Rapid Community Reports: History

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In late 2017, the NSF-funded Center for Innovative Research on Cyberlearning (CIRCL) began thinking about new approaches to help the U.S. Cyberlearning community share findings rapidly, as they emerge from NSF-funded projects. CIRCL’s January 2018 newsletter invited the community to help think about the issue and weigh in on possible initiatives to support an open sharing service — including factors that are most important to you and would affect your participation the most.

Responses to our survey made it clear that the field wants more citable, agile options for exchanging information, with the ability to include media and in formats that achieve broader impacts. Survey respondents expressed a need for short publications that pull together emerging insights and findings on learning science and technology and provide a useful guide to the state of the art. Many of you expressed interest in helping us think about more rapid publication opportunities, so a steering committee was formed and met during the summer of 2018 to provide guidance on the scope of the initiative, the editorial/review process, possible publication platforms, and plans for community engagement and sustainability, and to draw up a draft call for submission.

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In fall 2018, CIRCL began conversations with the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) about serving as the long-term repository for RCRs––an archival home for such reports that are outside of any single funded initiative. CIRCL also hosted a Webinar: Rapid Community Reports (Nov 1, 2018) to share the Rapid Community Reports DRAFT Call for Submissions with the wider research community and obtain feedback on both the call and how the series might best serve the community. CIRCL then submitted a proposal for the RCR series to the ISLS Publications Committee, which voted on and endorsed the proposal in December 2018. ISLS and CIRCL jointly oversee the RCR effort, including the selection of the editorial board and the establishment of review processes.

It was agreed that the topics for the RCR series would NOT be limited to cyberlearning and that the effort would be initially jointly governed by CIRCL and ISLS. In the long term, the intention is for this to become solely managed by ISLS.

As of October 2020, the RCR series continues as a partnership between ISLS and the Center for Integrative Research in Computing and Learning Sciences (CIRCLS).

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Related resources:
CIRCL Webinar: Rapid Community Reports (Nov 1, 2018) – archived recording & slides
Rapid Community Reports – DRAFT Call for input (Google Doc, commenting enabled)