Commons Steering Committee Workspace

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Working Document

Governance working group - please claim a section of the linked document and begin filling it in based upon our discussions and the notes that we have compiled here and in our meeting minutes.

Link to the working Google Doc (only working group members can access this document):

Next Working Group Call

Wednesday, Jan. 30 2 pm ET

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First Draft

The ESIP Commons is a curated, open, knowledge capture repository for documenting contributions to or arising out of the ESIP Federation. The ESIP Commons creates citable content to recognize individual and organizational contributions to the community. The ESIP Commons provides the larger Earth science informatics community with browsable, discoverable and reusasble resources to move forward faster and more effectively than they could have along.

Current Draft

The ESIP Commons is a curated, open access knowledge repository for publishing contributions to or arising out of the ESIP Federation. The ESIP Commons is a publication platform:

  • for citable content to recognize individual and organizational contributions to the community and
  • for accelerating the discovery and use of knowledge by the global Earth science informatics community.

Draft Vision Statement

Current draft language

The ESIP Commons will be the central destination for the Earth Science community to access and interact with the knowledge of the ESIP Federation


The ESIP Commons will be a valued participatory platform that systematically captures, publishes and shares diverse content contributed by the ESIP Federation.

Alternative draft language

The ESIP Commons realizes the full wealth of expertise and knowledge housed within the ESIP Community in order to move the entire Earth science data and informatics forward toward better science?

The ESIP Commons redefines the boundaries of publishing to capture community knowledge to advance Earth science informatics.

The Earth Science Informatics will help to develop and shape the new field of Earth Science Informatics. It is intended to provide a dissemination platform for research using systems-based approaches to solve multi-scale Earth science problems by encouraging the development …..

Differentiation between Web Site, Wiki, and Commons

  • Website - 'Brochure'/Marketing/Organizational Site, Assumes no prior knowledge, Primarily External Facing, Portal (?)/ linking element, to other web presences, Heavily Moderated/Managed content, more static
  • Wiki - ESIP Community Workspace, Prior Knowledge Useful as Wiki Difficult to Navigate, Business of the ESIP Federation, Primarily Internal Facing, self moderation, constantly changing
  • Commons - Curated Content, Knowledge Capture, Internal & External Facing, Content Available in Perpetuity, Light-touch management and moderation


  • capturing quality information
  • lightweight publication review (aka sniff test)
  • reputation growth (individual & organizational)
  • persistent content (curation through time provides documentation and evidence of growth and change)
  • documents work of ESIP, including meetings
  • citable (DOIs are easy to link to- sustainable mostly)
  • discoverability (e.g. thru tagging)
  • browsability
  • forum for ongoing comments & discussion around content

Curation Model

  • Content Types linked to curators
  • Tags for faceted aggregation of content

Licensing Options and Assignment of License to ESIP

  • Need to give ESIP Commons permission to republish while author's retain copyright - this would not be needed if CC or Public Domain are the only choices.
  • Creative Commons as a "preferred" option for materials posted through the Commons? Public domain? Also CC0?
  • Author certification of copyright
  • Enable a botton for all content to flag potential copyright violations/issues?
  • DMCA process?
  • Blanket license for submitted comments, agreed to during account creation process.

Role of Steering Committee

  • Managing Editor(s)
  • Dispute resolution
  • Management of overall Commons "structure" - categories, sections, etc.
  • Development (with content area editors) of a Commons Style Guide

Miscellaneous Discussion Items

  • Levels of curation
  • Who Contributed? (community, individual)
  • Comment-Ability (is it set always?) and community accountability through flags as opposed to moderators- (is that too wiki-like?)
  • Style Guide - including license info embedded in document


Lulu Member Agreement

Gray Literature

PLOS One License

PLOS One Submission Instructtions

Wikipedia Community Portal

Wikipedia Policies & Guidelines
Wikipedia Editorial Administration & Oversight
Wikipedia Handling Disputes
Wikipedia Editorial Quality Review

Wikimedia Commons Community Portal

Wikimedia Commons Project Scope

Flickr Community Guidelines

Encyclopedia of Earth Guidelines

Anticipated Budget


Commons Governance Meeting minutes for Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2pm EST

Attendees: Karl Benedict Bruce Caron Erin Robinson Carol B. Meyer David Bassendine Reid Boehm

On the agenda:

Looking at final governing document
talking about selection of a style guide

How do the commons content steering committee get selected?

  • Type-reps defined (3 of the 4 types)
  • Work-group liaison or Ad-Hoc team ?
  • Steering Committee will consist of type reps or their designees
  • If the commons actively evolves we may want to have a larger group but, make sure don’t have to continuously explain details of the process
  • Distributed governance makes less work for committee
  • Products and services making a move towards more towards administrative functions
  • Having the steering committee represented by the content members themselves
  • include the Vice Pres (executive committee visibility and specialists representatives)
  • They select a chair from within the group

Also- talking about some kind of a style guide

  • Exemplars suggested- science or common journal style guide
  • Linked three to the bottom of the Gooogle Docs Doc
  • Each of these are combo of submission guides and workflow plus manuscript format for submission
  • We will need to adopt something similar- workflow- may differ for different content areas
  • (ex: posters different than manuscripts or whitepapers)
  • Workflows- need to not be too divergent- considering Drupal cm. structure
  • Templates- to fit within the capabilities of the content management systems?
  • David- you could start with a default template and then diverge only when necessary
  • Return, review, publish- content editors could have their own mix – who they select as editors but fitting within a more standardized workflow.
  • workflow issues recently the content was being developed quickly enough that it wasn’t appropriate for that type of content
  • The white papers may go through more rigorous treatment
  • As people choose not to revise- how long do we keep it- how long til we throw it away
  • Maybe some issue with storage later
  • Tag that an administrator can specify that only an administrator could change?
  • Probably the lightweight way to go.
  • Instead of the workflow being defined by the editors – we may want to have a limited number of workflows associated with the content types
  • Editors could choose from a specific number of content types three degrees of strength to acceptance- Scenario for content like meeting content
  • Tagging approach work for the micro article type- we could go for the tagging route and see how that works- leave it to the content editors to tag-
  • Versioning or version comparison- gets to the content side of things- philosophically- do we want to push more content into the management system as data or as pdfs
  • Preference to submitted content- usability and reusability
  • Contention the website would make it more search able than just the linked pdf
  • PDF is less able to be manipulated
  • Part of the idea is to move away from the PDF to actual HTML
  • PDF becomes more of the presentation layer
  • Decision to have steering committee pick the style guide- have the engagement from the content area editors

Action item:

  • Start the selection of the steering committee
  • put this on the agenda for the next executive committee meeting

Next meeting is TBD → arrangement of the steering committee by executive committee. Meeting adjourned.

Commons Governance Meeting Minutes Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2pm EST Attendees:

Carol Meyer Bruce Caron Karl Benedict Erin Robinson Reid Boehm David Bassendine Bob Downs Rahul Ramachandran

Addressing: Holes to fill in- in governance document draft

Revisiting Discussion with John Wilbank at AGU suggestions: Keep it simple/short/will evolve as a moving target as capabilities evolve through time relates to current established commons definition and issues:

  • light touch over the entire commons
  • content area managers have primary responsibility
  • higher level step in to resolve conflicts as they arise
  • thinking about content types
  • balance with danger of proliferation
  • clarity of complimentary roles of 3 elements
  • enumerating in high level terms the different participants in the governance model
  • providing more descriptive roles and responsibilities
  • understanding of purview and relationships

licensing model:

  • keep it simple

recommended and preferred content type Discussing CCzero and needs of civil servant contributions

David shared CC and public domain links in chat:

Agreeing to support these licenses:

  • Creative Commons By (this one is preferred)
  • Alternatives: public domain mark

Talked about Facebook comments- any implications or incongruencies with license choice?

  • distribution to both at the same time
  • disclaimer that comments that are posted are CCby
  • remain aware of cross-publication of content to other networks (consistency)

What we are hoping for: maximum degree of reuse with core principle of acknowledgement. Revisiting idea of style guide from summer meeting discussion Thinking about examples:

  • data citation guidelines
  • template for capturing the state of the art knowledge
  • exemplars for education modules

May want to collect from the different content areas

  • Specific needs of content areas -single style guide may not work for commons as a whole)
  • Start with ones here- hope by request others will create


  • Idea of hand outs- policy guidelines: package for other opportunities
  • structured for representation of content in a variety of ways

Drupal functions with

  • pdf generator
  • already a lot of structure that is built in the system: fields for the areas: notes, authors, documents and attachments

example of concept: micro articles may already have their own style guide would be different for other content types such as posters

Need consistency for session abstract, meeting notes: initial guidance there

  • Data Citation commonality- not clear of the format
  • Pivotable citation allows for you to connect
  • Title of the document may need to be included*
  • Need a minimum set of consistent attributes
  • Structured types: already there but formatting (more consistency rather than less)
  • structured content versus document that the content is attached to: pdf document that is compatible with the micro article style
  • meta-data may need to have consistent format
  • consistency in the elements first

(DOI as example of included need)

  • Possibility: Have an actual metadata content area for the information to go into

We will need specific content guides developed by managers, but in the context of a broader cross commons guide that hits the high points, colors, fonts, citation styles, elements, (more specific for each group as needed)

Karl: draft document with last call sent to listserv in the coming weeks before putting doc to bed then defining roles of governance in future meetings.

Next meeting is scheduled for webex: Thursday February 19th at 2pm EST.

Commons Governance minutes for October 12, 2012 1pm EST

Attendees: Karl, Erin, Kevin, Bob, Reid

Karl shared Google docs document: Principles and Policies Dimensions of Commons governance issues that needed to consider

  • Mission & vision attributes
  • Dimensions of licensing options related to the commons
  • Principles and policies as outcome of discussions
  • Roles of steering committee

Members take on writing role of outline- definition of the governance guiding principles and policies.

Karl- start to translating the discussion to language of policy for contributors- what might be structure of management for Commons?

  • Key- question of licensing: having a cc style as a default and as a preferred license

Bob- agrees would say to go with the cc by license (attribution license) Karl; need or desire for gov. members to have a public domain license option? Kevin- yes- not sure from NASA what is the desired type Bob- cc by license assumes that you are owner and you have copywrite

  • once you are the holder than you can assign the cc license to it. working for a gov agency- depending on how create- dictate what your options are
  • do the work at your office- at the agency- considered public domain
  • if on your own time- own resources- wouldn't fall under that agency

Karl- we could have material that is public domain that agency- putting content and propagating that state into the commons- otherwise the copyright is owned by the person and they can certify it as such.

Bob- if possible # of license for options should limited it might be confusing - be careful to not have too many but public domain offer is good for gov and others who would decide

Karl- pub domain concern because it doesn't have the attribution so not as preferred Bob- need for people to know what getting into


  • maybe have a webex to explain copyright types - have an expert
  • from visualization cluster- presenters and presentation only one license applicable for whole wasn't a way to assign license to different

Erin- presentations should have its own content type- working on that process

Bob- cc by-license badge cut and paste into document- recognizable can even put explanation and url so can read if need to.

Karl- may want to build that in- don't have in the wiki page or in the document outline-

  • style guide for content- good element for style guide
  • explicit embedding of the license into the document not just in the metadata- standard of practice

-Adding a section for the style guide-

  • simplicity of the cc -by
  • many journals (open access- use the cc by license) pretty much standard
  • Karl- would that cause any time where work against us?
  • Goal is max. share-ability and usability while maximizing amount can get in
  • Karl- how about also the cc 0 - more international compliance or understanding of public domain
  • Bob- other issues have occurred- legal arguments

Another area- core for documentation: definition of the roles and responsibilities for the different actors

  • Model- who are the actors in the commons?
  • How do we define the roles and responsibilities
  • Created 4 different actors (plus one)

1. steering comm 2. content area editors 3. content contributors 4. content administrators 5. Users (contributing in the form of comments)

  • Licensing- for comments- Users must be registered with the system in order to comment gives us an opportunity to have users agree that their comments will fall under a particular license
  • We could look at cc-by license for commons proper to keep simple
  • Do commenters own comments?
  • Available under a cc- by license, commenters still own (we provide attribute) post same comments elsewhere
  • Bob- giving opportunity to contribute that they understand that you can't be held liable- can delete and revise as needed
  • Karl- brings back to the roles and responsibilities for the system orchestrator
  • Contributors: developing content- need to certify that they own the cc and allowed to contribute need to follow regulations according to the guide
  • Bob provides scenario: say contributor put up content in good faith- user has privileges to make comment that is nasty: accuse author- author disappears but accusation remains- could be detrimental to the reputation of the person who has posted it- like graffiti
  • Erin- policy on the site for constructive comments only
  • Karl- that is what the function of content area editors would regulate- deciding the content areas by specific constraints- designated editor or editors- they would be a set of eyes before publication
  • set of standards across the commons as a whole-- style guide
  • essentially community standards- editors flip the switch
  • would lean more towards removal rather than editing
  • troll-like comments- community norm- vigorous debate- we could have areas designed for vigorous conversation
  • kind of a sand box area
  • Understanding that there may be norms in different areas
  • Bob- another way that can help facilitate growing content would be to have the capability to flag the content send an email
  • Kevin- self-policing kind of like on youTube
  • Karl- Erin- can we do that?
  • E- not native- probably can find a module
  • Karl- may be editorial or content level decisions that may get appealed controversy- court of last resort is the steering committee itself could bring appeals to the steering committee for final adjudication
  • Bob- individuals serving for area editors-removing content- authors of that content - may lash out at the editors. Anonymity of content area editors? Not make explicit who is regulating
  • Erin- anonymous review is good idea- may be making issues for ourselves light touch
  • Karl- core goals- high degree of transparency- including on who is providing the community policing- we would deal with any trolls visibly and publicly
  • Bob- what if he works for the funding agency and the editor feels in jeopardy
  • Erin- I think we would need to just cross that bridge when we get there
  • Karl- be prepared to work through scenarios as they arise work through our mechanisms in place- local decision making- but can intervene

Karl asks- Is it time to start writing sections of document- one more week? Erin- start to write this week -issues will be flushed out Email or in Google doc just put name out on section heading

Meeting next week (same time): Friday October 19, 2012 1pm EST.

--Reidboehm (talk) 13:14, 12 October 2012 (MDT)

Commons Governance minutes for October 5, 2012 2pm est. Attendees: Karl, Carol, Chris, Reid Some technical difficulties with Webex: Accessed ability to share screen through Karl’s “Go to Meeting” account and through the Web ex phone line.

Talking through vision statement

  • Vision statement in future tense
  • Participatory- build in that thought later
  • more than a publishing
  • aggregator- work space for the community interactive
  • go back to looking at the mission
  • core or central destination for the earth science community to access the knowledge of the ESIP Federation
  • Karl- and interact with

revisit it move on to licensing… and role of the steering committee…

Licensing: assignment of permission to publish the contact

  • License assigned to the material may not be the absolute requirement
  • Creative commons by-license- don't have to have permission to republish from creator
  • Lulu: contributors keep the copyright but give permission
  • Community generated content. …Different than content such as posters
  • ESIP ability to use -license doesn't mean you give up the right to it
  • Karl: How do you think folks would feel about that- partners who are publishing materials- would this cause them heartache?
  • Carol: what about presentations?
  • Government agencies- might have some roadblocks
  • Don’t want to have a requirement for publishing in the commons- barriers to some presenters
  • Making it optional for people…. creative/commons or public domain as another option
  • Karl to Chris- any experiences
  • Public domain as another option would not complicate
  • Creative commons has a public domain definition/ option (?)
  • Carol: Can we have a series of checkboxes to denote individual agency on making decisions
  • Couple of things that folks would need to do licenses to choose from- also need them to certify that they have the right to do this that they are the copyright owner
  • Understand their content- must license those previous-exceeding limits of license copies
  • Through the combination of the certification and the choice of license that is available to them we provide the citation information to them and cover ourselves - due diligence with submitted content
  • Capability for each piece of content to identify or flag possible copyright issues- how to handle that-
  • You Tube changing their model to non-digital millennium copyright- poster could repeal you tube defined process them now changing over to a process through the dmca notify who they think the copy write owners - issue formal "take-down request" simplifies through legal process through dmca process *
  • previous discussion about licensing-- wiki is by default is the gnu free documentation license- by understanding gnu fdl is assigned
  • Chris- then license is different- content is different than the wiki
  • Karl yes- given that the content and submission styles are sufficiently different- also materials going in are further along in the spectrum- more "static publications"
  • ie: white page in the commons choose one of the creative commons we have available- then we also have a comment space where we are explicitly submitting (we need a blanket copyright)
  • account creation: agreement comments created in the commons are subject to license x
  • can choose for submitted content but not comments
  • move away from creative commons being only option but may move more toward public domain
  • have the creative commons to be the preferred license- may have a reason for submitting as public domain (try to discourage) but still beneficial in terms of knowledge sharing
  • creative commons has a public domain
  • Carol: a preferred approach- that can be the default check and then give the other options
  • also cc- zero "wave all the interests slightly different than complete public domain
  • examples of policies: flicker ( like the language and readability) also plos
  • take one of these wiki categories that we pulled out highlight bullets that we want to see in a policy
  • take a stab at developing an outline borrow pretty liberally with attribution of course
  • Karl-outline for policy document based

Meet next week an hour earlier 1pm EST next Friday, October 12, 2012 --Reidboehm (talk) 13:55, 5 October 2012 (MDT)

Commons Governance minutes for September 21, 2012 2pm est. Attendees: Karl, Carol, Chris, Rahul, Reid Operational behavior of the Commons: content types/ area structures/ workshop materials how do we manage identifiers thoughts to the mission or vision Second half of the mission is almost there Attributes for how the commons will operate understanding that content is targeted towards broader audience permanent record it is not- but persistent record ?tagging scheme browse-ability tags of access attribute additions- comment ability Carol- is this a descriptive tool or part of a vision statement Chris-Best Visions are short and sweet attributes are distilled down into brief and compelling Starting the wording for the vision statement capturing community knowledge through -the trusted leader in earth science information something short and direct for vision Vision: Karl- redefining the boundaries of publishing- doesn't match goal of ESIP separating the tech side from the out come of the Commons Carol: what is different about it- capturing knowledge that wouldn't otherwise be published grey literature-This is not business as usual- works in progress- ESIP Commons published the full breadth of knowledge generated by the ESIP community shared within the federation to advance earth science informatics K: Preserves and organizes: search, browse, ongoing discussion- capture of quality representing ongoing value of materials or knowledge/ Captures and organizes the breadth of knowledge Carol: shared? may not be the best word- sharing its knowledge community or breadth moving to google docs document: Rahul- is this as much a publishing arm- or … new documentation tool importance from research community- notion of publication Note for future (Reid-task) add to the list of governance- tagging member vs. non… we can tag member affiliation without stating member in vision how to reflect tagging and commenting ?social? not social Carol - we don't need the support of the informatics community In the mission we talk about the open, curated, sharing with thte broader community- Do that not just for the sake of the community, but to share with others Karl: Broad community of users…Meeting capture piece- discussion? is it in there? Rahul- it is enabled - we don't have control over whether people use it Carol: dynamic resource- changing content dynamic place, not just contributions but keeps the conversation going Rahul- systematically rather than organize- systematically applies and simplifies publishes the breadth of knowledge/ breath of content- diversity of content/ "diverse content contributed by" not supporting, but sharing content or knowledge- knowledge is not as broad- keeps the material broad Karl: copy and pasting into wiki: closing google document- current draft: The ESIP Commons is a participatory platform that systematically captures, publishes and shares diverse content contributed by the ESIP Federation. Next Meeting will be Friday October 5, 2012 at the same time 2pm EST.

Minutes from Commons Governance Telecon for Friday August 24; 2-3:15 pm EST Attendees: Erin, Karl, Rahul, Carol, Reid Continued conversation about the straw man draft of the vision statement viewing resources for developing policies and level and design of management Carol: evolution of commons reflected from the initial to current to future Erin and Carol youTube channel idea-name-commons may not reflect the mission entirely Karl- ways to aggregate using content types

Commons: is a gathering spot- not to call it something different, but for purpose of understanding vision

Rahul- likes the iCommons original

channel: filtered content subscribe to channels

Curation: long term access evaluation and classification weaker association but needs to be highlighted

Mission diving in: curated and open contributions to and arising out of - individual contribute to group product: products of federation activities who contributes: members/ is there a prerequisite? Scope- community guidelines for contribution Term for contributors; community more encompassing concept Member affiliated and non-member affiliated contributions broadly available for community Carol- how do you manage those contributions Flagging system- capture that on-going feedback Post publication peer review process: how that relates to a flagging system Binary thing Caution with community- rivalry Policies deal with this Mission stays broad to allow for growth (Erin) More moderation the more open… YouTube a good example of moderation experiences- complaints about the comments; active moderation- moderated out Karl- anchor terms guidelines to help us define. Rahul- Open as open publish or open to members- Notion of publications needs to be in there. Grey lit? - is it negative Not-formally published but Karl- redefining publication Open-Access (say explicitly) Publication- Is it publishing- publication platform - Evolving? Like Publication Platform Content- back to ESIP mission

Erin: Community Guidance and Guidelines- the place where this gets specific Karl- items that would go in to the commons that aren't Earth science Curation is- filtration Context up front- Carol- Mission will not be stand alone- other web presence Hooks from the mission into the vision- logical flow Linking the functional sectors of observation, research, Karl: accelerates the discovery and use of that knowledge by the broader Earth Science informatics community Carol- run-on tends to lose people Karl- Emphasis on recognition Carol- colon and bullet the two thoughts

from Rahul Ramachanadran to Everyone: The Earth Science Informatics will help to develop and shape the new field of Earth Science Informatics. It is intended to provide a dissemination platform for research using systems-based approaches to solve multi-scale Earth science problems by encouraging the development ….. dissemination or publication platform Carol- publication is more concrete more action acceleration Community contributions bracketed- should brackets be removed community redundant develop and shape- for vision publishing transformation in vision Moving onto vision peer - reviewed in an open-access platform realizing the wealth of expertise - shape and develop Vision is …something out there- what you are going to work toward The ESIP Commons redefines the boundaries of publishing to document the dynamic… content is living-Erin Karl- dichotomy of evolving knowledge and establishment of a public platform that defines pieces of knowledge that remain static…. conversation around the content is dynamic- another facet anyone can archive papers this is broader through linkage evolving perspective about that institutional memory/ community memory capture - other words for memory Talk about vision next week Meeting scheduled for 2:30pm EST In the meantime look at Wiki and edit/ add ideas as thoughts occur --Reidboehm (talk) 13:49, 24 August 2012 (MDT)

Minutes from meeting August 17, 2012 Governance issues and the management of the commons: Visions: link to original concept by Rahul- subset of the directions that the original concept is current- going towards a subset of what we discussed at the summer meeting Role of the wiki-complementary commons and initial web site venn-diagram of the intersection curation model - key idea of curation licensing- everyone on the same page what licenses are most needed rights that are most need with respect to access

What is the role of the steering committee or other management- "managing editor"- handling disputes/ questions? Look at PlosOne license adoption as exemplar Wikipedia document proxesses and wikipedia commons Fickr- guidelines and policies resources: financial needs for support or maintenance: time to think about funding point of departure: thinking about the vision and the curation model differentiation- also can gain from looking at the other sites functionality- web assests that are part of an overall presence area of overlap- workflows, contents, how can we cross reference or link between them commonality/ look and feel: coherent brand capturing differences and similarities web site proper has been online brochure: external facing- no prior knowledge wiki- active collaboration- about or within activity areas work with each other- even though remote approachability is challenge: where to find the granularity of information Chris: Tangent Points- link not a lot of overlap -different types of links into the commons- drill down Conceptual differences- contents will be where? Who the audience of the Commons is: hybrid: external component also way for self documentation external component may be more dominant in determining sort of polish audience may not have as much familiarity with the inter workings professionalism in the products strengthens reputations beyond the community

Creating: style guide: what should be included work flow- lower the barriers without going too low that quality ESIP community generated content- community contributions- do we review those? self curation with products criteria for poster; (Flickr community guidelines) working definitions for these three entities: create a table catalogue with content types- style guides standards Creating a document with all these principles- available in perpetuity

Defining: wiki- ephemera commons current snapshot looking at the encyclopedia of Earth capturing quality information with user feedback: opportunity within the commons lightweight publication workflow helps define use for application purposes- pushes discussion among the community

Planning Erin and Carol: Strawman vision for editing Capturing Commons to inform: reputation: individual and organizational demonstration of productivity- concrete ability to show other program managers discoverability and browse ability (judicious use of tagging and other schemes- aggregate lists of contents) models- resources- refer to those in next conversation - reconvene and discuss the draft via Erin and Carol

Call next Friday 2pm EST webex --Reidboehm (talk) 14:17, 20 August 2012 (MDT)