WFRN Special Interest Group Organizing Guidelines

WFRN’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) groups provide a useful set of venues for WFRN members with similar interests to share ideas, network, and coordinate activities, and can help WFRN members to function as a virtual community in between our biennial conferences.

Each group can communicate in a way that seems convenient, natural, and efficient for participants. One group may decide to create a listserve while another might set up a group Facebook page and a third might share information via Dropbox or Google Docs.

While WFRN encourages each Special Interest Group to develop along its own path in ways that are meaningful and valuable to its members, there are nonetheless some guidelines that each SIG should follow:

1. SIG Membership

Group organizers will be provided the list of names and emails of members who responded to the WFRN Interest Group Survey conducted during the fall of 2014. Going forward, new members and renewing members will be asked to ‘opt in’ to interest groups upon joining WFRN and/or renewing their membership.  Interest group members are expected to keep their WFRN membership current; membership dues are the primary source of income for WFRN operating expenses.  Voting conventions are to be determined by each interest group. WFRN can provide logistical assistance and advice in using Survey Monkey or other tools for elections and other administrative matters.

2. SIG Organizational Structures

Each interest group determines its own organizational structure; however, we recommend that groups minimally elect a (a) Chair, (b) Chair-Elect and (c) Secretary and/or Webmaster. Terms of office may vary but a two-year minimum commitment is suggested.

Officer duties will be determined by group; however, we suggest that Secretary and/or Webmaster is charged with posting group information to the WFRN website and hosting the group listserv (or other means of communicating with group members).

3. SIG Mission Statements

SIG organizers are asked to draft a brief interest group description and objectives. These descriptions and objectives should be discussed (and voted upon) at the inaugural meeting of the Special Interest Group (a number of groups had such discussions at the 2016 WFRN conference). Following the establishment of the initial group structure, description, and objectives, interest groups may wish to develop a set of by-laws or additional guidelines to coordinate their functioning and operation.

4. SIG Programming at WFRN Conferences

Special Interest Group meetings will be programmed into the biennial conferences held by WFRN. The conference program planners will reach out to the interest groups to coordinate this programming.

In addition, SIGs may consider proposing panels or workshops for the next conference. The Call for Papers for the WFRN 2018 Conference will include more specifics about SIG proposal submissions.

5. Posting to WFRN News Feed and Website

SIGs are encouraged to share news that would be of interest to the broader WFRN membership. This can be done at any time by posting to the WFRN News Feed.

Please contact for assistance with posting SIG materials on the WFRN website.

Additional questions about interest group formation can be directed to Katy Fonner, Chair, Communications Committee at: