Led by Martin Storksdieck and Louise Woodley, the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have partnered to develop a research program that examines the processes by which scientific teams organize, communicate, and collaborate through online platforms, namely the AAAS Trellis site.

Trellis is a brand new platform that enables scientific groups of any size, discipline, and location to come together for the purposes of discussion and knowledge sharing. Studying Trellis from its early stages provides a rare opportunity to observe how new teams are created online and how existing teams respond to using a new set of tools.

Our aim is to understand which platform-mediated practices facilitate or hinder research collaborations, co-construction of knowledge and social learning mediated. The study of online science communities is specifically useful in understanding collaborative processes across institutional and national boundaries and how such teams coordinate to achieve scientific milestones. This research is expected to contribute to the relatively new interdisciplinary ‘science of team science’ field emerging from the National Institutes of Health and recently addressed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in a 2015 synthesis report Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science.