The purpose of the DCHAS web presence is to support three specific strategic goals of the Division:

  • Goal 2: By 2020, CHAS will be the preferred and accepted resource for authoritative chemical health and safety information.
  • Goal 3: Be a visible advocate and champion for the CHAS mission to ACS and the public.
  • Goal 4: Increase diverse and active membership and expand CHAS leadership opportunities.

The DCHAS web presence currently consists of eight elements:

These are currently managed by the Division secretary as time and content allows (about 1 hour/day on average). The goal of this project is to re-organize these efforts into a more systematic, coherent and collaborative web presence. {not sure how to reword – but want to make it so that there is an ability to have multiple individuals have levels of responsibility}

Design concept

The current design concept of the DCHAS web page was to build a reference resource for various aspects of chemical safety (laboratory, academic, small business, etc.) that would feature DCHAS information, resources and activities. {I think by using the comma – we aren’t limiting ourselves to just DivCHAS but we also want to provide links to other credible sources.} The current?? site is on a Joomla platform, which has proven to be clumsy to edit, difficult to learn, and limits the ability to allow assigning levels of administration or collaboration. For this reason, other platforms, such as WordPress and pinboard have been used to provide features that are difficult to implement in Joomla.

The proposed new concept for the DCHAS web page would focus on Goal 2 listed above and provide convenient access to the ongoing stream of emerging technical chemical health and safety information provided by the Division’s technical symposia, Journal articles, news headlines, e-mail discussions, and links to other information repositories of value to the chemical health and safety professional.

Three {or Four – see comment below in 2} key elements of the re-designed web presence would be:

1. News: division news, both technical (e.g. content from the Journal, pinboard and the blog) and organizational (e.g. social media type news) {A question here – I know that there are many sites that one can set up a news feed (like a ticker) based upon a set of key words – don’t know how difficult that is or whether the ultimately selected platform can do it – but it is something to think about – as this feature could be automated and would allow a timeliness to the website landing page.}

2. Divisional Identity: how the chemical safety topic connects to the rest of the lab safety universe and how the division connects to sister organizations through a “neural network” map of connections, both internal to ACS and external to other organizations (CSHEMA, ABSA, AIChE, NSTA, etc.); case studies of how Divisional and ACS resources are used in specific laboratories. {I think we might want to break this up – one for the Division and one for the Resources}

3. Reader/User Response: a call to action, such as joining the division and its leadership, taking a workshop or contributing a Lessons Learned proposal, asking a “Ask Dr. Safety” question

Within this concept, design should be as modular and simple as possible to be user-friendly on as many platforms as possible. More elaborate reference sources can be linked to, but the Divisional web site should not try to serve as a single safety reference source for the laboratory community. Content should be rotated so that information more than 5 years old is archived off-line. Development of an online store presence to better support workshop registrations, including outside the national meeting setting is a high priority.

Next steps

1. Determine what elements currently in place are worth retaining and sustaining.
{Do we need to set a date/conference call for discussion?}

2. Decide which combination of web platforms best support those elements
a. Assign Champions/Authors for individual portions of the site/presence.
b. Develop a review system for peer review/moderation
c. Develop a template – i.e. look and feel that would be common across the elements (i.e. an Author Guide)

3. Develop the neural network map that describes the Divisional Identity

{A couple of guiding principles, I think that we need to add in here somewhere:
1. We need to be aware of ADA compliance issues on the page.
2. We need to have some sort of filter/disclaimer that we can have on the page or link for the differing sections because some of the links while they are credible sources have information that we may or may not endorse as appropriate. And, we have to be careful about how we link to different organizations, i.e. we can make a statement but we aren’t speaking for the whole ACS as an example.}