Standing Rules

Society of American Archivists
Metadata and Digital Object Section



I. NAME. The name of the section shall be the Metadata and Digital Object Section (MDOS).

II. MISSION. The mission of the section is to promote discussion, education, and collaboration among archivists interested in digital archival objects and the metadata that enables their access, management, and preservation.

III. MEMBERS. Membership in the section shall be determined according to the guidelines established in Section IX of the SAA Governance Manual.


A. Bylaws and Standing Rules. 

These standing rules of the Metadata and Digital Object Section shall serve as a supplement to the SAA Section Bylaws, which govern all SAA sections. Please refer to Section IX: Sections of the SAA Governance Manual for information on membership, section election procedures, reporting requirements, and more.

B. Officers. The section shall be led by a Senior Co-Chair, Junior Co-Chair, Immediate Past Chair, and a seven member steering committee.

i. Chairs. MDOS shall be led by two Co-Chairs, with an Immediate Past Chair who shall assist with special projects and provide continuity for ongoing initiatives. A new Co-Chair will be elected annually from the SAA membership to serve a three-year term: year one as Junior Co-Chair, year two as Senior Co-Chair, and Immediate Past Chair in year three. The staggered terms are intended to provide continuity in the leadership and allow the (newer) Junior Co-Chair to benefit from the knowledge and experience of the Senior Co-Chair. No individual may serve as a chair of the section for more than three successive years. 

ii. Steering Committee. The MDOS Steering Committee shall be comprised of the Chairs and seven (7) additional members, including a Communications Liaison. Steering committee members shall be elected for staggered three-year terms. Ideally, two members shall be elected to the Steering Committee each year. No individual may serve on the MDOS Steering Committee in any capacity for more than 6 successive years.

Should a Steering Committee member not complete their term, the position will be filled by an interim member selected by the Steering Committee and Chair(s). Interim members would be allowed to run for their position when the interim period expires.

C. Duties of Officers. Officers shall fulfill those responsibilities specified in Section IX: Sections of the SAA Governance Manual and as specified in this document.

i. The Senior Co-Chair directs and reports the activities of the section, organizes and runs the annual meeting, leads the Steering Committee, and handles administrative duties, including, but not limited to, submitting the section's annual report and serving as the section's liaison to SAA and Council.

ii. The Junior Co-Chair assists in the operation of the section, serves as acting chair in the absence of the Senior Co-Chair, and participates as a member of the Steering Committee. 

iii. The Immediate Past Chair provides support with long-term initiatives and shall oversee special projects that arise.

iv. Steering Committee members attend and actively contribute to regular committee meetings, help set goals and priorities for the section, contribute to the newsletter, plan educational programming and networking opportunities for members, and develop and/or solicit proposals for the section's session at the SAA Annual Meeting.

v. The Communications Liaison facilitates communications between the Steering Committee and the Section membership and other audiences, including but not limited to maintaining and posting to the SAA Section microsite, electronic mailing list, and social media or other forms of online communication not yet in use by the Section.

D. Nominations. Each year in May, the Senior Co-Chair shall issue a call for nominations (including self-nominations) for open leadership positions to all section members via the section’s official email discussion list and website. MDOS Chairs may be nominated from the general membership or the Steering Committee. A slate of candidates shall be established by the officers and announced to section members no later than June 15.

E. Elections. Elections shall be conducted online with the assistance of the SAA staff and in accordance with guidelines for section elections as specified in Section IX: Sections of the SAA Governance Manual. Availability of the online ballot and deadline for voting shall be announced by the Senior Co-Chair to all section members via the section's official email discussion list and website. Only members of SAA and of MDOS may (1) nominate Co-Chairs as well as Steering Committee members and (2) vote via the online ballot.

Newly elected Steering Committee members and Co-Chairs officially begin their terms at the close of the SAA annual meeting.

F. Appointments. Section members may be appointed to additional leadership roles (e.g., Newsletter Editor, Internship Program Coordinator, etc.) on an as-needed basis by majority vote of the Steering Committee. These leadership roles shall have one-year (renewable) terms, as decided by a majority vote of the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee may also include in its meetings a student representative to serve a one-year (renewable) term.

V. MEETINGS. The section shall hold a meeting in conjunction with the SAA Annual Meeting and may meet at other times as deemed appropriate by the officers. The time and agenda shall be communicated in advance via the section's official email discussion list and website.

VI. AMENDMENTS. To ensure alignment with SAA’s governance documents, any amendments to the section’s standing rules should be reviewed by the executive director (or their designee) and the section’s Council liaison by May 1, before they are put forward in a referendum for vote by the section membership. Proposed amendments to the section’s standing rules will appear on the section’s annual election ballot for a final approval by a simple majority of the section’s membership. Any adopted amendments should be posted promptly to the section’s official microsite and be noted in the section’s next annual report to the Council. Any revisions to the section’s name or mission/description must be submitted to the Council for final approval. For more information on amendment procedures, see Section IX: Sections of the SAA Governance Manual.

MDOS Bylaws revised July 2024.

Previous revisions:

MDOS Bylaws revised July 2021.

MDOS Bylaws v. 11/09/14. Updated per the member affinity group transition approved by the Council, August 2016. 

MDOS_standingrules_revised_2024_corrected.pdf77.51 KB
MDOS Standing Rules Revised 2021 July 1974.77 KB
MDOR Bylaws Revised 2014146.9 KB