(this constitution is in draft from bending approval at the next Annual General Meeting)

1. Objectives of the Open Reflectometry Standards Organisation (ORSO)

1.1. ORSO is an open group of reflectometry scientists from across the globe that are interested in improving our field through collaboration. The objectives of the organisation are:

  • to promote international cooperation in X-ray and neutron reflectometry
  • to facilitate consistency across instrumentation and software packages and thereby improve reproducibility of measurement and analysis
  • to facilitate international standardization of methods, of units, of nomenclature and of symbols used in X-ray and neutron reflectometry
  • to provide useful resources for both new and experienced users of these techniques

These objectives can be changed as required, according to the rules set out in Section 4.

1.2. ORSO is a collective and open collaboration, and has no legal status.

2. Membership and Administration

2.1. ORSO is a fully open organisation and does not have any formal membership criteria. ORSO will seek balanced representation of the international community. An ORSO member is any person that registers via the ORSO webpage or contributes to the activities of one of the working groups, sets up a working group or attends the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

2.2. The AGM will be open to all. Notification of the meeting will be issued via the ORSO webpage and mailing list, at least 4 weeks prior to the meeting. The purpose of the AGM is to:

  • elect chair persons for each Working Group (every 4 years)
  • allow the chairs persons of each working group to report on the activities of the previous year
  • discuss and vote on significant issues and/or the decisions made by the ORSO chairs (refer to section 4)
  • resolve disputes on any these decisions

2.3 In certain cases, in order to ensure timely decision making, consultation with the ORSO membership can be done online between AGMs (see section 4). The outcome of the consultation or vote should be reported at the AGM in the appropriate forum or working group.

2.4. The work of the ORSO shall be managed by eight elected chair persons, two for each of the Working Groups. The currently active Working Groups are:

  • the Reproducibility Working Group
  • the File Formats Working Group
  • the Data Analysis Working Group
  • the Education and Outreach Working Group

The composition and function of these Working Groups are defined in Section 3.

2.5. A webpage, mailing list, GitHub organisation and Slack channel will be maintained by the ORSO chairs to facilitate communication on active issues. Access to these should be granted to all that request it, with the exception of malicious actors (as decided by the ORSO chairs).

2.6 The working groups are intended to be modified to reflect the needs of the reflectometry community. Working Groups can be created, modified or dissolved by a majority vote at the AGM. Any ORSO member can propose/setup a new working group by emailing the current chairs with a 1-page proposal. This proposal will then be put to a vote at the subsequent AGM and chairs elected if it is agreed upon.

3. Working Groups

3.1 Each Working group will have at least two chair persons. These positions will normally have a term of four years with one chair from each Working Group elected every two years at the AGM. There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms. Nominations (including self-nominations) for these positions can be made and voted on at the AGM (as defined in Section 4).

3.2 Each Working group will be responsible for documenting its contributions and uploading them to the GitHub or other current online repository for the membership to access.

3.2.1 The Reproducibility Working Group is concerned with improving reproducibility in reflectometry by defining calibrations and common references samples. The working group will evangelise on the subject of analytical reproducibility and its importance.

3.2.2 The File Formats Working Group is concerned with managing a standard, shared file format for reflectometry and engaging the community in the uptake of this format.

3.2.3 The Data Analysis Working Group is concerned with collaboration between reflectometry analysis software developers. This will include developing a universal descriptive model language for analysis and generate information about efficiencies of reflectometry calculations.

3.2.4 The Education and Outreach Working Group is concerned with improving the understanding of reflectometry techniques and cataloguing information about reflectometry methods and software. The working group will take the lead on dissemination of the output from all the working groups and organization of annual meetings.

4. Decision making

4.1 Minor decisions for each Working Group can be made by agreement of the ORSO Chairs. These decisions should be summarised with a presentation to the AGM, at which time any such decision can be challenged and voted on accordingly.

4.2 Any decisions that do not receive unanimous support of the Chairs, or are considered significant enough to merit it, will be put to a vote at the AGM or by soliciting an online vote. An online vote can be held at any time, according to the rules defined below.

4.3 All issues to be voted on must be communicated to the ORSO members via the mailing list at least 4 weeks prior to the scheduled vote.

4.4 Each of the delegates present at the AGM shall have one vote only. Any interested parties not represented at the AGM may forward their views to the ORSO chairs prior to the meeting, and such views shall be made known to those present at the AGM.

4.5. Decisions at the AGM (or in an online vote) are taken by a simple majority of the votes cast (>50%). In the event of an equal division of votes the ORSO Chairs shall take the final decision.

4.6. No question or issue, which has not been placed on the agenda of business to be transacted at the AGM, shall be put to the vote.

4.7 If required, the chairs can call an extraordinary general meeting of the ORSO community.

5. Acknowledgement and Credit

5.1 Contributions to any working group should be appropriately credited in any publicly disseminated output from ORSO (webpage, applications, presentations etc.)

5.2 It should be understood that acknowledgement will be made on a best-effort basis by anyone making the acknowledgement. Significant contributors should always be acknowledged by name, with minor contributions acknowledged as the “ORSO community”.

5.3 A contribution is any conceptual or practical effort made towards one of the ORSO projects or working groups.

5.4 Each contributor is responsible for policing their own acknowledgement. Any perceived misrepresentation or bad practice should be reported to the ORSO chairs.

5.5 Any output (document, app, tool or concept) published in the public domain in the name of ORSO should include a brief explanation of how the content was generated and agreed upon (for example through a discussion session at the annual meeting) and acknowledge all contributors. It is expected that major outputs should always be reported at the AGM.

6. Openness and Independence

6.1. The principle of open access is fundamental to the founding principles of ORSO. All systems and decision making should, by default, be open to all.

6.2. On a practical level it may be necessary for the ORSO Chairs to police activity and access to critical systems. Exclusions should only be made for malicious actors or persistent confrontational or damaging behaviour.

6.3. ORSO is a collaboration. It is therefore expected that efforts should be made to be inclusive of anyone wishing to contribute. In particular, all activities should be documented on the website or GitHub, and reported at the AGM.

6.4. ORSO should be independent of any governing large facility or university. However, it should be acknowledged that contributions can only be made with the consent of such bodies (the employers of ORSO members). This consent is assumed through contributions made to ORSO.

6.5 ORSO does not take responsibility for output, which has not followed the above guidelines.