W3C Invited Experts are individuals who are invited by a chair of a Working or Interest Group to participate in that group. The chair and the W3C staff must agree that the individual brings particular expertise to the group prior to inviting the individual.
Principles guiding invitations
Section 18.104.22.168 of the W3C Process Document explains that W3C sometimes invites an individual with particular expertise to become a Invited Expert in a Group. The Team generally follows these principles when considering an application:
- Invited Expert status is normally granted to either independent individuals (i.e., individuals not significantly affiliated with business interests), or to academics affiliated with institutions of higher learning.
- Invited Expert status is not normally granted to individuals employed by organizations which have significant business interest in results from W3C. This might even include some not-for-profit organizations. Such organizations SHOULD join W3C.
- Under almost no circumstances will Invited Expert status be granted to an individual whose support comes from a financially solvent organization which has terminated its W3C membership.
- If the case is made that granting Invited Expert status to an individual supported by a "membership candidate" organization would enhance the chances that organization would join W3C, then a provisional 3-month or 6-month invitation might be extended.
- When an organization joins under the Introductory Industry Membership program, employees who are already Invited Experts may complete their terms as Invited Experts. Invited Expert status is not normally renewed for those employees, or granted to other employees of an Introductory Industry Member.
An individual becomes an Invited Expert in a group as follows:
- The Chair(s) and Team Contact hold preliminary discussions with the individual.
- The individual provides the information required of an Invited Expert:
- If you do not already have a W3C Account (check if there is an account associated with your e-mail address), complete the account request form.
- After you receive your W3C login name and password, find the Working Group or Interest Group you want to join. Select this group, click the "How to join" link and follow instructions from the "If you do not work for a W3C Member organization" section.
- The Team Contact reviews the request, with internal additional review when W3C Member access needs to be granted.
- If the application is approved, the Team invites the individual to complete the procedure of formally joining the Group.
All invited experts are invited to participate for the terms of the current Charter(s) for the group(s) they are joining, except that provisional invitations granted to “membership candidate” organizations may have shorter terms. Additionally, Chairs may in exceptional circumstances give Invited Experts a term shorter than the remaining charter duration.
Member access to the W3C website
Invited experts are granted W3C Member access by default. At the discretion of the Team Contact, or at the request of the invited expert themselves, W3C Member access may not be granted. This option accounts for the Invited Experts who do not wish to be responsible for managing member-confidential information, or are unable to.
Additionally, on a case by case basis, a group may define in its charter that invitations to invited experts will not include W3C Member access. The Team may consult with the W3C Advisory Board about when such restrictions are appropriate.
When a Charter expires, Chairs and Team Contacts must explicitly review all invited experts within that group. If a Group is allowed to continue meeting after the Charter has expired, the invited experts in that group will also be extended until the group is formally closed or the Charter is renewed. The Chairs and Team Contacts should determine if the invited expert’s expertise is still needed based on the scope of any new Charter. As part of the review, if the invited expert has stopped actively contributing to the group, their Invited Expert status should be terminated by the Chairs and Team Contact of the group.
The status of all Invited Experts may be reviewed more frequently, to ensure that information supplied on their application is still current (e.g., organizational affiliation, participation commitment, etc.)
In the event that an Invited Expert's circumstances have changed, such as a change of affiliation, Chairs and Team Contacts may decide to terminate their invitation.
W3C Management reserves the right to discontinue an individual's Invited Expert status at any time.
W3C Invited Expert identity program
- First and Last Name
- Group(s) in which each Invited Expert is invited
- GitHub icon linking to Github profile
Note: Except the first two items, any information above may be customized and updated via the Invited Expert's W3C profile.
Restricted mailing list
W3C Invited Experts can interact via email@example.com, a restricted archived mailing list. Subscription and unsubscription is automatic based on Invited Expert status. The web archive is available only to Members of the invited expert group and the W3C Team.
Note: In the absence of opt-out, individuals may rely on local mail filters.
Designated observer at W3C AC Meetings
To help W3C Invited Experts organize as a group of disparate individuals who may want to use a united voice to speak about some topic or other, W3C Invited Experts may designate one individual amongst themselves to attend as an observer the W3C Advisory Committee Meetings which take place twice a year. That non-voting individual represents the interests of W3C Invited Experts and is allowed to summarize and bring back information, keeping in mind that AC Meetings are member-confidential.
To that effect, a straw-man proposal is for the designated Invited Expert to self-declare to firstname.lastname@example.org who subscribes them to email@example.com, the member-only archived mailing list for discussion among W3C Advisory Committee Members and the Advisory Board on matters of relevance to W3C.
Becoming a W3C Member
Becoming W3C Members benefits the overall work that W3C does, and in doing so, W3C Members drive the direction of core web technology and exchange ideas with industry and research leaders.
In the event that your circumstances have changed, such as an increase in the size of your organization, please consider transitioning by becoming a W3C Member. You may get in touch with the W3C Business Development team.