Pastor, Ada; Hernández-del-Amo, Elena; Giménez-Grau, Pau; Fillol, Mireia; Pereda, Olatz; Flores, Lorea; Sanpera-Calbet, Isis; Bravo, Andrea G. ; Martín, Eduardo J.; Poblador, Sílvia; Arroita, M.; Rasines-Ladero, Rubén; Ruiz, Celia; del Campo, Rubén; Abril, Meritxell; Reyes, Marta; Casas-Ruiz, Joan Pere; Fernández, Diego; de Castro-Català, Núria; Tornero, Irene; Palacin-Lizarbe, Carlos; Arce, María Isabel; Mora-Gómez, J.; Gómez-Gener, Lluís; Monroy, Silvia; Freixa, Anna; Lupon, Anna ; González-Farreras, Alexia María; Estévez, Edurne; Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Solagaistua, Libe; Rodríguez-Castillo, Tamara; Aristi, Ibón; Martínez, Aingeru; Catalán, Núria. Frontiers in Education 5 : 13 (2020) DIGITAL CSIC
Coordinated distributed experiments (CDEs) enable the study of large-scale ecological patterns in geographically dispersed areas, while simultaneously providing broad academic and personal benefits for the participants. However, the effective involvement of early-career researchers (ECRs) presents major challenges. Here, we analyze the benefits and challenges of the first CDE exclusively led and conducted by ECRs (i.e. ECR-CDE), which sets a baseline for similar CDEs, and we provide recommendations for successful CDE execution. ECR-CDEs achieve most of the outcomes identified in conventional CDEs as well as extensive benefits for the young cohort of researchers, including: (i) receiving scientific credit, (ii) peer-training in new concepts and methods, (iii) developing leadership and communication skills, (iv) promoting a peer network among ECRs, and (v) building on individual engagement and independence. We also discuss the challenges of ECR-CDEs, which are mainly derived from the lack of independence and instability of the participants, and we suggest mechanisms to address them, such as resource re-allocation and communication strategies. We conclude that ECR-CDEs can be a relevant tool to empower ECRs across disciplines by fostering their training, networking and personal well-being.