Considering Community: What types of community are there? (Science edition – part three)

In one of my early Considering Community posts I outlined several broad types of community – from communities of interest to communities of circumstance – and I mused on whether the different types might use online tools distinctly.

In reflecting recently on the different communities represented in the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program that I run, I realised that it’s time to dive a little deeper on this topic – considering some of the different configurations of community specifically within science. 

In this first post on the topic, I discussed professional societies for scientists and what I call infrastructure or “halo” organisations. In part two I considered research collaborations. In part three I’m going to discuss communities of practice.

Learning together – a key element of a community of practice.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/deankts/14070816410/

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Considering Community: What’s community engagement within science – and why does it matter?

Back in November 2015, AAAS announced the new AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program, for which I’m the program director. At that time I answered some great questions from Matt Shipman on the Communication Breakdown blog.

I’ve pulled out some of my key comments about how I became involved with community management and how we’re defining community engagement within science as this has come up in conversation several times recently. For my more recent thinking about types of communities within science, see my ongoing series of posts.

How to build community? Image by Flickr user Niall Kennedy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/40727794

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Considering Community: What types of community are there? (Science edition – part two)

In one of my early Considering Community posts I outlined several broad types of community – from communities of interest to communities of circumstance – and I mused on whether the different types might use online tools distinctly.

In reflecting recently on the different communities represented in the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program that I run, I realised that it’s time to dive a little deeper on this topic – considering some of the different configurations of community specifically within science. 

In this first post on the topic, I discussed professional societies for scientists and what I call infrastructure or “halo” organisations. In part two I’m going to consider research collaborations.

Putting the pieces together.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stoneysteiner/5999358838/

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Collaborative technologies – facilitating how we do work together

The original version of this post first appeared on the Trellis blog.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Science of Team Science (SciTS) conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida where I took part in a couple of sessions, and moderated a third. Here I’m going to share some reflections from the first session which focused on collaborative technologies for academic collaborations.

Illustration from Think Quarterly by Matt Taylor

The uses of collaborative tools

The first activity that we used to open the session involved gathering the names of current online tools and grouping them into 5 broad categories. The categories, suggested by workshop co-organiser Ryan Watkins, covered different reasons for using online tools. I’ve listed each below, with my interpretation added alongside:

  • Project management and communications – tools that allow users to organize and communicate with one another about their group-based work.
  • Sense-making – tools that enable discussion and idea sharing that leads to participants forming or refining their knowledge and beliefs about topics.
  • Knowledge sharing – tools that enable the dissemination of information.
  • Acquisition of knowledge – tools that enable active searching for information or passively receiving updates about new information.
  • Data analysis – tools that enable the sharing and computation of raw data.

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Considering Community: What types of community are there? (Science edition, part one)

In one of my early Considering Community posts I outlined several broad types of community – from communities of interest to communities of circumstance – and I mused on whether the different types might use online tools distinctly.

In reflecting recently on the different communities represented in the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program that I run, I realised that it’s time to dive a little deeper on this topic – considering some of the different configurations of community specifically within science. 

In this first post on the topic, I discuss professional societies for scientists and what I call infrastructure or “halo” organisations. For each, I raise some questions to consider when pondering the role of the community manager to build connections among members.

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Why do academics use academic social networking sites?

The original version of this post first appeared on the Trellis blog.

Earlier this week in a panel discussion about technology for academic collaboration at the Science of Team Science conference, I mentioned a recent paper, which asks “Why do academics use academic social networking sites?” The paper presents the results of a survey of 81 researchers at three Israeli institutes who were asked about their motivations for using ResearchGate and Academia.edu.

The survey draws upon the Uses and Gratifications theory from the field of media studies for its research questions – exploring whether the five broad motivations for media consumers may also apply to academics that use online professional networks. Here we outline that theory and then highlight some of the findings from the paper.

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