Technological feasibility has opened the door for the increased use of virtual collaboration in scientific research and collaboration. In the recent The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, directors from the International Synthesis Center consortium offer their combined insights for using virtual participation in science synthesis working groups.
Executive director Ben Halpern and director of computing Mark Schildhauer weigh in based on more than 20 years of working group collaborations at NCEAS.
"Virtual participation in meetings has become a necessary and valuable part of the way science is done in the 21st century. But anyone who has been part of a group with virtual participants knows that it can be a frustrating experience and often ineffective if not counterproductive. From our experiences, we wanted to provide a cheat-sheet of a few simple 'best practices' that can make a huge positive difference."
- Ben Halpern, NCEAS Executive Director
The authors provide numerous practical suggestions for implementation that could maximize the effectiveness of virtual participation in a meeting. The suggestions target meeting organizers, virtual attendees, and general participants - providing both technological and social advice to improve the efficiency and success of these meetings.
Best Practices for Virtual Participation in Meetings: Experiences from Synthesis Centers
Hampton, S. E., Halpern, B. S., Winter, M., Balch, J. K., Parker, J. N., Baron, J. S., Palmer, M., Schildhauer, M. P., Bishop, P., Meagher, T. R. and Specht, A.
Bulletin Ecological Society of America, (2017), 98: 57–63. doi:10.1002/bes2.1290