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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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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New community profiles collection in collaboration with the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Wilson Center

Today we’re releasing the first few CSCCE Community Profiles in a new collection we’ve created in collaboration with the Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) at the Wilson Center. The collection was initiated to understand more about how communities involved in the hardware and open science ecosystem operate, as well as the ways in which they are connected. In this blog post, we share the goals of the project, what to expect over the next few weeks, and how you can work with us to create community profiles for your own domain or project. 

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July’s community call: Adding to the collection of CSCCE community profiles

Our July community call focused on one of CSCCE’s ongoing research projects: Creating scientific community profiles. We heard from Lou Woodley and Katie Pratt, who led the project, as well as three of the scientific community managers who took part in the project. In this blog post we briefly recap why we’re doing this work, what’s coming in the next few months, and share videos of the three community manager presentations. 

If you are interested in creating a profile for your community, please let us know by filling out this short form

A selection of some of our newest community profiles. Image credit: CSCCE
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Announcing a second collection of scientific community profiles! A year in the life of 14 STEM communities

This week we published 14 new community profiles in our growing collection that describes different STEM communities. Each profile is a free-to-download infographic that provides a snapshot of the community’s structure and programming, as well as a look at its outputs, challenges, and plans for the future. 

These profiles are part of a research project we began last year, to provide a resource to describe and discuss STEM communities – and inspire community managers, senior managers and funders alike about the possibilities of community-based projects. In addition to 13 profiles created in 2020, we are conducting a meta-analysis to investigate trends observed across the dataset, as well as building out additional resources to complement the collection. 

Some of the profiles included in our newest collection. Image credit: CSCCE
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July’s Community Call: CSCCE community profiles round two

This month, we’re showcasing a new collection of community profiles on our community call, and have invited four of the community managers who took part in this project to share their experiences. Join us on Wednesday, 21 July 2021 via Zoom, and read on for more details about the call. 

Join us to learn more about research into STEM communities. Image credit: the CSCCE. 

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January’s community call recap: (Personal) Resilience and Community (Management)

For January’s community call we focused on resilience. The topic of this year’s Community Manager Advancement Day, resilience is particularly important for scientific community managers, who tend to be prone to burnout due to busy and somewhat ambiguous roles, which require rapid switching between a broad range of skills. In addition, scientific community managers often work alone, behind the scenes, and with limited institutional support.

Following two prior presentations on resilience for CSCCE fellows, CEFP 2017 alumna Jennifer Davison agreed to share her talk with the entire community. You can watch Jen’s presentation in full below, or read on for a brief recap. Also in this post, a collection of tips for building a personal resilience practice gathered from the participants in the call, and a host of resources from blog posts to books to podcasts.

…resilience is seen as the capacity to withstand change for some time but also, past a certain point, to transform while continuing or regaining the ability to provide essential functions, services, amenities, or qualities.

Moser, 2008
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What does a scientific community manager do? Check out the CSCCE Skills Wheel and accompanying guidebook!

Our newest resource, the CSCCE Skills Wheel and guidebook, is out this week. Created by the C3 project team of the 2017 CEFP cohort, the wheel defines 45 skills used in varying degrees by scientific community managers, laying out a common language and framework for hiring, professional development, and personal fulfillment.

About the C3 project

As part of CSCCE’s Community Engagement Fellowship Program (CEFP), fellows self-organize into small groups to take on a research or resource-development project. The Catalyzing Cultural Change (C3) team, Jennifer Davison, Andreas Leidolf, Malin Sandström, Elisha Wood-Charlson, and Lou Woodley, wanted to define the skills and core competencies for scientific community engagement managers, while also understanding how these roles are positioned within different types of scientific communities or organizations.

To do this, they compared the skills listed in a range of scientific community manager job descriptions, surveyed scientific community managers within the 2017 CEFP cohort, and, along with additional literature research, created the CSCCE skills wheel.

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