Socio-tech Successes and Communities
 Individual Success Stories
Gary Olson: his main accomplishments have been constructing mutual respect with collaborators from opposite ends of the socio/technical spectrum, and developing long-term relationships to bring people from socio and technical together. In the process, he and Judy became "missionaries to the NSF" and other funders, influencing the direction of team science by effectively packaging sociotechnical research as stories.
Brian Butler: part of his success has to do with thinking more broadly about what "counts" for tenure. He had papers that didn't receive all that many citations but were being assigned as readings for a number of courses, so he developed a variety of measures of impact. One example is number of syllabi requiring the paper and what institutions they came from; these and other metrics clearly fit with his university's tenure and promotion requirements but were not the usual measures.
 Tips for Success
- Only about 1/4 to 1/3 of research projects for which data collection has been started will end up viable for full development, so you must have ideas for research more than once a year!
- Need to give projects enough time to see them through; many sociotechnical topics require longer-term research.
- Publication: pick your battles, and manage your submission pipeline carefully. There are risks to being ahead of the curve, e.g. publishing in new venues before they are established, but also potential rewards for being an early mover.
- Regardless of the venue, framing your work for the audience is critical. There are a number of strategies for doing this; in a prior session, the STS community members recommended reviewing the past 5 years of journals to get a sense of the style and expectations for that audience.
- Collaborators often expect that you will act as an evaluator -- these people show this expectation early on, and this is usually the type of collaboration to avoid. Instead, look for collaborators with complementary skills and work out authorship arrangements in advance. For example, if three collaborators from different communities come together for a project, plan for three publications, one in each area, permitting each collaborator to be a first author for the paper in their field. This is a great strategy to get started on publishing in new communities and venues.
- Be mindful of whether you're selecting collaborators for homophily versus complementarity with respect to research incentives and ability to contribute to different stages of the research process.
- Take a long-term perspective and plan for a 30 to 40 year career.
- Keep an eye on the emerging areas and publication outlets; Geoff Bowker gave the examples of virtual archaeology and the journal Vectors.
- Don't be afraid to invent legitimate measures of impact for your work when seeking tenure or promotions, but make sure that doing so meets the university requirements.