Samvera Community Framework


Community Structure and Responsibilities


Samvera is committed to free and open source software. Adopters are members of the Samvera Community who use the software. The Community would not be what it is without adopters. Adoption, and all kinds of contributions big and small, can build toward Partnership.


Samvera Partners are institutions, corporations or other groups that have formally committed to contributing to the Samvera Community. Samvera Partners collectively advance the project and the Community for the benefit of all participants.

The Samvera Partners contribute to groups that coordinate activity from multiple institutions and development efforts. These include the Board of Directors, the Roadmaps Alignment Group, the Core Components Maintenance Group and Samvera’s Interest and Working Groups, as well as teams working on specific projects and solutions such as the Avalon Media System, Hyrax, and Hyku.

Partnership is earned by actively contributing to the Community. Partners:

  • Contribute. Annual Partnership dues to support Community infrastructure along with any one or more of: code, analysis, design, documentation, presentations and other forms of communication, marketing, support, funding, participation in working/interest groups, or other resources.

  • Stay Informed. Additionally, be among the first to be notified of any known security issues and fixes, ahead of the information being made public.

  • Meet. Participate in Samvera Partner meetings and other conversations that shape our future.

  • Vote. As a Partner, it is a duty and privilege to vote on elected positions and on other matters of importance.

  • Lead. Help lead the way by participating in the governance of Samvera. Partners may provide input on the Community and technical direction up to the highest levels, and represent Samvera to the broader community. Partners have the right to nominate persons for election to the Samvera Board of Directors.

Samvera Board

The Samvera Board is drawn from the Samvera Community.  It consists of nine members elected from the Partner institutions.  Each year, three members step down in rotation and elections are held to fill the three seats.  Samvera Board members are elected for three years and may serve no more than two contiguous terms.  No two members may be supported concurrently by the same Partner institution. Board members take on the same responsibilities as Partners and additional responsibilities including, but not limited to:

  • Managing Samvera's legal records

  • Managing the licensing framework for Samvera code components

  • Managing Samvera’s finances

  • Appointing, and overseeing the work, of any Samvera staff positions approved by Partners

  • Formally admitting new Samvera Partners

  • Identifying individuals who have institutional authority to act on behalf of their Partner institution/entity

  • Ensuring the quality of provision and support for the Community infrastructure

  • Seeding / supporting the development of Interest Groups or Working Groups within the Samvera community

  • Initiating working groups to review or update Samvera’s governance structure as required by the Samvera Bylaws

  • Initiating working groups to review and/or update Samvera’s Code of Conduct and Anti-Harrassment Policy periodically

  • Ensuring the quality of Samvera Partner and Connect meetings

  • Ensuring appropriate management of the Samvera brand and official Community communications

  • Ensuring the quality of the official Samvera website

  • Formally representing the Samvera Community to funding agencies and (possible) commercial partners

The Board’s role is stewardship and central administration of the Community; they are responsible for helping create the structures to see that critical tasks are addressed, and backstopping the Partners' group in case it doesn't fulfill these tasks.

How do you become a member of the Samvera Board?

  • If you are from a Partner institution and have their explicit support, you may put yourself forward, or agree that someone else put your name forward, as a candidate at a Board election.  Partners will vote to elect their preferred candidates.

The current membership of the Samvera Board can be found Samvera Board membership.

The current set of Bylaws governing the operation of the Samvera Board can be found here.

Samvera Code Development

Anyone is welcome to use, improve, and hack on the Samvera codebase -- the code is open source!  

How do you become a member of the Samvera developer community?

  • Join the samvera-tech group and mailing list listed on our Get In Touch page

  • Join the #dev channel on the Samvera slack organization - find instructions on the Get In Touch page

  • Submit code to the Community, contribute resources to the group, and engage in the technical development process.

Samvera developers have a standing weekly call on Wednesdays 9:00am PDT / Noon EDT.

Some of the things Samvera developers do:

  • Define technical architecture

  • Coordinate development of common functionality

  • Define and enforce development practices

  • Code development

  • Testing

  • Integration and release

  • Developer and deployment documentation

  • Peer support for onboarding new developers

All Samvera code is distributed under an open source license (Apache 2.0).

Our code development is overseen and coordinated by a number of groups.  The Roadmaps Alignment Group exists to align the roadmaps of the various Samvera code initiatives where this makes sense. The council comprises the product owners of the core Samvera components and Solution Bundles and of representatives from relevant Interest or Working Groups.