With growth comes complexity. As more ResBaz sites pop up around the globe we need to think strategically about the values that bind all sites together. It’s important to remember that ResBaz isn’t defined by size, content, form or scale. It doesn’t matter if you’re running workshops in twelve digital tools or just a single one. Whether you have five hundred attendees or an intimate fifteen. What does matter, however, are the values that run consistently through each ResBaz.
Note: the values below were out forward by the Melbourne team and are entirely up for discussion (which is enthusiastically encouraged!).
People Over Technology
We believe that community engagement is the most efficient way of teaching new complex digital skills (in place of a traditional ticketed helpdesk). Trainings are therefore innovative and social – providing opportunity for upskilling as well as networking. Being people-centric also means understanding the struggles and complexities of research life. Workshops are thus prepared and run by fellow researchers.
- Achieve a good balance of academic and social events
- Recruit researchers at the institutions (PhD students etc.) to run and volunteer at the workshops
- Use social media as a catalyst, not proxy, for face-to-face interaction
We believe in open, reproducible research and providing access to as many researchers as possible. All teaching materials (and most digital tools) should be openly accessible – available to researchers who have attended the conference as well as those unable to attend. Access also carries over to visibility: using social media to engage with the broader research community and other ResBaz sites.
- Encourage social media use before, during and after the conference. For Melbourne, only attendees with Twitter accounts could register. Set up live-feed Twitter walls (these are the water coolers of the 21st century). Use the #ResBaz hashtag.
- Choose tools which are open source. Publish all teaching materials online after the event has finished. You can see Melbourne’s 2016 event page here. (We’re in the process of publishing GitBooks for each tool).
We believe that innovation and key collaborations exist within diverse and open communities. ResBaz therefore opens its doors to researchers from all career stages, departments, faculties and schools. This creates ample space for interdisciplinary collaboration and mentorship. Special attention should also focus on ensuring social diversity (gender, ethnicity, age, SES etc.) to provide a richer experience.
- Asking a range of registration questions aimed at gauging the level of diversity for the cohort (e.g. gender, ethnicity, career stage, school and so on). Make sure to include a header outlining that questions are used to ensure diversity.
- If possible, make the event free (including catering, events, etc.). You may have to use sponsors to make this happen.