Workgroups are the primary mechanism for creating deliverables within the NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Consortium. Anyone may propose a workgroup for any purpose. The Steering Committee will approve the formation of workgroups. Workgroups are created to undertake work with a clear purpose, a defined deliverable, and a stated deadline, thereby allowing collaborative work in a structured environment.
As the community grows, the diversity of the participants’ interests and expertise increases and concomitantly, the ability to manage the work done within the community becomes more complex. It becomes difficult to track the work everyone is doing in the community to help avoid people unknowingly working on the same issue or at cross-purposes. There is also a desire to increase the visibility of work being undertaken by consortium members and to encourage greater community engagement.
The lightweight structure of workgroups is designed to increase the overall productivity of the consortium through systematic prioritization and management of work being done throughout our widely-distributed community. The structure is meant to assert the least possible overhead and is derived primarily from experiences and guidelines of virtual organizations such as the World Wide Web Consortium, the Research Data Alliance, and the Apache Software Foundation.
At any time, some workgroups will be forming based on the interests of consortium members, while others are active as organized by their members, while still others are wrapping up their work. The workgroup approach supports all phases of the work:
- Clarify purpose and deliverables of each workgroup
- Through the Steering Committee, align workgroups with program goals
- Through M3C, provide support and guidance to workgroups as needed
- Increase the number of and visibility of community contributors and contributions to the Metabolomics Consortium
- Ensure that work is getting done
- Translate workgroup deliverables into consortium common practices
Workgroups should form with minimal effort and emerge naturally from discussions and needs within the consortium. A workgroup must encourage participation from consortium and community members.
Workgroup proposals should typically be one page or less and must include:
- Title of the proposed workgroup
- Workgroup chair. Name and contact information for workgroup chair.
- Purpose of the workgroup. Include brief background and rationale as needed.
- Describe the deliverables of the workgroup.
- State the finish date for creation of the deliverables.
- Proposed workgroup members. Workgroup members must be from at least three different consortium member institutions, including the NMDR, M3C, and NIH Working Group. Additional members may be from any institutions, including those beyond the consortium.
Workgroup proposals will be reviewed and approved by the consortium Steering Committee.
Workgroups approved by the Steering Committee will have their approved proposals posted publicly on the M3C web site.
If you are considering forming a workgroup, please discuss your idea with the M3C at firstname.lastname@example.org. M3C will facilitate Steering Committee discussion and approval. This helps keep the workgroup processes open and helps the consortium stay engaged with topics of interest to them.
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