Berkman Center staff receive numerous questions, suggestions,
and inquiries regarding the Scribe's Notes produced during certaion
sessions of ICANN meetings. In order to improve understanding of the
purpose of the notes as well as the existing mechanisms for making
changes to them, we have prepared this FAQ. Please send us further
suggestions, or inquiries not addressed here, via the Contact
Information section below.
What are Scribe's Notes?
Scribe's Notes reflect the observations of one or more Berkman
Center staff members, intending to record the central points of each
What are Scribe's Notes not?
Scribe's Notes are not intended to transcribe the full text of
all comments made. To do so is beyond the ability of our scribes and
would produce a text of excessive length for many uses. (However,
please note that a full video recording of all scribed sessions is
generally available on the web.)
Scribe's Notes are not intended to provide a forum for
the substantive advancement of particular perspectives; scribes may
not be sensitive to the finer points of preexisting discussions or
disputes, and due to the shortness of time inherent in the real-time
production of Scribe's Notes, they may not describe all nuanced situations
as perfectly as might otherwise be desirable. Similarly, Scribe's
Notes are not intended to provide a forum for the advancement of particular
documents, or web sites; as a result, external references (to web
sites, email addresses, etc.) are generally quite limited.
How can I get the Scribe's Notes to be changed?
In some cases the scribe may not be able to record the comments
of speakers as well as he or she would like. In instances where the
scribe has been factually inaccurate in recording a speaker's statements,
corrections should be submitted electronically via the "Suggest a
Change to the Archive" web
form (for changes to ICANN-Marina del Rey scribe's notes only).
Be sure to fill out this form completely, including the name and email
address of the person submitting the request, the name of the speaker,
the date and session in which the Scribe's Notes should be changed,
the specific point in the Notes where text needs to be changed (or
added or removed), and a suggestion as to the specific text to be
changed, added,or removed (as applicable). If you are submitting your
change request more than 24 hours after the conclusion of a session,
please also send a reference to the time in the archived video segment
in which the affected comment was made.
Please note that scribes will not be able to enter complete
written statements into the Scribe's Notes, nor to make subjective
corrections to the Notes (as distinguished from corrections to factual
Please do not attempt to discuss your requested changes
with the scribes during a meeting, as doing so will only make it more
difficult for them to scribe the speakers who continue to discuss.
Please do not attempt to discuss your requests during the breaks between
sessions, for during these brief breaks, the scribes are generally
busy preparing for the sessions still to come.
I don't think this is the best way to take notes
about the meetings. I think you should...
We are genuinely interested in improving openness and archival quality
of these meetings, and while we believe scribing represents a significant
improvement over any obvious alternative, we remain interested in
alternative suggestions. Please send them to us via the Contact
Information section below.
We are sensitive to the concern that the Berkman Center's
Scribe's Notes should not be the only written notes available. Accordingly,
we are pleased to link to "dissent to scribe's notes" or
"alternative notes" pages produced by any meeting attendee
(in person or via webcast). Please send us such links via the Contact
Information section below.
Why are the Scribe's Notes so bad?!?
We have received a few such inquiries, and we thought we might
as well answer here for the benefit of everyone interested. It's hard
to provide a single answer, but based on experience scribing at several
meetings, our staff offers the following explanations ("excuses"?)
for subpar notes in certain contexts: Exhaustion (it's not so easy
to scribe for hours on end!), confusion (unclear comments from speakers,
multiple people talking at once, occasional difficulty understanding
non-native English speakers, complex or subtle subject matter), distraction
by meeting attendees (one or more meeting attendees demanding the
scribe's attention, preventing focus on the current speaker), distraction
by technical glitches (scribe computer malfunction, scribe-to-webcast
gateway malfunction, other glitches requiring the scribe's attention).
Of course, we continue to attempt to improve our systems and procedures,
and we are hopeful that these errors will continue to decrease in
both frequency and duration.
These reasons occasionally cause us to make certain
serious errors -- misattributing comments to incorrect speakers, failing
to take any notes at all on a particular comment, or misrepresenting
the substance of a comment. In these cases, please follow the procedure
above to request a correction.
Where did scribing come from, anyway?
Scribing was developed by the Berkman Center during the IFWP
meetings and has been a central part of the Berkman Center's webcasting
and remote participation services for ICANN since that time. Scribing
is also used in other Berkman Center projects, including
courses, special events, and internal meetings.