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AKA Your role in guiding the course of CDI funded projects
AKA Where the CDI coordinator makes a plea for you to vote

 

The FY17 Community for Data Integration Statements of Interest are in, and voting is open

Why you should comment and vote

  • A project might be proposing a tool that you could use, and you want to support it.
  • You might know of existing solutions that you want to make the PI aware of, so that they can take that into consideration.
  • You will get an idea of what practitioners need, and might get an idea for your own future proposal.
  • You will help steer the future direction of CDI.

 

Last Friday, we closed the submission portal for the Community for Data Integration Request for Proposals Phase 1. The portal was open from September 14 to October 14 and the initial registrations vs. completed submissions (PDF Statement of Interest (SOI) uploaded) looked like this:

 

 

This trend gave the CDI facilitators a panic attack about whether there would be a decent number of statements of interest submitted, but follows the typical pattern of PIs using “all of the available time” “efficiently.” Still, next year we will probably recommend that PIs start registering earlier, as there were some eleventh hour (or fifty-ninth minute) issues...

What you can do

  1. Vote: Community voting is open from now until Wednesday, November 9, 2016, and you can see the announcement and instructions for getting set up to vote on the CDI forum.
  2. See the results: Join us for the Closing Voting Session on November 9 during the CDI Monthly Meeting. During that session, we will take a look at the statistics, determine the cut off for Phase 2, and reveal the list of projects that made it to the next round.  

Some Q&A about our community voting process

  • Why do we ask you to read and seriously consider all Statements of Interest before voting? For fair and consistent evaluation of all statements, we ask that you consider all statements, using the CDI Guiding Principles, Science Support Framework, and Evaluation Criteria.
  • Why did we implement Community Voting? Community voting is a pretty unique aspect of the CDI Request for Proposals. Implemented in the FY14 cycle, community voting was started as a way to involve and engage the membership so that we make sure to take into account our grassroots efforts, needs, and knowledge before moving forward with funding projects.
  • Why is voting open to anyone who is or becomes a member of CDI, including PIs? We want the most open process of evaluation possible, denying no one, and we want funded projects that meet the needs of the most CDI members. 
  • Isn't this just a popularity contest? No. It is about communicating a need and a solution, and convincing voters that your solution is worthy. Although this may seem idealistic, I do think that the CDI community wants to fund the most exciting and potentially useful ideas, that the CDI membership is logical, and that networking/communicating/convincing/campaigning do not need to have negative connotations. The commenting and Phase 1 cut off selection are public and open to any members, and PIs are able to comment and advocate for their ideas on the voting platform. 
  • How will the ability to comment on the voting platform help the process? Commenting by the community is a way to clarify or improve statements of interest in a way that is publicly viewable by all. In addition, existing solutions may be brought to light for incorporation, collaboration, or as something that is already usable. 


Each year, the CDI Request for Proposals evolves, whether it is modifying the Guiding Principles, implementing or discarding categories for proposals, changing the panel review process, or trying to streamline the cover sheet generation. Given this year’s experience, we’ll be considering several things for improving the user experience next year. We welcome your ideas at cdi@usgs.gov.

Now go read some Statements of Interest and vote!

Update

The following message was sent to FY17 CDI Lead-PIs and registrants on October 21, 2016:


Dear FY17 CDI Lead-PIs and registrants,

Since some of you may be new to CDI’s Community Voting process, I thought I would send a bit of an explanation since we often get questions about what is allowed/condoned, etc.

CDI has had community voting since FY2014 in an effort to engage the entire membership so that we make sure to take into account our grassroots efforts, needs, and knowledge before moving forward with funding projects. In FY2013, the proposals were evaluated only by a panel. Prior to FY2013, proposals were developed at in-person CDI meetings and participants would use sticky notes and discussions to lend their feedback. Now CDI has a Bureau-wide RFP and many members who do not attend the annual in-person meetings, so the online community voting phase is a way to preserve that aspect of proposal development and evaluation.

We sometimes get comments that the community voting system can be “gamed” by especially active PIs who solicit votes. To this, we have several responses:

  1. Community voting is just the first phase of the evaluations, there is a panel evaluation as well in Phase 2, that evaluates the Full proposals.

  2. We look at other metrics in Phase 1 like ratio of number of voters:number of votes, IP address participation that is overly skewed, etc. to see if there are any anomalies.

  3. The community voting indicates the community voice, but there is also the chance for CDI executive sponsors and CDI coordinators to point out SOIs that meet the criteria and add them to Phase 2, this has happened in past years.

  4. We do encourage PIs to spread the word about their proposal to colleagues that would be interested in the project and support the effort, and lend their voice to CDI.

  5. We do not support the solicitation of votes from “anyone off the street” who does not have any personal interest in the actual project or viewing the other submissions. Although, in our experience, this has not helped a project without merit to get funded, due to the other items listed above.

Since this topic has already come up this year, we decided that sending this explanation to all participating PIs was a place to start, and we will continue to do this in following years before the start of voting!


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