6. The White Paper Process

Within The Open Group, a White Paper is formally defined as follows (taken from Section 2.3.17 of the Standards Process):

“A White Paper is a discussion or position paper. It is a mechanism for The Open Group to disseminate information on its current thinking for a subject area to an interested audience, with a view to soliciting feedback and comment. White Papers have no formal status.”

White Papers are for promotion and are considered marketing documents. They are not intended to document the shortcomings, gaps, or inconsistencies in The Open Group Standards. If a White Paper includes such observations, they need to be directed to the relevant Forum/Work Group to address using the Standards Process. A White Paper also must not be critical of third-party standards or other organizations. White Papers that do not meet these guidelines will be rejected during The Open Group Vice-President approval and returned for changes to be made.

White Papers go through a review process to determine their relevance, usefulness, and suitability for publication by The Open Group as a White Paper.

White Papers should be developed using the White Paper template; refer to Resources. They can either be developed as a project deliverable within a Forum/Work Group or submitted independently.

6.1. Acceptance into the White Paper Process

If a White Paper is being developed within a Forum/Work Group, acceptance into the process is when the project is approved by consent of the members. If a White Paper is being submitted by a third party, which could also include members of The Open Group developing the paper independently of a Forum/Work Group project, then The Open Group staff will review the document prior to accepting into the process.

Reasons for non-acceptance include:

  • Irrelevance to The Open Group work programs

  • Unacceptable conditions and/or encumbrances (restrictions on the use and reproduction of the material in the paper)

  • Unacceptable format

  • Legally unacceptable content (potentially defamatory statements, etc.)

  • Includes content that should be submitted into the maintenance activity for a standard of The Open Group

If the White Paper was developed outside of a Forum/Work Group, The Open Group staff will assign it for review to one or more Forum/Work Group(s), as applicable to the content.

6.2. White Paper Preparation

Before commencing the review, the draft White Paper should be sent to The Open Group Technical Editor for an editorial pass. The Technical Editor will return a revised document source file using the latest template and with the correct house style applied, which must be used for the review. The same document source must then be used for further changes once the review has completed, and agreed changes need to be applied.

6.3. The White Paper Review Process

The review process for a White Paper is as follows.

6.3.1. Notice Period for Review (1 Week)

The Open Group Manager will send notice to the Forum/Work Group(s) of the review at least one (1) week in advance of the review commencing. This should include a pointer to the materials, which should be loaded into The Open Group Document Review system. The review system should be set up to accept early comments during the notice period. It is recommended that a PDF version also be provided for offline review.

6.3.2. Review Period (2 Weeks)

The review period is at least two (2) weeks. Reviewers are asked to comment on the suitability of the White Paper for publication and to submit comments in the form of detailed Change Requests.

6.3.3. Discussion Teleconference

In the week after the review a teleconference will be held if necessary to discuss comments received. The authors of the White Paper may choose to accept or reject some or all Change Requests. At this stage the White Paper will be updated if necessary to incorporate any changes agreed as a result of the review.

6.3.4. Vote on Approval

A vote is then held using the voting mechanism to approve or disapprove the final version of the White Paper. This vote is a simple majority up/down vote. The Open Group Manager may extend the voting period if he or she judges that insufficient votes have been returned to demonstrate consensus of the working body.

6.3.5. Executive Approval

Prior to publication, all White Papers must complete the Publications Process as defined in the Standards Process. This review is managed by the Technical Editor and requires The Open Group Vice-President approval for the White Paper to be sent to the Executive Management. This approval includes consideration of proper usage of trademarks, brand positioning, correct application of the document template, suitable content, and the avoidance of any negative comments regarding other standards or organizations.

6.3.6. Publication

At the time of publication the Technical Editor will notify The Open Group Social Media team and The Open Group Manager so they can promote availability of the White Paper.