The consultation process

This consultation is designed to explore a possible model for international consultations that minimises both the need for participants to travel and the need for them to join late-night/early-morning calls and at the same time maximises the opportunity for colleagues anywhere in the world and in any work situation to participate.

The timeline above shows the planned elements:

  1. The first draft of the Ideas Paper was issued on 25 February - this sets out the topics for discussion.
  2. Two webinars (first session, second session - optimised for eastern and western hemisphere participation) offered an opportunity to explain the process and collect ideas for improvements to the Ideas Paper.
  3. A revised version of the Ideas Paper was issued at the end of March, addressing aspects raised by webinar participants and email comments.
  4. Participants were invited to prepare materials explaining the goals, features and needs of some infrastructures, databases and networks with an interest in cataloguing natural history collections.
  5. All materials have been uploaded to this Discourse site and made public on 6 April - the main discussion threads are closed for comments until 17 April. Participants are encouraged to review all materials in preparation for the facilitated discussion phase.
  6. From 17 to 29 April, the Discourse site will be open for discussion around all consultation topics. The Coordination Team will monitor discussions and provide regular (roughly daily) summaries via the main consultation page and by email. These summaries will make it easier for all participants to follow developments and identify opportunities to contribute.
  7. The Ideas Paper has been translated into Spanish and the Coordination Team aim to support dedicated threads and translated summaries in Spanish, French and Chinese.
  8. Following the consultation, the Coordination Team will lead development of a White Paper co-authored with contributors to the discussions. This White Paper will summarise ideas from the consultation and offer a consensus view on decisions, best practices and recommendations from the discussions.
  9. A second paper is also planned as a review of the consultation process itself - a discussion topic is open to capture thoughts and suggestions regarding this virtual consultation.