The Galaxy Governance Model (draft)

Galaxy is a mature, successful research software infrastructure project, with a large and diverse global audience. Changes in project governance structures are needed to help adapt to increasing complexity and to more fully engage the Galaxy Community. This is our first attempt.

Several community groups have been formed so that project governance truly reflects the global community that Galaxy has become:

Galaxy Executive Board

Keywords: Strategic emphasis, long term planning and direction

The Galaxy Exec is a group of principal investigators from around the world. The first iteration of this was formed at the Galaxy Directions Summit in 2019, which gathered together ~20 PIs from around the world.

Galaxy Global Steering Committee (GGSC)

Keywords: Strategic emphasis, medium and long term planning, international opportunities

The Galaxy Exec formed the Global Galaxy Steering Committee (GGSC) to represent the interests of communities engaged with the project, and to implement efficient consultative project governance structures for that purpose. This group was formed in early 2021.

Galaxy Working Groups

Keywords: Tactical emphasis, short and medium term planning, area/domain/component focused, applied

Galaxy Working Groups are community-driven small groups that manage different aspects of the Galaxy Ecosystem. Working groups set quarterly milestones for their areas, distribute work, and meet to discuss progress and roadblocks. Working Groups were launched in late 2020.

Committers Groups

Keywords: Tactical emphasis, short and medium term planning, repo focused, applied

Cutting across all Working Groups, Committers Groups are responsible for what goes into the project repositories, and in Galaxy everything goes into repositories, including training materials and web sites. Each repo has its own committers group, and each group is responsible for setting its own policies and membership. Committers have been around since the start of the project in 2005, and have been community-driven since 2015.

Code of Conduct

All of these groups, and all aspects of the Galaxy Community, are bound by the Galaxy Code of Conduct. Look for an update to that, and much more prominent placement across the Galaxy Ecosystem, sometime in 2021.

Proposed Galaxy governance and planning structure

Galaxy Community Governance Model

Proposed governance workflow:

  • Galaxy Exec: group of PIs including Frederik Coppens, Björn Grüning, Ross Lazarus, Andrew Lonie, Anton Nekrutenko, and Michael Schatz.
  • Global Steering Committee: collaborators from active Galaxy communities.
  • Working groups: groups of community members responsible for various parts of the Galaxy ecosystem.
  • Idea by Björn Grüning, Hans-Rudolf Hotz and others.

The overall idea is:

  1. The Technical Board and the Community Board are asked for high-level input. This is the step where the community, either via the technical Working Groups or the Steering Committee, can influence the process (2 weeks).
  2. The Galaxy Exec reviews suggestions and creates a final high-level roadmap (1 week). It is then given to the Technical Board which will (3 weeks):
    • Add technical details.
    • Estimate the timings.
    • Add cross working group dependencies.
    • Add other requirements (e.g. hardware).
    • A detailed roadmap is given to the Galaxy Exec for the final decision (1 week).
  3. The Galaxy Exec signs off the roadmap and publishes it on GitHub.