Community playbooks or collaboration guides are the documentation that establish the key goals, personnel, activities and outputs of a collaborative project. They serve to create buy-in, illuminate processes, justify resource allocation, permit scaling of a project and more. We’ve made producing a playbook for their community one of the key deliverables for fellows participating in the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program. By working closely with the fellows we have gained broad perspective on the range of contexts in which this documentation adds value – and have created a new framework for conceptualizing the six core components of a community playbook.

In this workshop we will:

  • work with participants via a multi-step activity that involves individual reflection and small group synthesis that builds to the self-discovery of the core components of a community playbook or collaboration guide;
  • present and discuss the CSCCE framework describing the core components of a community playbook and;
  • show and discuss examples of 4 different types of playbooks created by AAAS Community Engagement Fellows. These will include playbooks for a research collaboration, for an organization providing scientific tools and services, and for a scientific society working with its members.

Participants will leave with an understanding of the value of creating a playbook or collaboration guide for their own projects. They will be equipped with a framework to enable them to audit their existing documentation and to transform it into a crucial backbone of their collaborative work.


Lou Woodley is Director of the AAAS Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement (CSCCE). She has over a decade of experience in scientific community-building, communications and event organization at Nature Publishing Group, Open Knowledge Foundation and AAAS. She now combines research into scientific communities with providing training and resources for scientific community engagement professionals. Lou led the development of the curriculum for the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program, which includes community strategy, programming, and engagement components, as well as materials focused on culture and organizational change.

Dr. Rebecca Aicher is the Lead Trainer and Community Engagement Strategist for the AAAS Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement (CSCCE) where she designs, develops and delivers training materials for scientific community engagement managers. She co-leads CSCCE’s flagship training course, the AAAS Community Engagement Fellowship, and additionally delivers on demand trainings in person and via webinars. Dr. Aicher is a trained ecologist and former AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, bringing a broad perspective on scientific collaboration in a range of contexts.