Over the coming months we’ll be exploring a number of metaphors about community management that can support conversations about specific concepts and common challenges in a creative and free-flowing manner.
You can read more about the series in our overview post. For each metaphor, there will be a blog post describing the metaphor and several additional posts applying it to specific scenarios. This post is the second in a series of four posts dissecting the house party metaphor.
We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, 22 November at 11am EST / 4pm UTC when we’ll be discussing the house party metaphor on our monthly community call!
Over the last few months, we’ve been working with Josh Gottesman and Leslie Kirsch at the Michael J Fox Foundation to plan a new online community of practice intended to support conversations about the sharing and reuse of data related to Parkinson’s Disease Research.
As is the norm for many community projects, we’ve been taking a phased approach to the launch of this Data Community of Practice (DCoP) – working to understand the needs of the nascent community and then identifying a small group of community champions to help test the online platform and seed initial conversations before opening the community to a wider membership.
In this blog post, we share more about how we supported MJFF through member research, the selection and design of a new online community platform, resource creation and scaffolding for their new Data Community Innovators (DCIs) program, and the planning and hosting of a DCI kick-off meeting at MJFF’s offices in NYC.
How do you measure the impact of a community champions program? This was the central question of a working session at CZI’s Accelerating Open Science in Latin America workshop, convened by rOpenSci’s Community Manager Yani Bellini Saibene and attended by CSCCE’s Founder and Director, Lou Woodley.
Measuring the impact of any kind of community program presents a series of challenges :
What is the impact that you’re hoping your program will have?
Is the impact you hope the program will have something that can be measured?
What types of instruments can be used to measure impact? (e.g., surveys, focus groups, etc.)
How many times can you reasonably ask your participants to give feedback?
How do you (or can you?) reliably follow up with participants months or even years after a program has concluded?
A new paper published today in Nature Microbiology, co-authored by CSCCE staff members Camille Santistevan and Lou Woodley, reports on the success of the National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) Ambassador Program.
The success of this pilot cohort of NMDC Ambassadors highlights the outsized impact community champions programs can have in culture change initiatives that rely on a change in community norms – in this case, the definition and adoption of metadata standards to aid the reuse of microbiome data. In this blog post, we offer a high-level overview of the project, but we encourage you to read the new paper, which is available here.
For our November call, the theme was working with volunteers. Yanina Bellini Saibene (rOpenSci) moderated a discussion between Saranjeet Kaur (RSE Asia Association) and Melissa Mendonça (NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and Pandas) with brief comments from Yared Abera Ergu (The Carpentries in Africa). The panelists addressed a range of topics including:
The types of volunteer positions available in their communities
What motivates their volunteers
Problems with common approaches to volunteer labor and potential solutions
In this blog post, we provide brief descriptions of the panelists’ and facilitator’s backgrounds and summarize their thoughts on these three topics.
Today we’re releasing the remaining five tip sheets in a nine-part series on launching and running community champions programs. These publications are an output of the CSCCE community champions programs working group, and were co-created with members of that working group in writing sprints during the Spring of 2022.
In this blog post, we revisit the first four tip sheets in the series as we summarize the whole collection, essential reading for anyone interested in mobilizing emerging leaders in their community.
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.
CSCCE is wrapping up a project with the National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) to support their inaugural cohort of NMDC Ambassadors, who are raising awareness and adoption of metadata standards.
The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) is an open science platform through which scientists can deposit and find microbiome data. NMDC staff are working to support the adoption of FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data and metadata practices by the researchers who use their platform. One of the ways they are doing this is through the establishment of a champions program: the NMDC Ambassadors program.
Champions programs are ways of empowering emergent leaders within a community to take on additional roles and push forward the mission of the community. At CSCCE, we regularly work with clients on what an effective ambassadors program might look like in their context, and off support and best practices for getting a program off the ground.
The CSCCE training team took to the virtual road in mid-March to work with the current cohort of eLife Ambassadors. In two, 90-minute sessions tailored to the eLife Ambassadors program, Lou Woodley and Camille Santistevan are sharing best practices and actionable tactics for STEM community engagement.
About the eLife Ambassadors
The eLife Ambassadors program was created to “enable early-stage researchers to build lasting support networks and to help them innovate solutions and work together to overcome the many barriers and issues that their research communities face.” [See the current call for applications for next year’s program].
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.
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