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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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.

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September’s Community Call: Community Profiles

September’s community call will take place on Wednesday, 23 September at 6pm UTC (2pm US Eastern Time) and will center around the release of CSCCE’s Community Profiles. After an overview of the project, we’ll also hear from some of the community managers who participated in this pilot research study.

Join September’s call to learn more about CSCCE’s Community Profiles research project. Image credit: CSCCE
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Scientific community managers’ top challenges and training needs

In our series of posts about results of the State of Scientific Community Management survey we’ve looked into what types of organizations are home to scientific communities, examined their communication channels and ways of planning activities, and analyzed scientific community managers’ backgrounds, skill sets, and how their positions are funded.

In our final blog post about survey results, we return to the topic of community managers’ skill sets, focusing on their top challenges and the areas where they want more training.

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How scientific community managers shape activity planning

We’re back with more insight from the State of Scientific Community Management survey. Previous posts have explored aspects of the community management position, the nature of the organizations where communities are found, and features of the communities themselves such as their communication channels.

In this post we look at three findings about program and activity planning in communities. Read on to see how having a community manager leads to activities that are more frequent, strategically planned, and participatory.

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Online platforms are still making inroads in scientific communities

In previous posts about our State of Scientific Community Management survey, we’ve explored what types of scientific organizations have communities and we’ve described features of scientific community managers’ training and skill sets and their funding.

Today, we’re looking at some properties of the actual communities: their communication channels and platforms. Read on to find out about online versus offline communication channels and the adoption of online community platforms.

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Exploring scientific community managers’ skill sets

So far, our analysis of the State of Scientific Community Management survey has addressed scientific community managers’ education and training, the types of organizations that hire them, and the funding landscape for community management.

In this post we explore the skillsets that scientific community managers rely on in their current roles. We asked our survey respondents to rate the importance of 5 key skill sets, originally delineated by The Community Roundtable for the broader field of community management outside science. Read on to learn about which skill set ranks highest, and how the rankings change depending on seniority.

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A closer look at the funding landscape for scientific community managers

Through the State of Scientific Community Management survey we’ve collected data on all facets of the field. So far we’ve looked at scientific community managers’ education and training and identified which types of organizations are hiring them. We’ve also learned that insufficient funding is the number one reason why organizations lack community managers.

Today, we’re following up on this finding by digging a little deeper into the picture of funding for community managers. Read on for 3 key findings.

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Scientific community managers: often self-taught with a science PhD

Having received over 100 responses, we’ve begun analyzing the State of Scientific Community Management Survey. Read on for more details of some of the trends we’ve seen so far.

If you’re working to build communities within science and haven’t yet taken the survey, we’re leaving it open a little longer, so please do add your data points to the overall picture.

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