New tip sheets on planning and launching community champions programs!

Today we published four tip sheets intended to help you plan and launch a community champions program. They were co-created by CSCCE staff and members of our champions programs working group, and complement the champions guidebook that we released last year. 

Ultimately, these four tip sheets will be joined by five more, each one illustrating one of the nine stages of community champions programs described in the guidebook (and shown below). Read on to find out more about champions, champions programs, and how they maintain, grow, and evolve communities in STEM.

Image credit: CSCCE. Citation: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) The CSCCE Community Participation Model – Exploring the Champion mode. Woodley and Pratt doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5275270
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It’s Community Manager Advancement Day! Some ideas to hone your skills and grow your professional network with CSCCE

Today is Community Manager Advancement Day (CMAD), and this year the focus is on professional development for community managers! 

What is CMAD?

If this is the first you’re hearing about the annual celebration of community managers, a little background. CMAD was created in 2010 by Jeremiah Owyang, a technology professional specializing in the intersection of technology and human behavior. Community members are encouraged to send messages of thanks to their community manager (using the hashtags #CMAD and #CMGR), and organizations that support community managers often host events or release resources to mark the occasion and explore the year’s theme (for example, last year we hosted a community call on 2021’s CMAD theme of resilience). 

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Opportunities to co-create with CSCCE in 2022

Co-creating resources with members of our community of practice is an important part of what we do here at CSCCE. It adds depth and breadth to the resources we publish while also being an opportunity for members to both gain a citable publication and give back to the community. In many cases, working on a CSCCE project also leads to new professional connections and working relationships that persist long after we publish the final product. 

So, as we continue our series of forward-looking blog posts, we’re thinking about the co-creating and collaboration opportunities that will exist over the next few months. If any of these opportunities pique your interest, let us know by emailing info@cscce.org

Co-create with us! Photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash
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October’s community call recap – Supporting community champions and running champions programs

Our October call focused on the role of community champions in creating engaged, welcoming, and productive communities. This post includes a summary of the call, as well as video clips of presentations from Vanessa Fairhurst (Crossref Ambassadors program), Iratxe Puebla (ASAPbio Fellows program), and Ailís O’Carroll (eLife Community Ambassadors program). 

Our next call will take place on 17 November 2021 at 4pm UTC / 11am EST (note: upcoming daylight savings time changes may affect the time of this call in your region). We’ll be focusing on community governance models. iCal | Google Calendar

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April’s community call recap – An update on CSCCE community programming

Keeping our members regularly updated so that they can make informed decisions about where and when to engage is a core part of our communications strategy, and for our April 2021 community call we shared a quarterly update to make visible various things that have been happening so far this year. In this post, we give a summary of our community programming and related community projects over the last few months, as well as a sneak peek at what’s coming up over the summer. We will be sharing more information about our paid training offerings and sustainability planning, which we also discussed in the call, in future blog posts. 

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First Birthday Series: CSCCE working groups and special interest groups

For our “First Birthday Series” of blog posts, we are taking some time to reflect on CSCCE’s community of practice, which turned one year old on 21 October 2020. Our first post summarized the community “by the numbers,” then we delved a little deeper into our programming offerings, and last week we discussed our resources and the importance of co-creating together. In this post, jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley, we take a look at the scaffolding needed to support working groups and special interest groups – and review what ours have done so far.  

The rationale for working groups and special interest groups

Why might a community decide to establish working groups and/or special interest groups? In an earlier post we discussed community-level programming – activities that are general enough that they are designed to be of interest and value to all members and to create opportunities to get to know one another and identify commonalities. However, within any large enough community, there will also be differentiation into sub-groups who want to focus more deeply on a specific topic – perhaps as an area of professional development or something that supplements a project they need to deliver in their own community role. This differentiation into sub-groups also creates opportunities for emerging leaders within a community – those who are highly engaged and wish to take on more responsibility for advancing the overall mission of the community. It’s this combination of scaling, through the activities and empowerment of these emergent leaders, and dedicated group work that greatly enhances the ability of any community to make progress towards its overall mission. For these activities to be successful, community management is nonetheless needed to support emergent leaders and their groups in their activities.

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Announcing a new CSCCE working group – Community champions programs!

This week we’re launching a new CSCCE working group – for any STEM community managers planning or supporting community champions programs. 

What are community champions programs?

As a community manager, chances are you spend a significant amount of your time operating at the “whole community” level – devising shared programming such as community calls and also creating newsletters and other reinforcing communications to keep the group informed and aligned around the various programming and activities.

While that community-level alignment is crucially important, a community moves forward its mission when members are empowered to take on emergent leadership roles – which enables the community to grow, become more sustainable, and to advance specific projects together via working groups and other smaller-group activities. In the CSCCE Community Participation Model (see image below) we refer to this mode of member engagement as the CHAMPION mode – and we’re working to develop our own champion infrastructure as well as working with other communities such as The Carpentries to develop theirs.

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CSCCE’s Community Participation Guidelines now available

This week we’re thrilled to share CSCCE’s Community Participation Guidelines with our community. These guidelines are the result of several months of careful consideration, and were co-created by members of our community of practice in a dedicated working group. 

In this post, we, the members of that working group, outline our process. Over the coming weeks, we’ll also share additional blog posts in which we reflect on some of the nuances of preparing community participation guidelines. We are doing this for two reasons: We want you to know how we ended up here, and we want our experience to assist you as you develop similar guidelines for your community. 

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to info@cscce.org

The CSCCE core values, which informed our community participation guidelines. Image credit: CSCCE
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September’s Community Call Recap – Community Profiles: What they are, how we made them, and who they serve

On this month’s community call we unveiled the first round of our community profiles, with Lou and independent contractor Sara Kobilka presenting the goals and methodology of our research. We also heard from three members of our community who took part in the study, and how their profiles helped them think about their communities, and their engagement strategies, in new ways.

Our community profiles project aims to inspire and connect scientific community managers, and begin to standardize terminology surrounding communities in STEM. Image credit: CSCCE
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CSCCE’s Community Profiles Project: How did we do it?

In out last blog post, we announced the release of 13 new “Community Profiles,” created by CSCCE staff in collaboration with independent contractor, Sara Kobilka. In this post, which was co-authored with Sara, we delve a little deeper into our methodology. 

Survey Design

As we began the survey design process we worked to balance multiple considerations. First, we wanted something as complete as possible. Lou created the first version of the survey with the goal of collecting information about communities that scientific community managers had previously expressed interest in learning about – such as funding models, staffing, and online collaboration tools. At the same time, we didn’t want to make the survey too onerous for community managers to complete.

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