CSCCE Open-Source Tools Trial 3 Recap: OpenReview

The third Tools Trial in our open-source series focused on OpenReview – an open-source platform that supports open peer review, primarily for conference abstracts but with the ability to be customized and applied to other situations. OpenReview PI Andrew McCallum and Senior Software Engineer Melisa Bok joined us to share some history about the platform, along with a demo of some of its key features. 

We’re working on a series of tip sheets to consolidate much of the technical learnings from the entire series of Tools Trials, but in the meantime, if you missed the call you can watch the recordings and read a brief recap of the call below. 

You can also read/watch recaps of Tools Trial 1, which highlighted various ways of using GitHub to support community activities, and Tools Trial 2, which focused on tools to support events. 

Our next Tools Trial in this series will take place on Wednesday, 11 October at 10am EDT / 2pm UTC. We will be returning to GitHub, with presentations about how the Zarr community uses it to collaborate on technical documentation, how Rosetta uses GitHub teams to manage contributors, and how the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics team uses Bitergia to measure contributor analytics. More information | Add to calendar

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Exploring OpenReview and its various applications – CSCCE Open-Source Tools Trial 3

In the third Tools Trial of our series focused on open-source tools for community building, we’re taking a look at OpenReview, an open-source platform that supports open peer review, primarily for conference abstracts. Andrew McCallum and Melisa Bok from OpenReview will be joining us to take us through the key features of the platform, and CSCCE’s Emily Lescak will share an overview of some of the different ways it has been used in STEM communities – including for reviewing grants, and program applications. 

Tools Trial Info: 

  • Date: Thursday, 28 September 2023
  • Time: 11am EDT / 3pm UTC
  • Speakers: Andrew McCallum and Melisa Bok (OpenReview), and Emily Lescak (CSCCE)
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  • Zoom link to join  

You can find all Tools Trials announcements and recap blog posts on the CSCCE blog – including a summary of the first Trial in this series which focused on GitHub

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Facilitating community activities using Github – CSCCE Open-Source Tools Trial 1

In the first Tools Trial of this new series exploring open-source tools that support community building in STEM, we’re going to take a look at three use cases for how Github repositories can be used to facilitate community collaborations.

Github is one of THE platforms for open-source software developers, a place where they share code, fix errors, and suggest new features. However, you don’t need to be an expert developer to reap some of Github’s benefits as a place to manage distributed collaborations “out in the open.” – and indeed many OS community managers have found ways of using the platform to meet their coordination needs, and meet their members where they’re already working.

In this Trial, we’ll start with a short intro to Github in case you’re new to the platform. Then, we’ll hear how three different communities, Data Umbrella, The Turing Way, and rOpenSci, are connecting and collaborating in Github to create a community-sourced blog, organize community events, and plan engaging community calls, respectively. There will be plenty of time for Q&A and discussion, so come prepared to engage with our speakers! 

Tools Trial Info: 

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Investigating open-source community platforms – CSCCE Tools Trials return!

Online platforms are continually appearing and evolving, and as a community manager it can feel like a constant effort to stay up to date with what’s out there. We started CSCCE Tools Trials in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic instigated a large-scale shift to online convening, as a way of working together to figure out how best to use online tools for community building. And we’re bringing them back (again!) to gain a deeper understanding of the range of open-source tools that support communication and connection in STEM. 

Starting in August, with the support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we’ll be convening a series of Tools Trials to explore various community-focused OS platforms (think Github, Jitsi, or Mastodon). And we’d love to hear from you if you would be interested in sharing your experience convening STEM communities using open-source tools, or if there are specific tools that you are interested in learning more about. Please email if you would like to get involved. 

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May Community Call Recap – Discourse Tools Trial

Whether you’re a new community manager tasked with standing up an online space for your members, or you’re just not happy with the platform you’ve been using for years and need to find a new one, picking the right software or application for your community is a big deal.

There are a number of different tools available, all with their own features, quirks, and costs, and it can be daunting to get started with your market research, budgeting, and, eventually, implementation. That’s where CSCCE tools trials come in! In 2020 and 2021 they were a semi-regular event as communities necessarily embraced online connection – and now they’re more of a pop-up event as needs arise. 

At this month’s community call/tools trial, thanks to a thread that took off in the CSCCE Community of Practice Slack, we took a closer look at Discourse. Discourse is an open-source community discussion platform that can be tailored to meet the needs of a range of communities. A brief tour of the platform by CSCCE’s Maya Sanghvi was followed by two demos from members of the CSCCE Community of practice: Andra Stratton (Program Manager for the Rare as One Network at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative) and Isaac Farley (Technical Support Manager at Crossref). 

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April Community Call Recap – A conversation about the future of STEM communities online

This month’s “salon-style” call focused on the changing landscape of social media, and how STEM professionals are engaging (or not) on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Lou and Katie created a loose scaffold to facilitate the call, drawing on their many, many years of life online, and we thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that unfolded. 

We did not record this month’s call, so that everyone who participated could feel comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences, and this recap is intentionally free of identifying information. We’ve also collected the resources shared on the call at the end of this post – from books to blog posts to suggestions of people to follow – so scroll on to find out more! 

Photo by Roxanne Desgagnés on Unsplash
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April’s Community Call – The internet is breaking – what’s next for building community online?

The last few years have seen a shift in how people behave online. More and more, we see individuals announcing that they will leave this platform or that, either for new websites or for a life lived less online. Relatedly, spaces that are more private are increasingly replacing public ones for conference back channels and subject-specific discussions. While these changes may be understandable, as community managers, this shift away from sharing and connecting in public forums presents very real challenges. 

During this month’s salon-style community call, we will investigate how the upheavals in social media platforms (and how people engage with them) are impacting community-building activities online. Please come ready to share your experiences and opinions, as well as any ideas you have for what’s next. This month’s call will not be recorded, but a recap blog post will be made available shortly after. 

Date: Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Time: 11am EDT / 3pm UTC

Zoom link to join: click here

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A blue graphic with umbel flowers in the background. White text reads "The internet is breaking- what's next for building community online?"
How do we engage members on social media when social media networks are less and less places people want to be? Image credit: CSCCE.
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April’s community call: Community/Customer Relationship Management platforms

Our April call will focus on the pros and cons of various Community/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, and what a “perfect” community relationship management platform might look like. 

We’ll hear from three members of our community of practice who are using different tools, and spend some time brainstorming to create a requirements document of all the things we’d like to be able to do as community managers with a similar platform. 

Join us via Zoom on Wednesday, 20 April at 11am US EDT / 3pm UTC

Add to your calendar: iCal | Google

This month we’re taking a look at how you can use CRMs to support community management. Image credit: CSCCE
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CSCCE to work with Bioconductor on a new grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

As part of the latest cycle of grants under the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)’s Essential Open Source Software for Science program, CSCCE will be working with the software nonprofit Bioconductor as they develop a new training program and community platform for their users. 

About Bioconductor 

Bioconductor is built on the R programming language, and is an open source platform for the statistical analysis of genomic datasets. 

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CSCCE Community Tools Trial 2.0 Recap: Virtual networking events

In late February, we relaunched our Community Tools Trials. This time around we’ve adjusted the format to provide the time and space to solve a specific challenge related to hosting online events each month, by pooling the diverse experiences and knowledge of the members of our community of practice. 

Our earlier tools trials, “Tools Trials 1.0,” took a methodical approach to testing a variety of events platforms, with a primary focus on how the tool worked and what kinds of events it would be suited to (you can read our recap blog posts here). This series, however, “Tools Trials 2.0,” is putting the specific use case first, and then figuring out a solution (or choice of solutions!) that is engaging, inclusive, and accessible. 

The first of the 2.0 series took place on 25 February 2021, and focused on virtual networking events. Community member Rachael Ainsworth of the Software Sustainability Institute wanted to test out an icebreaker idea with a sizable group, as well as have a larger discussion about what icebreakers work online, what platforms are out there, and how different users might experience the event. 

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