Abstract for: The System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC) community on the web: an online scientific community

The Italian Chapter (SYDIC) of the System Dynamics Society, needed a valid tool to support its member activities, and to support the diffusion of the System Dynamics methodology in Italy, by encouraging the contacts between scholars, researchers and professionals making use of this discipline. Among the existing tools, we identified the web community idea as the most suitable. By carefully searching the available sources and by analysing examples of existing communities, it was possible to identify the characteristics and features of a successful community, and then which are the main aspects and strategies to build a scientific community. It has been found that an IT-system named “groupware” (that is, a platform to support collaborative work or CSCW – Computer Supported Cooperative Work) generally provides most of the desired features for a scientific community. Based on the main features available in a CSCW groupware, we then developed our idea of what the Italian system dynamics scientific community website should be like and which tools and services it should provide to its members, and thus ultimately designed and implemented it based on these concepts.