In 2016 we carried out a survey of over 100 scientific community professionals to determine more about their career paths to date, their skill sets and challenges.
For this survey we partnered with The Community Roundtable, who generously let us use and adapt their State of Community Management survey question bank which they use each year to look at corporate communities.
Our findings in brief
- Scientific community managers – often self-taught with a PhD – Almost two-thirds of scientific community managers that we surveyed have a PhD – and the same number are self-taught in terms of their community management skills.
- A closer look at the funding landscape for scientific community managers – funding for scientific community managers tends to vary depending on the type of organization their working for. Those with indefinite funding work for professional associations or in administrative roles in higher education.
- Exploring scientific community managers’ skill sets – engagement skills rank as the most important – but more experienced scientific community managers do more strategic tasks, less engagement.
- Online platforms are still making inroads in scientific communities -72% of respondents describe their organizations’ community platforms as either a distributed set of online tools without a primary platform, or as a dedicated online space that’s not integrated with other channels or business systems.
- How community managers shape activity planning – Community managers tend to result in more strategic, more regular programming – and online activities that invite member participation.
- Scientific community managers’ top challenges and training needs – prioritizing the number of tasks to do was the biggest challenge for survey respondents while they wanted training in communication planning and strategy development.
RELATED CSCCE training
We discuss our survey data as part of our trainings in scientific community management (including our latest community profiles project to better characterize scientific communities). Please get in touch if you’d like us to present on this to your organization.