Building a powerful community - values

Still reading the great book from Michael Jacoby Brown “Building Powerful Community Organizations”. This post is on values that I want to convey through a to-be-founded Data Clinic at the University of Amsterdam.

For now, let’s talk about the values of the community.

What are the values from the Study Group & Data Clinic community?

  • Open Science: promoting easy free access to code, datasets and other developped tools. Open Science is simply good and robust science.
  • Collaboration: no one knows it all so collaborating is the key to make better science especially regarding data analysis.
  • Scientific quality and curiousity: as data-intensive science is moving at a fast pace, it is important to remain demanding and curious about new developments in one field whether that might be bioinformatic or statistics.
  • Gender balance: the community should be balanced as much as possible in terms of gender. More women were programmers 30 years ago than today although programming has never been more easy than now. More info at Girl Develop It!
  • Democracy: the process of decision making should be as transparent and democratic as possible. Every member should have one voice and decisions should be reached by consensus as much as possible.
  • Respect: everyone willing to participate is welcome, independently of age, background and ethnicity as long as that person abides by the core value of the Study Group & Data Clinic community.
  • Empowering people through education and support: an important goal of the community is to enable people rather than do the work for them. Thus, training and support

How to make sure these values are enforced?

  • By establishing a Code of conduct that everyone reads at least once (democracy, respect, collaboration).
  • By implementing explicit rules on the community decision making that are in place ideally through consensus (democracy, gender balance, respect).
  • By recruiting people which hold the same values strongly (respect, collaboration, respect, empowering people, gender balance).
  • By regularly organising training workshops and helpdesk sessions (empowering people, collaboration, scientific quality).
  • By promoting the publications of code, datasets and tools on Github, Zenodo or other public repositories (Open Science, collaboration, scientific quality)
Written on April 23, 2018