Re-introducing the CSCCE blog – An orientation to what’s here and how you can contribute!

CSCCE’s blog is a wealth of information on scientific community management. But, we realized, for many folks new to CSCCE, that information is somewhat buried in the archives. So, this week we decided to take a look back* at some of the blog posts we’ve** shared over the years, curating them so that you can easily find certain topics or collections, and invite you to add your thoughts as a guest blogger. 

A photo of dozens of books open to random pages. Some of them overlap.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
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New section of the CSCCE glossary focuses on virtual events

One of the many resources we curate here on the CSCCE website is a glossary of terms related to community management in STEM. We’ve just added another 60 terms, all related to running virtual events! 

This list of new glossary terms was co-created with members of our community of practice during our May 2022 community call. We’ve added them to our searchable glossary, and you can also download a PDF of the collection from Zenodo. 

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New tip sheets on planning and launching community champions programs!

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.

Image credit: CSCCE. Citation: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) The CSCCE Community Participation Model – Exploring the Champion mode. Woodley and Pratt doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5275270
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February’s community call recap: Creating scaffolding to support your community

February’s community call focused on how scaffolding influences engagement and inclusion in communities. The call coincided with the release of the third installment of The CSCCE Community Participation Model guidebook, which described what scaffolding is and why it matters. And, as a gesture of gratitude and love to our community members in Valentine’s week, we also updated a number of our CC BY licensed scaffolding PDFs and created easily-adapted Google doc versions to support the creation of scaffolding across the STEM ecosystem.  

We spent time on the call discussing and exploring these resources and the challenges community managers face when trying to create and/or socialize scaffolding in their communities, as well as coworking to create, adapt, and update materials. In this post, we recap some of the key points that came up during our community conversation. 

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Scaffolding for healthy communities: New CSCCE guidebook out today!

Today we released the third part in our series of guidebooks that explore CSCCE’s Community Participation Model. It focuses on scaffolding – the items that complement programming to lower barriers to participation and support multiple modes of member engagement in a community. 

You can download a copy of the guidebook for free here, and read on for an overview of what scaffolding is and why you need it. 

Photo by Reto Simonet on Unsplash
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Opportunities to co-create with CSCCE in 2022

Co-creating resources with members of our community of practice is an important part of what we do here at CSCCE. It adds depth and breadth to the resources we publish while also being an opportunity for members to both gain a citable publication and give back to the community. In many cases, working on a CSCCE project also leads to new professional connections and working relationships that persist long after we publish the final product. 

So, as we continue our series of forward-looking blog posts, we’re thinking about the co-creating and collaboration opportunities that will exist over the next few months. If any of these opportunities pique your interest, let us know by emailing info@cscce.org

Co-create with us! Photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash
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New CSCCE resource explores the role of champions in building and sustaining communities in STEM

Our latest guidebook explores the importance of supporting and encouraging the work of community champions, emergent leaders who take on additional roles within a community to ensure its success. The guidebook builds on our Community Participation Model, which describes how community members engage with community programming and the ways community managers can design activities and events that meet members where they are. It forms part two in a growing series of foundational resources, with more to come later this year.

What is a community champion? 

We define a community champion as: 

​​​​An emergent leadership role within a community in which a community member takes on more responsibility for the success, sustainability, and/or running of the community.

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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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New guidebook completes CSCCE’s core resource on using virtual events to facilitate community building in STEM

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of intentionality and good planning in making the most of virtual gatherings. Whether engaging in ideation sessions, report outs, networking, project planning or seminars, we’ve seen how careful choices ahead of the event and thoughtful facilitation during and afterwards can lead to more enjoyable and inclusive experiences for everyone in the virtual room.

To support this transition online, over the course of the last year CSCCE has published a series of resources to help community managers and event organizers – including tip sheets, guidebooks and write-ups of different tools. Today we’re pleased to share a new guidebook and a new series of mini-workshops to continue that support. 

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