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Zephir Advisory Group

Summary and Background:

Per the HathiTrust Metadata Management System Service Level Agreement, the Zephir Advisory Group (ZAG) advises the Zephir Manager. The Zephir Manager is the developer and provider of Zephir, the infrastructure and processes that comprise the bibliographic metadata management service offered by the University of California for HathiTrust. The Zephir Manager role is currently carried out by staff at the California Digital Library (the CDL Zephir Operations Team).

The CDL Zephir Operations Team is advised by or consults with the ZAG as described below in Zephir Advisory Group Roles and Responsibilities. The CDL Zephir Operations Team also works with input from staff at the University of Michigan, the HathiTrust Repository Manager, to coordinate day-to-day Zephir operations. 

The ZAG reports to the HathiTrust Board of Governors through its designate, the HathiTrust Executive Director. The ZAG is empowered to recommend policies and procedures relevant to metadata management and recommend the implementation of new features and service enhancements.

Zephir Advisory Group Roles and Responsibilities:

The ZAG drafts and recommends new features and service enhancements to Zephir as well as metadata policies that:

  • Have strategic impact on and/or implications for the broader HathiTrust community and/or
  • Require resources beyond the current allotment for running Zephir. 

New feature, service enhancement, and metadata policy proposals may originate from the ZAG, the Zephir Manager, the HathiTrust Repository Manager, or from others in the HathiTrust Partnership.

The ZAG also serves in a consulting capacity when the CDL Zephir Operations Team drafts policies and procedures to address operational considerations.

The HathiTrust Executive Director or its designate approves or rejects recommendations made by the ZAG.

The ZAG Roles and Responsibilities will be reviewed every two years from the signing of the HathiTrust Metadata Management System Service Level Agreement (see Appendix A) by the Board of Governors or its designate. 

Expected Deliverables:

The Zephir Advisory Group is responsible for documenting its activities, including meeting agendas, meeting minutes, recommendations and outcomes.

As an initial priority, and per the HathiTrust Metadata Management System Service Level Agreement Section 4.3, the Zephir Operations Team will consult with the Zephir Advisory Group on drafting policies and procedures in these operational areas:

  • Handling requests for bibliographic data, including ad hoc exports from the Zephir metadata management service.
  • Receiving and handling requests for ad hoc reporting against the Zephir metadata management service.
  • Handling error reports related to the data. Currently, data updates and corrections are made according to the HathiTrust Bibliographic Metadata Correction Policy.
  • Addressing and implementing enhancements to Zephir, including a prioritization schedule and guidelines for the level of changes or fixes that can be implemented by the Zephir Manager without consultation with the Zephir Advisory Group.

Reporting and Communication:

The Zephir Advisory Group, submits a brief activity report every three months to the Board of Governors, the Executive Director and the Program Steering Committee and more often if either party determines it is prudent to do so. 

As the ZAG convener, the Zephir Project Manager will manage communications to and from the CDL Zephir Operations Team, the Executive Director and the Board of Governors. Decisions pertaining to the frequency of regular meetings and internal communication methods will be left to the group.

Conflict Resolution:

If the Zephir Manager or the HathiTrust Repository Manager has concerns about recommendations made by the Zephir Advisory Group, (for example, financial or staffing resources required to implement service enhancement), and they cannot be resolved, they shall be raised to the Executive Director and, if necessary, to the Board of Governors for discussion and resolution.

Membership and Terms of Appointment:

The Zephir Advisory Group includes up to nine members who bring perspectives from across the HathiTrust partnership. Each member is selected for both expertise and ability to represent HathiTrust services affected by or affecting bibliographic metadata management. Representatives of both the Zephir Manager and HathiTrust Repository Manager are included to represent additional operational perspectives. 

All members are appointed for renewable two-year terms. HathiTrust Partner representatives are self-nominated.  The Program Steering Committee will make selections and appointments.

This charge is for a two year period.  At the conclusion of this initial term the Program Steering Committee should revisit the charge for review and updating.

Membership includes:

Zephir Project Manager (Chair and Convener) 
HathiTrust Metadata Initiatives representative. 
HathiTrust Repository Infrastructure representative 
HathiTrust User Support Group representative
HathiTrust Partner representative(s). (Two, including one from a partner institution with content deposited in HathiTrust) 
HathiTrust Program Steering Committee representative and liaison 
HathiTrust Research Center representative 
HathiTrust Assistant Director (Ex Officio)