Audiobooks Working Group Charter

The mission of the Audiobooks Working Group is to maintain the Publication Manifest and Audiobooks Recommendations and related Working Group Notes.

Join the Audiobooks Working Group

Start date 2020-11-10
End date 2023-06-20
Proposed Chairs Wendy Reid (Rakuten, Inc.), and Tzviya Siegman (John Wiley & Sons., Inc.)
Team Contacts Ivan Herman (0.05 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: On an as-needed basis, at least every quarter.
Face-to-face: None expected.


The Working Group will maintain the Publication Manifest and Audiobooks Recommendations, and the Lightweight Packaging Format Note.

Note: this Working Group is a continuation of the previous Publishing Working Group, with a similar scope and a reduced focus.

Out of Scope

The following features are out of scope, and will not be addressed by this Working Group.

  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) features for Audiobooks.
  • New metadata vocabularies.
  • New document identification schemes (i.e., alternatives to DOI or ISBN).
  • New packaging formats for audiobooks.


Normative Specifications

The Working Group will maintain the following W3C normative specifications:

Publication Manifest
Latest publication: 10 November 2020
Exclusion Draft:
Associated Call for Exclusion 5 December 2019, ended on 3 February 2020
Other Charter:
Latest publication: 10 November 2020
Exclusion Draft:
Associated Call for Exclusion 5 December 2019, ended on 3 February 2020
Other Charter:

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created and/or maintained such as:

Success Criteria

In order to update the Recommendation, each substantive change is expected to have at least two independent implementations.

Each substantive change should contain a section detailing all known security and privacy implications for implementers, authors, and end users.

To promote interoperability, all changes made to specifications should have tests.


This group is expected to coordinate with the Publishing Community Group on consensus-based proposals related to content changes for the Audiobooks Working Group Deliverables. The Chairs of this group should reject proposals that are incompatible with this Charter.

For all substantive changes, this Working Group Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working and Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition. The Working Group Group is encouraged to engage collaboratively with the horizontal review groups throughout development of each specification. The Working Group Group is advised to seek a review at least 3 months before first entering CR and is encouraged to proactively notify the horizontal review groups when major changes occur in a specification following a review.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:

W3C Groups

Synchronized Multimedia for Publications Community Group
Coordination on new synchronized multimedia features and on way they would interoperate with audiobooks.
BD Comics Manga Community Group
Coordination on various on the definition of a different Publication Manifest profile for that particular area of publishing. Community Group
Synchronization on the terms used in the Publication Manifest.


To be successful, this Working Group Group is expected to have 6 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a working day per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.

Participants in the group are required (by the W3C Process) to follow the W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.


Technical discussions for this Working Group Group are conducted in public: the meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository and may permit direct public contribution requests. The meetings themselves are not open to public participation, however.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the Audiobooks Working Group home page.

Most Audiobooks Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work on GitHub issues. The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work.

The group may use a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a participant requests such a discussion.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress and consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all resolutions (for example, via email and/or web-based survey), with a response period from 5 to 10 working days, depending on the chair's evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes) and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (Version of 15 September 2020). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.


This Working Group Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Charter History

The following table lists details of all changes from the initial charter, per the W3C Process Document (section 5.2.3):

Charter Period Start Date End Date Changes
Initial Charter 12 June 2017 1 July 2020 (As the Publishing WG)
Change of Chairs 17 September 2018 1 July 2020 Wendy Reid became third co-chair on 2018-09-27
Charter extension 12 June 2017 1 November 2020 Charter extended 2020-05-01
Maintenance WG charter proposal 1 October 2020 30 October 2020 Restructured WG charter as the successor to the Publishing WG, under a new name and restricted scope and deliverables.
Maintenance WG Charter 10 November 2020 31 December 2022
Removal of Garth Conboy as Co-Chair 17 February 2022 30 December 2022
Charter extension 17 February 2023 31 August 2023 Charter extended 2023-02-17
Working Group Closed 20 June 2023