Help us improve PCST’s online presence

4 November 2020

The PCST Scientific Committee are looking for help and advice on developing and extending our web presence. Send us your comments and suggestions!

The PCST Scientific Committee intends to overhaul and update our website (yes – the one you are reading this on), and would like to solicit your comments and suggestions. As a community of experts in science communication, you certainly have the resources and experience to help us make good decisions.

We are particularly interested in identifying platforms or providers that might provide some or all of the functionalities that we need (described below) without requiring the regular involvement of a web designer or coder: we need our website to be self-sustaining and as easy as possible for non-specialists to maintain.

Because the functional aspects will require skilled management, a possible solution might be to establish a new easy-to-manage-and-update site with all the graphic and integrated qualities we want.  This new site would have a link to a separate site with the back-office functional aspects we need and currently have in place: join PCST, renew membership, subscribe to discussion list, submit proposal for conference, vote in elections, pay subscriptions and so on.

We have three broad choices: something completely new, a hybrid model (described above) or working to improve our current website.

This call for advice may later lead to a call for pitches to undertake this re-design. At this stage we would be hugely grateful for your ideas, experiences and recommendations, whether concerning custom-made or off-the-peg solutions. Where should we turn or who should we use to develop our web presence?  We have a budget to work with, thanks to the Kavli Foundation, but funds are limited.

Please send any suggestions directly to Luz Helena Oviedo. We look forward to hearing from you!

Specifications for refreshed PCST web presence:

  •  Well-integrated web and social media content that is (able to be) frequently updated;
  • A strong, clean graphic identity;
  • Content production and moderation that is straightforward and readily shared between multiple individuals (i.e. user-friendly interface, editing rights without management rights);
  • Registration and access to webinars that can later be embedded in the website;
  • Members-only and sub-group areas for focused content, including:
    • Well-functioning and robust systems for membership and conference management:
    • Allows people to join as members and make payments for their membership;
    • Allows PCST to conduct elections, including the nomination of candidates;
    • Collects abstract submissions for conferences, allows Committee Members to review these, and generates letters to people proposing conference sessions;
    • Hosts an archive of conference papers.