Page tree

Contribute to the DSpace Development Fund

The newly established DSpace Development Fund supports the development of new features prioritized by DSpace Governance. For a list of planned features see the fund wiki page.

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

What is Project Governance?

The DSpace project governance establishes the

Governance is based on a representative, community-based membership model incrementally rewarding members who have made the greatest commitments to the project.

For more information, please see the main Governance page on

Project Governance Groups

Steering Group

The DSpace Steering Group is the primary decision-making body of the DSpace Program. It sets the strategic direction of the program, with advice and consent of the Leadership Group. It provides on-going program oversight and ensures that the priorities of the Leadership Group and members are met.

Steering Group members are elected and empowered by the Leadership. Their responsibilities include:

  • Operational oversight, including time-sensitive decision-making
  • Development of strategic priorities, for approval by Leadership
  • Recommendations for budget allocations, for approval by Leadership
  • Assistance with fundraising
  • Commissioning of and liaising with working groups
  • Agenda-setting for quarterly Leadership Meetings

Composition of the Steering Group

  • The Steering Group is composed of 10 voting members (9 elected members, plus a permanent LYRASIS seat).
  • Elected Steering Group members serve for three-year, renewable terms.
  • Steering Group members are elected by the Leadership, but can be from outside of the Leadership Group. If a Steering Group member is not also on the Leadership Group, they may still attend Leadership meetings in a non-voting capacity.


  • The Steering Group meets monthly.
  • Steering Group meeting notes are shared with Leadership Group members but not made publicly available. (Meeting notes here: DSpace Steering Home)
  • The Steering Group communicates decisions within 2 days of a meeting to the Leadership Group to ensure transparent communication. Any Leader or Steerer can call an emergency meeting of the Leadership Group on these decisions.

Leadership Group

The DSpace Leadership Group approves the overall priorities and strategic direction of the program.  The Group’s responsibilities are:

  • Approve the annual budget
  • Approve the DSpace product roadmap and strategic plan
  • Nominate and elect Steering Group members and DSpace Program Chair
  • Vote on significant changes to strategic direction or product roadmap presented by the Steering Group
  • Help to raise funds and secure other resources on behalf of the DSpace Program

Composition of the Leadership Group

The Leadership Group is made up of the following 3 groups:

  • DSpace Program Member Organizations: The largest component of the Leadership Group are representatives of DSpace member organizations that contribute annually to the project. These representatives are either selected or elected according to the ratios noted below.
  • LYRASIS: One representative of the DSpace Program's organizational home, LYRASIS.
  • Community representation: Representatives from the DSpace Community-at-large who are particularly committed to the Project, including Service Providers.

DSpace Program Member Organizations

The composition of the Leadership Group reflects the different levels of membership outlined here.

  • Platinum: Each Platinum member has an automatic seat on Leadership - 1 seat per member
  • Gold: Gold members elect 1 representative for every 2 Gold-level member organizations.*
  • Silver: Silver members elect 1 representative for seats for every 4 Silver-level member organizations.
  • Bronze: Bronze members elect 1 representative for every 8 Bronze-level member organizations.

*DSpace Leadership has opted to allow an automatic seat for each Gold member in 2021 and 2022 Governance Years.

Other Leadership Group Members

  • LYRASIS: As the DSpace Program's organizational home, LYRASIS retains one voting seat on the Leadership Group.
  • Community-at-large representatives: 2 Leadership Group voting seats are held for members of the Community. Candidates for these seats are nominated by the DSpace community at large and elected by the Leadership Group.
  • Registered Service Providers: DSpace Certified Partners of the Registered Service Provider Program each have one voting seat on Leadership.
  • Ex officio and/or emeritus members: The DSpace Leadership Group may choose to invite others to join Leadership in an ex officio, non-voting capacity.

Current members of the Leadership Group may be found at

As maintainers of a global community of users supporting more equitable access to research and other digital content, the DSpace Program aspires to maintain a Leadership Group that is diverse in its representation of geographic regions, institution types, race, disability status, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Terms and elections

  • The Leaders are elected for a 1-year, renewable term and there are no term limits.
  • The Leadership Group term begins November 1 and concludes October 31.
  • Membership organizations with an automatic seat (e.g. Platinum members) select an individual of their organization to fill the seat.


  • Meetings are held four times per year, with the first meeting of the governance year in November.
  • Emergency meetings may be called by any Leadership or Steering member between established meeting times.
  • Agendas and meeting notes from Leadership Group meetings are shared publicly.

DSpace Steering & Leadership Group Meetings 


DSpace Governance is led by a Chair and Vice Chair. These officers serve for both Leadership and Steering.

  • The Chair and Vice Chair are elected by the Leadership Group.
  • The Chair must be a member of the Steering Group. It is not required for the Vice Chair to be on Steering; in a case where they are not a Steering Group member, the Vice Chair may attend Steering Group meetings, but in a non-voting capacity.
  • Role of the Chair and Vice Chair
    • The Chair facilitates Leadership and Steering meetings.
    • The Vice Chair facilitates meetings when the Chair cannot attend.
    • Together, the Chair and Vice Chair serve with the LYRASIS staff representative as a financial oversight committee.
  • DSpace Governance encourages geographical diversity in selection of these two positions.
  • Terms
    • The Chair serves for a two-year renewable term.
    • The Vice Chair serves for a one-year renewable term. The Vice Chair does not automatically succeed the Chair.

Committers Group

DSpace Committers have autonomous control over the code and are also the primary support team for DSpace. The primary responsibilities of Committers are:

  • Maintain the codebase; Committers are the only individuals who can actively change/commit to the codebase
  • Review all code contributions/changes to ensure stability, etc
  • Merge/accept community code contributions
  • Help to resolve bugs or security issues within codebase
  • Help to provide ongoing support to community developers and users (via IRC, mailing lists, etc.)
  • Perform and manage new releases based on the roadmap.

Anyone may be nominated as a Committer by anyone else. Typically, nominations are made by existing Committers on the basis of sustained contribution to DSpace that indicates an ability to fulfill Committer responsibilities. Examples of such contribution are participation in discussions on the DSpace mailing lists, IRC etc, participation in developer meetings, reporting bugs, help with testing, and contribution of code via pull requests. Only existing Committers may vote to add a nominated person to the Committers group.

DSpace Community Advisory Team (DCAT)

The DSpace Community Advisory Team (DCAT) represents the interests of repository managers and administrators across the globe and, indirectly, DSpace end users. DCAT is a permanent Working Group that advises other DSpace project governance and leadership groups. The Team solicits feedback through community-wide discussions, surveys, etc. to help ensure future software releases address the needs of the community. DCAT submits an annual report to the DSpace Steering group that makes the report public after review.

A specific area of focus for DCAT is defined annually by DCAT and the Steering Group.

DSpace Marketing Interest Group (DMIG)

The DSpace Marketing Interest Group (DMIG) began activities in April of 2015. The main purpose of the Group it is to define the right strategies to highlight the benefits of the open source solution for the Community and effectively communicate those to the users and potential users. The reason for doing so it is that the more people are aware of of such benefits the more people might be interested in financially supporting the project and in becoming Member/Sponsors of DuraSpace. This will allow the organization to keep investing in the project and advancing the software, making it more and more compliant with the ever-changing needs related to the repository world.

Currently the main scope of DMIG is to create a Marketing and Communication Strategy document: a complete analysis of the current DSpace landscape and, more importantly, a set of guidelines to define the future strategies and rationalise them.

The DSpace Marketing Interest Group is also working on a secondary scope: identifying specific actions that requires a shorter time to be made concrete. To make it possible, Working Groups are being created with individual work group charges and related documentation for action.

Sub-Groups of DMIG:

  • Telling DSpace Stories (TDS) Work Group - The Telling DSpace Stories Working Group of the DSpace Marketing Interest Group aims to increase interactions and build deeper connections between community members and institutions by creating and publishing stories about their DSpace repositories.

  • No labels