeking concrete ways to make physical spaces and online resources more universally accessible; and staying alert, as Active Bystanders, to the welfare of those around you.

Likewise, it is important to understand the range of behaviors that may constitute harassment. Harassment can include unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or nonverbal expressions related to: age; appearance or body size; employment or military status; ethnicity; gender identity or expression; individual lifestyles; marital status; national origin; physical or cognitive ability; political affiliation; professional degree status; sexual orientation; race; or religion. Harassment can also include the use of sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online); deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; bullying behavior; ad hominem attacks; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention. 

Sexual, discriminatory, or potentially triggering language and imagery is generally inappropriate for the listserv or UIPO events. However, this policy is not intended to constrain responsible scholarly or professional discourse and debate. We welcome engagement with difficult topics, done with respect and care.

What to Do

That said, we will not tolerate harassment of UIPO community members in any form. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the UIPO Membership Committee immediately.

All reports and inquiries will be handled in confidence.

Participants of UIPO who are asked to stop harassing or intimidating behaviors are expected to comply immediately. Those who violate our code of conduct may be warned, publicly reprimanded, suspended or expelled at the discretion of the Membership Committee. 

We value your presence and constructive participation in our shared community, and thank you for your attention to the comfort, safety, and well-being of fellow UIPO members and collaborators.

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