CSCCE’s Community Profiles Project: First round of profiles now out!

Today we’re launching the first outputs from a project that we’ve been working on this year to better characterize communities in science – and to support scientific community managers, their leadership, and funders to meaningfully compare some of the current activities taking place across the broad landscape of STEM community projects.

The CSCCE community profiles project has resulted in the creation of an initial collection of 13 community profiles – two page PDFs capturing core features of each community from staffing to programming and funding sources. We collected the data using a custom, detailed survey and then translated what we found to a standardized profile template, which was specifically created for this project. The resulting profiles, which incorporate CSCCE’s own frameworks for describing communities and community member engagement, allow easy comparison between different scientific communities. 

In this post we introduce the rationale for the project and highlight the first 13 profiles. In Thursday’s post, we outline how the project was carried out.

Why do we need community profiles?

The word “community” has been broadly adopted by many organizations to describe groups that range from newsletter recipients to highly active working groups. And these configurations may reflect different goals, stages of maturity, and levels of community management support. This can make it hard for you as a community manager or senior manager to know what’s possible with the resources you have available.

To help to address this we devised a detailed survey to learn more about specific communities – and then translated the responses into a two-page, graphical profile which are free to download from our resource repository. 

By downloading and viewing the profiles relevant to you, we hope that you can see at a glance how certain communities are operating, and compare and contrast their community structure, staffing level, outputs, and other facets. Later this Fall, we will also be releasing a meta-analysis of this project, to highlight some initial trends we have observed across scientific communities. 

13 new profiles to describe communities within science

Today we’re sharing a first round of community profiles, which highlight the following scientific communities:  

I’m interested in having a profile about my community

This is just the first phase of a continuing set of activities as we work to make visible the work of scientific community managers, to share frameworks to discuss scientific community building and to highlight priority areas for further work. If you’re interested in working with CSCCE staff to create a profile for your community, please fill in this quick form and we’ll get back to you once we’re ready to start phase two (likely to be at the end of this year).

Linking together CSCCE’s materials

Finally, one of the reasons we’re especially excited about this project is that it enables us to continue linking together our frameworks and language across the resources we create and materials we teach. Last month, we launched the CSCCE community participation model to describe the different types of member engagement within STEM communities – that model forms part of the programming section of our profiles. And the profiles themselves will now form some of the course materials for our brand new community engagement fundamentals course, piloting this fall.

We’ve more to come as we continue building out our resources to support scientific community builders – let us know how the materials are useful in your own work!

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the CSCCE community profiles working group and Sara Kobilka, an independent consultant who worked with us on this project. Our beautiful profile templates were designed by C&G Partners. 

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