Re-introducing the CSCCE blog – An orientation to what’s here and how you can contribute!

CSCCE’s blog is a wealth of information on scientific community management. But, we realized, for many folks new to CSCCE, that information is somewhat buried in the archives. So, this week we decided to take a look back* at some of the blog posts we’ve** shared over the years, curating them so that you can easily find certain topics or collections, and invite you to add your thoughts as a guest blogger. 

A photo of dozens of books open to random pages. Some of them overlap.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
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September’s community call: Advocating for yourself to chart a career path

In August, we started a conversation about common challenges faced by community managers in STEM. On that community call, which also included an overview of our findings and recommendations from the CSCCE community manager case studies project, several participants noted that they often find themselves defending the importance of their work to leadership, human resources, and/or their community members. This challenge was connected to a lack of clarity around what it looks like to turn community management into a lifelong career; not only advocating for what you do today, but making a plan for where to go next.

So, this month we wanted to hold space to continue this conversation with an off-the-record community call co-moderated by members of the community of practice. This is a great opportunity not only to hear from others’ experiences, but also to help the community as a whole chart a path forward. 

Join us on Zoom at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC on Wednesday, 28 September (please note that this month’s call will not be recorded, but we will share a blog post recap afterwards with key learnings and resources).

September’s community call will focus on ways of advocating for your role and skillset in a range of settings, and charting a career path that meets your goals. Image credit: CSCCE
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Community calls coming up this fall: Being a community manager in STEM

Following on from our August community call, where we introduced some of the emerging trends from our forthcoming report on community manager roles, this fall we’ll be hosting a series of follow-on conversations to get at some of the challenges we identified. Each call will address at least one of the common challenges community managers face, and hold space for community reflection and feedback. 

In this blog post, you’ll find a brief summary of what to expect from each call, as well as dates and details so that you can add each call to your calendar. We’re still working out some of the details for this series, so if you see something that particularly resonates with you and you’d like to be involved as a speaker or panelist, please let us know by emailing info@cscce.org (note: you don’t have to be a member of our community of practice to contribute to our monthly calls). 

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August’s community call recap: Reflecting on the role of the community manager in STEM

This year we’ve been releasing community manager case studies: two-page interviews, each describing one of 25 community managers from across the STEM ecosystem. On this month’s community call, we shared some of the observations we’ve made as we’ve compared these case studies.

Next month we plan to publish a report that will describe the details of our analysis and make several recommendations for what’s needed to support the emerging community management profession, setting community managers, their communities, and their covening organizations up for success.

During the call, we also heard from two of the community managers who took part in the project, Connie Clare (Research Data Alliance) and Nathaniel Gore (PeerJ), and invited reflections and feedback from all of the participants on the call. We’re so grateful to everyone who came and shared their frank perspectives, and we plan on continuing the conversation on a future call later this year. Read on for a recap of the discussion, and watch the presentation portion of the call in the embedded video clips. 

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July’s community call: The evolving landscape of STEM community manager roles – findings from the CSCCE community manager case studies

POSTPONED UNTIL 17 AUGUST 2022

In this month’s call, CSCCE’s Lou Woodley, Katie Pratt, and Saima Sidik will be sharing what we’ve learned from interviewing 25 members of our community of practice about their work and the resultant case studies that we’ve been publishing over the past few months. We’re currently working on a report summarizing our findings, which we’ll preview on the call, as well as hold space for discussion about where we go from here. 

We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday 20 July 17 August at 3pm UTC / 11am EDT! Click here to join the Zoom call, or add to your Google or Outlook 365 calendar.

July’s community call will focus on community manager roles: Their commonalities and differences across the STEM ecosystem. Image credit: CSCCE
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March’s Community Call Recap: Community manager roles in STEM

The March community call focused on the different forms that community manager (CM) roles take across the STEM ecosystem. The agenda included presentations and reflection questions to guide the conversation, which covered career paths, professional development, and common challenges. 

To kick off the meeting, Lou Woodley spoke about CSCCE’s research program, highlighting our newest resource-creation project: STEM Community Manager Case Studies. Malin Sandström (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility) and Elisha Wood-Charlson (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) then described work they performed as CSCCE Community Engagement fellows to characterize CM positions. This work will feed into a new CSCCE working group, which will launch in April and continue studying scientific community manager roles.

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5 guiding questions to help you support community volunteers

On 3 March 2022, CSCCE Director Lou Woodley gave an invited talk for the Code for Science & Society Digital Infrastructure Incubator about best practices when engaging volunteer labor. Her 60-minute session included opportunities for participants to reflect on their own work with community volunteers, and how they might refine the support they offer to them in the future. 

With so many community managers in STEM looking to mobilize community members in a volunteer capacity, we thought we’d share an overview of Lou’s “5 guiding questions” for supporting unpaid contributions. 

Photo by ray sangga kusuma on Unsplash
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CSCCE Community Manager Case Studies – First one out today!

This week we released the first CSCCE Community Manager Case Study! Every Tuesday this Spring you can expect a new case study to drop; browse the collection and download your own copy of each one from our dedicated resource page

What is a Community Manager Case Study? 

These 2-page interviews ask scientific community managers a series of questions about their role, including day-to-day tasks, highlights and challenges, and how they view the importance of community building in STEM. They are very similar in structure to a series of interviews we conducted in 2016, when STEM community managers were relatively unknown, and are intended to showcase what it means to convene communities in a variety of scientific settings. 

On each case study you’ll also find a unique skills wheel signature for the community manager featured, which assesses how frequently they used 45 skills in 5 core competencies over the last 12 months. You can find out  more about the CSCCE Skills Wheel, created by the C3 project team of the CEFP 2017 cohort in our 2021 guidebook

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March’s community call: Exploring scientific community manager roles

The next CSCCE community call will take place on 16 March at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC (add to your calendar: Google | iCal). We’ll be talking about what it looks like to be a community manager in a variety of settings; from scientific societies to research collaborations and everything in between. 

We’ll also be talking about our newest resource, a series of community manager case studies that we’ll be releasing every Tuesday this Spring, starting on 9 March. And, we’ll hear from the C3 project team from CEFP 2017 as we kick off a new community working group building on their research. 

Read on for more information, or click here to join the Zoom call.

This month we’re focusing on what it looks like to be a community manager in STEM, and how the role varies depending on context. Image credit: CSCCE
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January’s community call recap: Project management tools for community managers

Our January call focused on project management tools and how they can streamline collaborations and improve efficiency. This post includes a summary of the call, as well as video clips of presentations from Lou Woodley (CSCCE; describing the tool Trello), Alycia Crall (the Carpentries; describing Asana), Anne Heberger Marino (Lean-To Collaborations, describing Mural), Ellen Dow (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, describing Todoist).

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