Invited experts

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Principles guiding invitations

Section of the W3C Process Document explains that W3C sometimes invites an individual with particular expertise to become a Invited Expert in a Group. The Team generally follows these principles when considering an application:

  1. Invited Expert status is normally granted to either independent individuals (i.e., individuals not significantly affiliated with business interests), or to academics affiliated with institutions of higher learning.
  2. Invited Expert status is not normally granted to individuals employed by organizations which have significant business interest in results from W3C. This might even include some not-for-profit organizations. Such organizations SHOULD join W3C.
  3. Under almost no circumstances will Invited Expert status be granted to an individual whose support comes from a financially solvent organization which has terminated its W3C membership.
  4. If the case is made that granting Invited Expert status to an individual supported by a "membership candidate" organization would enhance the chances that organization would join W3C, then a provisional 3-month or 6-month invitation might be issued.
  5. When an organization joins under the Introductory Industry Membership program, employees who are already Invited Experts may complete their terms as Invited Experts. Invited Expert status is not normally renewed for those employees, or granted to other employees of an Introductory Industry Member.


An individual becomes an Invited Expert in a group as follows:

  • The Chair(s) and Team Contact hold preliminary discussions with the individual.
  • The individual provides the information required of an Invited Expert as follows:
  • The Team Contact reviews the request. If participation in the Group requires W3C Member access, review of the application by W3C Management is required.
  • If the application is approved, the Team invites the individual to complete the procedure of formally joining the Group.

Member access to the W3C website

Only after an individual has accepted an invitation from the Team to participate in a Working or Interest Group as an Invited Expert, and only for groups where Member access is required, is that individual granted “Member access” to the W3C website.

Periodic review

The status of all Invited Experts is reviewed at least once a year, and may be reviewed more frequently, to ensure that information supplied on their application is still current (e.g., organizational affiliation, participation commitment, etc.)

For instance, in the event that an Invited Expert's circumstances have changed, such as an increase in the size of their organization, or a reduction in attendance or contribution to their Group, W3C may decide not to renew their invitation.

W3C Management reserves the right to discontinue an individual's Invited Expect status at any time.

W3C Invited Expert identity program

Public directory

The public W3C Invited Experts directory exposes a combination of W3C database information and information Invited Experts may enter via their W3C profile:

  • First and Last Name
  • Group(s) in which each Invited Expert is invited
  • Photo
  • GitHub icon linking to Github profile
  • Title
  • Biography

Note: Except the first two items, any information above may be customized and updated via the Invited Expert's W3C profile.

Restricted mailing list

W3C Invited Experts can interact via, a restricted archived mailing list. Subscription and unsubscription is automatic based on Invited Expert status. The web archive is available only to Members of the invited expert group and the W3C Team.

Note: In the absence of opt-out, individuals may rely on local mail filters.

Designated observer at W3C AC Meetings

To help W3C Invited Experts organize as a group of disparate individuals who may want to use a united voice to speak about some topic or other, W3C Invited Experts may designate one individual amongst themselves to attend as an observer the W3C Advisory Committee Meetings which take place twice a year. That non-voting individual represents the interests of W3C Invited Experts and is allowed to summarize and bring back information, keeping in mind that AC Meetings are member-confidential.

To that effect, a straw-man proposal is for the designated Invited Expert to self-declare to who subscribes them to, the member-only archived mailing list for discussion among W3C Advisory Committee Members and the Advisory Board on matters of relevance to W3C.

Becoming a W3C Member

Becoming W3C Members benefits the overall work that W3C does, and in doing so, W3C Members drive the direction of core web technology and exchange ideas with industry and research leaders.

In the event that your circumstances have changed, such as an increase in the size of your organization, please consider transitioning by becoming a W3C Member. You may get in touch with the W3C Business Development team.