FactGrid Stakeholder Association (e.V.), Statute

Note: The German version of this statute is legally binding.


FactGrid is a Wikibase installation initiated at the Gotha Research Center of the University of Erfurt with the help of Wikimedia Germany e.V., with the aim to offer its services to historical research.

(1) FactGrid data are freely and openly accessible. Users neither pay for the data hosting nor for searches and downloads from the database. The FactGrid Stakeholder Association is instituted to achieve this with the broad public integration of the platform.

(2) The technological backbone – Wikimedia’s graph-database software Wikibase – allows projects to make data interoperable beyond the respective projects. The platform has an international orientation as Wikibase data can be made available in any language. The association encourages international and multilingual projects, since the technology allows users to work with data in their various languages while other users will be able to read the information in their own languages.

(3) The FactGrid project is designed to generate sustainable data structures through the application of FAIR data principles and through the constantly revised adaptation of database objects and structures to changing technological environments. The connectivity of data and the translatability of data standards are core aims of the project.

(4) The FactGrid platform is organized by the community that is working on the platform. The FactGrid Stakeholder Association has the sole purpose to protect this community, and to represent the users on the platform in external communications whenever the platform needs a public and legal representation.

§ 1 (Name, Seat, Registration)

The “FactGrid Trägerverein e.V.” – “FactGrid Stakeholder Association” in the following – is a registered association under German law with its office and place of jurisdiction in Gotha.

Address: Research Center Gotha, Am Schloßberg 2, 99867 Gotha

§ 2 (Purpose)

(1) The FactGrid Stakeholder Association pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes within the meaning of the “Tax-privileged purposes” section of the German tax code.

(2) The sole purpose of the FactGrid Stakeholder Association is to represent the interests of projects that handle research data on the FactGrid Wikibase installation with its affiliated software components. This purpose is realized

  • through the organization and maintenance of the central database and its internet components,
  • by organizing regular working sessions of the board of directors and of the current project initiators on the platform,
  • through the organization of conferences and training sessions,
  • by representing those on the platform in external negotiations,
  • through engagement in the international networking of research projects and research funding institutions,
  • through efforts to integrate the platform in public infrastructures in such a way that FactGrid can offer its services globally and free of charge.

(3) The FactGrid Stakeholder Association works for the benefit of the public; it is a non-profit organization that does not pursue its own economic goals. Funds from the FactGrid Stakeholder Association may only be used for statutory purposes. The members do not receive any payment from the funds of the FactGrid Stakeholder Association. The FactGrid Stakeholder Association may not favor any person through expenditures that are alien to the purpose of the association or through disproportionately high remuneration.

§ 3 (Conditions of membership)

(1) Anyone with an academic interest in production and curation of historical data, data networking and data analysis can become a member. Corporate memberships are possible.

(2) The Executive Board decides on the written application for membership, but the final decision is subject to the General Assembly.

§ 4 (End of membership)

Membership ends with the death of the member, through voluntary resignation, which must be declared in writing to the board, through exclusion from the association or through deletion from the list of members if the member is considerably in arrears with the payment of the contribution despite a reminder.

§ 5 (Membership fees)

The amount of the annual membership fee is determined by the General Assembly with a simple majority. The fiscal year is identical to the calendar year.

§ 6 (Language)

(1) All resolutions are documented in German and English.

(2) Working meetings and events of the association are to be held in English as soon as international participants require it.

(3) The court language is German. The German version of this statute is legally binding.

§ 7 (Executive Board/ Advisory Board)

(1) The Executive Board in the sense of § 26 BGB consists of the 1st chairperson, the 2nd chairperson, the secretary, the Treasurer, and two Assessors.

(2) Everyone, with the exception of the assessors, is authorized to represent the association on one’s own. The assessors do not represent the association.

(3) The 1st chairperson (or in her/his deputyship the 2nd chairperson) is responsible for the management of the FactGrid Stakeholder Association with the support of the Secretary and the Treasurer. The tasks of the Executive Board include the convening and management of the General Assemblies as well as academic encounters initiated by the FactGrid Stakeholder Association. Treasury disbursements that exceed the limits of normal business management may be made according to the resolutions of the General Assembly.

(4) In meetings of the Executive Board the vote of the 1st chairperson decides in the event of a tie.

(5) In addition to the 1st and 2nd chairpersons the FactGrid Stakeholder Association can form an Advisory Board from among its members. Members of the Advisory Board are elected by the General Assembly at the suggestion of the Executive Board. The election takes place for an indefinite period, but ends at the same time as the membership ends. The Advisory Board advises the Executive Board on its decisions. To this end, its members attend the meetings of the Executive Board; however, they have no vote on the Executive Board and do not represent the association.

§ 8 (Term of office of the Executive Board)

(1) The Executive Board is elected by the General Assembly for a period of two years. Re-election is permissible. In any case, the members of the board remain in office until a new election is held. In the event of termination of membership in the FactGrid Stakeholder Association the office of a board member also ends.

(2) If a member of the board resigns before the end of the regular term of office the board can carry out a supplementary election, which requires confirmation by the next General Assembly.

§ 9 (Secretary)

The secretary supports the chairperson in the management of the activities of the association. She/he keeps the minutes of the General Assembly and keeps the files of the management except for the cash accounts to be kept by the Treasurer according to § 10. The files are to be handed over to the successor upon expiration.

§ 10 (Treasurer)

(1) The Treasurer is responsible for collecting the membership fees, investing the parts of the assets in agreement with the board that have not been used for a long period of time, representing the FactGrid Stakeholder Association in terms of property law, and paying out cash orders. She/he has to ensure that the budget is balanced and that a reserve fund is maintained.

(2) The Treasurer has to keep a transparent account of the Association’s financial solidity and its financial transactions.

§ 11 (Auditors)

The two Auditors are elected by the General Assembly for the period up to the next ordinary General Assembly. They are not members of the Executive Board. They have to check the accounts presented by the Treasurer and to report on them at the General Assembly.

§ 12 (General Assembly)

(1) The General Assembly is convened and chaired by the 1st chairperson or her/his deputy with notification of the provisional agenda in writing within a period of two weeks. Motions that are to be discussed at the General Assembly must be communicated to the first chairperson ten days in advance.

The biennial general meeting is convened and chaired by the chairperson, announcing the provisional agenda with two weeks’ notice electronically (email). The deadline begins on the day the invitation is sent to the last known member address (email address).

(2) The General Assembly is to be held in such a way that external participants can also join the debates and take part in its voting processes.

(3) The General Assembly takes place every two years.

(3) The General Assembly has a quorum regardless of the number of members present if the notice periods specified in § 11 (1) of these statutes have been observed.

(4) Extraordinary General Assemblies are convened at the request of 10% of the members.

(5) The General Assembly is responsible for electing the Executive Board and, if applicable, the Advisory Board, approving the accounts, discharging the Executive Board and the Treasurer after auditing the accounts, passing resolutions on the place and approximate time of the next meeting, on amendments to the Articles of Association and, if applicable, on the dissolution of the FactGrid Stakeholder Association as well as on other general issues.

(6) Resolutions are passed with a simple majority. A two-thirds majority of those present at the General Assembly is required for changes to the statutes and the purpose of the FactGrid Stakeholder Association as well as for its dissolution.

(7) The minutes of the General Assembly are signed by the chairman of the meeting and the minute taker.

§ 13 (Dissolution)

If the FactGrid Stakeholder Association is dissolved or if its previous purpose no longer exists, the remaining assets of the association will be transferred to a corporation under public law or to a corporation recognized as being particularly tax-privileged, which will use it exclusively and directly for research or scientific purposes.

§ 14 (Entry into force)

The articles of association are dated 25 April 2023 decided by the General Assembly.