The COPIM report Exploring Models for Community Governance, written by Samuel Moore, is a good starting point to explore different models of community governance as used both within scholarly communication organisations (mainly structured around advisory boards, steering committees, and multi-board governance structures) and outside of this realm (looking at frameworks relating to cooperativism, the commons, and community rule and how they are being applied) and the advantages and disadvantages of these different approaches to governance. The report thus explores what can be learned from other forms of inclusive and cooperative governance outside of the publishing ecosystem. As such the report provides both a landscape study of forms of governance within scholarly communication and an exploratory study of the theoretical literature on alternative forms of governance appropriate for community-led organisations (Moore, 2021a).
One of the main takeaways from Moore’s report is that in order to enable equitable, community governance a continual negotiation between centralised control as part of the pragmatism of running an organisation and the idealism of devolving powers to community stakeholders to make key decisions, reflecting more community control or horizontal forms of governance, might be needed. As Moore argues, for COPIM and other projects an organisations interested in establishing models for community governance what would help with this and with deciding which structures fit best with a specific organisation, is ‘defining the activities that need to be governed and the actors who can participate in this governance, in addition to the values, mission and principles that define the organisation's culture. From here, adequate structures and bylaws can be designed to implement this vision.’ Moore mentions the IAD Framework (mainly in its knowledge commons adaptation (Frischmann et al., 2014)), which we have also used to develop COPIM’s governance elements, as one potential way of doing this.
To highlight again here some of the other resources that were mentioned in this report and that we can recommend exploring:
Nathan Schneiders’ CommunityRule Governance Toolkit includes nine templates for organizational structures that, as the toolkit states ‘communities can choose from, combine, or react against’: https://communityrule.info/templates/
Red Hat has developed a guide to open source project governance models, which ‘describes some of the most common open source project and community governance models and offers guidance on getting started in projects that have adopted each model’: https://www.redhat.com/en/resources/guide-to-open-source-project-governance-models-overview