Stephen Seiler, Faculty of Health and Sport, Agder College.  Kristiansand, Norway.
Will Hopkins, Physiology and Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

The Sportscience website team is growing fast as people respond to our invitation to join in. Growth is vital as we try to accomplish the lofty goal of creating an internationally respected academic site for research on human performance.

When we were six individuals we just rolled up our sleeves and got on with creating the site. Now there's 20+ on the team, and keeping track of everyone is becoming difficult. So we need to introduce an organizational structure into our Internet Society for Sportscience. Here's how the present team thinks we should be organized, and how the appointment process works. If you have any suggestions for improvement in this structure or process, please let us know.

Webmasters. We have been fortunate so far to have a few team members on board from the beginning who combined Internet familiarity, web-page authoring experience, sport-science knowledge, and/or plain old determination to get the website going. Now we need people to concentrate on the technical aspects of website construction. The webmasters will combine an interest in sport science with primary expertise in information technology and HTML authoring (or a willingness to learn). Several people who fit this description have come forward, and we will need more as we add material and develop new features at the site. It will probably work best if a particular page or aspect of a page is the responsibility of one or two individuals.

Contributing Editors. These will be generally younger enthusiastic researchers with a high rate, but not yet a large number, of publications. Talented younger support professionals will also be included in the group. Contributing editors will edit articles accepted for publication, and will be expected to write or arrange for the writing of articles, convene round-table discussions, or realize exciting new things for the site. They will also perform the task of reviewers from time to time.

Editorial Advisory Board. This group will consist primarily of academics with an outstanding publication record in one or more sport-science disciplines. Some members will also be highly respected support professionals, such as sports physicians and coaches. Board members will be expected to contribute articles to the various pages, and they will have the deciding vote in any difficult decisions about articles submitted for publication. They should also be able to act as contributing editors and reviewers occasionally. We need 20 to 30 people in this group. Currently we're far short of that number.

Reviewers. A group of individuals who are not contributing editors or board members but who are periodically asked to read and evaluate articles submitted for publication on the Sportscience site. We feel that posting reviewers' names and brief comments after research-oriented news or Training & Technology articles will motivate the reviewers to treat the work seriously and give them public recognition for the work they do.

The Appointment Process. "Appointment" to any of these positions is currently achieved by consensus. Prospective team members suggest where they might best fit in, and all other team members have the opportunity to agree or disagree via our own discussion list (sportsciteam). The process is completely open: there is no cronyism or behind-the-scenes lobbying, and you are not seen to be voted in or out. The consensus is based on submitted CVs and vacant slots to be filled. We might also have to consider where the applicant is from, because we are trying to build an international team that is not over- or under-represented by people from a particular region.

Working with "Mailbags". Contributing editors and webmasters opt to be on one or more mailbags (mail aliases) at the site. The mailbags are all in the form, where the whatever is:editor, newseditor, netlinks, netsearch, resources, traintech, and webmaster. These are like additional mailing lists that we use to contact each other selectively, and which you use to contact us. Tasks are circulated on a given mailbag, and team members on that mailbag volunteer to pick up the task and deal with it. Members of the editorial advisory board do not have to be on a mailbag, but some are.

Underlying all the decisions we make about structure and staffing are two main goals. First, we want to develop and maintain the highest possible level of academic quality while also communicating information in a way that appeals to a broadly interested, diversely trained sport-science community. Secondly, despite the nationalism that is part of elite international sport, we are committed to creating a geographically transparent site that connects, rather than polarizes, the human performance research and education efforts going on around the world. · · Homepage · Copyright ©1997