What is an IASSIST interest group?

At its most basic, it’s composed of at least 4 members plus a coordinator. They want to know more about a topic of professional interest and share what they know and learn with the larger IASSIST membership. The larger the interest group, the greater they synergy! Interest groups are also a good way to stay connected to other members if you can’t attend the annual conferences very often.

What interest groups already exist?

Current interest groups are listed on the website committees and groups page. You may also find an action group or standing committee there that you are entitled to join as an IASSIST member. Enquire with the group leader listed on the page if you see one you would like to join.

What does an interest group have to do?

A primary purpose of an interest group is to develop collective knowledge about a topic relevant to IASSIST members and then convey it to the broader IASSIST community and on behalf of IASSIST to the public. At a minimum, a group is required to annually propose a contribution to the conference program (such as a workshop, presentation or poster).

Also an interest group is expected to contribute at least 1 post to the IASSIST public iBlog every year. More posts are welcome, as are messages to the membership list only, for example to gather consensus opinions. An interest group can contribute content to the IASSIST web site (contact the Web Editor), guest edit a special issue of the IASSIST Quarterly journal (contact the IQ Editor: kbr [ at ] sam.sdu.dk), present a session or a poster at a future conference — but don’t be limited to these ideas!

How does an interest group get started?

If you have an idea for an interest group, try proposing it to IASSIST colleagues - at a conference or over the list. Once you have at least 4 other members interested, you can agree a written charge and select a Coordinator.

Your group will need to be approved by the Administrative Committee, so the proposed Coordinator should send a request through an official, preferably Vice-President. View current official Admin Committee. You should also ensure that everyone’s membership is up to date, by logging in and checking the membership directory on the www.iassistdata.info site.

ยป Consult Interest Group Formation Checklist to get started.

How does an interest group carry out its work in between conferences?

It is up to your group what online tools you wish to use. Your group may have experience or preferences for certain online tools such as google docs, ning, skype, wikis, etc. You are welcome to use IASSIST tools. Once approved by the Admin Committee, your group can set up a listserv, if desired, by sending a request to Discussion List Moderator explaining it is for an IASSIST interest group.

An Action Group to encourage interest groups…

During the Ithaca 2010 conference, many members talked about wanting to continue conversations with their IASSIST colleagues. Fortunately, IASSIST interest groups can be a great opportunity to share information about a facet of the social science data world. For that reason, the IASSIST Administrative Committee created the Interest Group Development Action Group at its May 31 meeting. Its charge is to promote and facilitate interest groups that represent the varied interest of our membership. Members of this Action Group were Libbie Stephenson (Chair), Paula Lackie, Pam Baxter, and Robin Rice.

Like other action groups (but not interest groups), the charge expires after one year. This page is our attempt to make a lasting contribution via the website.