Society partners to launch a portal for community science

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A movement has been growing to advance collaborative, multi-disciplinary and solutions-oriented scientific work done in close partnership with community leaders and community members. This type of work with deeper collaborations is essential to address diverse societal challenges, meet sustainability goals, and help society mitigate and adapt to climate change at all scales. In turn, developing deeper collaborations with communities improves science, strengthens its support and deepens understanding of its value.

To support that movement, five leading societies—the American Anthropological Association (AAA), American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Meteorological Society (AMS), American Public Health Association (APHA), Citizen Science Association (CSA)—with the further support and partnership of Wiley, are pleased to join forces to form a portal for fostering community science. Other societies are likely to join in soon.

We believe, and evidence suggests, that community science will play a key role in the future of scientific discovery and the contributions science will make to addressing societal challenges. The new portal will integrate a number of sites and resources and be a multi-media venue for people from all kinds of professional and community backgrounds to learn about, engage in and share the results of community science. Using the portal, community leader practitioners and researchers will collaborate to develop leading practices that drive the field forward. 

  When launched later this year, the portal will include:  

  • A peer-reviewed journal that will include articles, regional or local case studies, and other content around community science 
  • Blogs, commentaries, multi-media and learning materials that share effective practices for community-science collaboration 
  • Reports, papers, videos, interviews and feature stories that share the outcomes of community science projects
  • Easy ways to find and access data sets, tools, models and other resources that support people doing community science 
  • Services that help people connect with others interested in community science

This portal will be expansive and inclusive in four important ways.  

  • Co-Design: Most importantly, like all good community science projects, the portal will be co-designed. The leadership teams will include community leaders, practitioners and scientists, as well as leadership from participating societies. They will work together to design and populate a portal that will be engaging, useful and rewarding for all the different people who do community science and to elevate the practice of community science.  
  • Multi-Format: Second, the portal will welcome a variety of content types. It will include an open-access journal devoted to community science supported by Wiley and hosted on their platform. In addition, the portal will also feature other contributions in a variety of formats and media, from a diversity of contributors and useable by a wide range of audiences. The journal will be free to read for all and free to publish for authors without financial support from grants or institutions. Everything else on the portal will be open access as well. 
  • Values-Driven: Third, content on the portal will be selected and elevated by a holistic set of criteria that reflects the many values of community science, including scientific excellence, ethical community engagement, usability, accessibility and societal relevance. Reviewers and editors for the portal, therefore, will include the full diversity of people who engage in community science. To complement the oversight of our diverse editorial team, the portal will also invite participants to provide additional commentary and context on content.  
  • Transdisciplinary: Finally, the portal will be transdisciplinary – effective community science requires this approach. We are a multi-disciplinary group of scientific and professional societies who will be reaching into broad networks to invite diverse communities to participate and collaborate.  

Please stay tuned for more information about Community Science and look for the first call for contributions as early as this fall. If you would be interested in participating, co-creating, providing content or just want to stay informed about next developments, please let us know here. Please join us.  

  • Randy W. Fiser, Raj Pandya, Matt Giampoala, and Brooks Hanson, American Geophysical Union 
  • Ed Liebow, American Anthropological Association 
  • Keith Seitter, American Meteorological Society 
  • Georges Benjamin, American Public Health Association 
  • Jennifer Shirk, Citizen Science Association 

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