What is SLACK and why is it useful for team science?

Slack is a messaging platform where project members can communicate and collaborate by sharing messages, files, and tools to manage your team project effectively.  Every team occupies a unique Slack workspace. A workspace brings your team together through channels, discussions, and file sharing. It’s where all the communication happens. Each workspace is a closed group, created by one individual account and is joined via invites sent to other team members. Each member has a different role and access to the workspace.

Key workspace features:
A search bar that allows you to mine information shared or conversations had in the workspace.

Add apps to your workspace (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox, Zoom) so you can connect to the tools your team needs without leaving Slack.

All members of your workspace can send direct messages to team members; this is great for conversations that don’t require group input.

You can join multiple workspaces for different projects and toggle between them, keeping communication for each unique project separate.

Workspace Diagram

What are Slack channels?
A Slack workspace consists of channels, where team members can connect and work together on group tasks. These channels function as sub-groups and allow you to better organize different components of your project. There is no limit on the number of channels created in your workspace, and team members can leave and join channels throughout the project.

Key channel features:

  • Channels can be made public or private within your workspace.
  • Team members can customize notifications for each channel joined.
  • Channel alerts can be sent to specific team members (“@name”) or the whole group (“@everyone”) to notify channel members of important updates.

How can I access Slack?
Slack can be accessed on different platforms. It is available through your web browser. However, SESYNC recommends downloading the Slack app (Mac or Windows). The app comes with more settings such as a 1:1 video calling feature which is useful for team communication.

Does SESYNC create Slack channels for teams?
No, SESYNC cannot create Slack channels for teams. However, there are different options for teams to create their own Slack workspaces. You can explore the free version of Slack that offers unlimited membership and up to 5GB of file storage. You can also check out Slack’s paid versions and apply for Slack’s Education program that offers an 85% discount on membership prices.

Why won’t SESYNC create Slack channels for teams?
It is important that teams are able to continue using their Slack workspace after their allocated project period at SESYNC ends. By encouraging teams to independently create a Slack workspace, we ensure that they continue to have uninterrupted access and records of communication on Slack.
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