#shareEGU20: top 10 tips for participants to get the most out of Sharing Geoscience Online

#shareEGU20: top 10 tips for participants to get the most out of Sharing Geoscience Online

So, you’ve taken the plunge – you have decided to upload your materials as an author, or committed to hosting your session with your fellow conveners, or perhaps started to add sessions to your personal programme as a participant. What comes next? Interacting with other researchers using one of our new platforms!

During these final two weeks before the event, we are posting a variety of information about what those platforms will look like and what to expect from them. So what can you do as a participant to get the most out of your #shareEGU20 week?


Whether you spend a lot of time interacting in digital spaces, or this is your first time, #shareEGU20 is bound to be an interesting experiment for us all. As organisers we are learning how the week will work right along with you and have been busy trying to make sure that all our participants have the best possible experience.

There are plenty of options for abstract authors and others to participate, whether that is through commenting on uploaded materials, participating in the live text chats, watching one of the ten live-stream Union Symposia or Great Debates, or setting aside time to watch one of the pre-recorded short courses. When you add to that selected virtual networking events, like ECS meet-ups, as well as some fun options like the Imaggeo photo competition and a #DataHelpDesk, it becomes clear that there is a lot going on and a lot to try!

To help you get the most out of this week, we have selected the following ‘Top 10 Tips’ for getting the most out of your online interactions during Sharing Geoscience Online. And if you have any additional tips or advice, please add them in the comments below.


Top 10 tips for participants to get the most out of #shareEGU20:

  1. Share your science! If you submitted an abstract, make sure to upload presentation materials to your display to stimulate interactions with your colleagues. These can be in whatever format you feel most comfortable with, such as a map, a few slides, or an animation.
  2. Plan your week. The week of the EGU General Assembly is always a marathon, and #shareEGU20 will be no different, so it’s best to use the personal programme function on the website to help you plan out your favourite talks, courses and sessions so you don’t regret missing anything.
  3. Know what to expect. There are many ways to engage during #shareEGU20, from commenting on display materials and participating in the live text chats, to the #shareEGUlive Union Symposia and Great Debates. So it’s a good idea to check our online guides ahead of time to find out the best way to experience each one.
  4. Check your text chat schedule. If you decide to participate in any live text chats, it’s a smart idea to check out the session materials ahead of time, including any schedule or guide that your session conveners upload. The link to the text chat will become active 15 minutes prior to the session start time.
  5. Find your people! Community is one of the key things that makes EGU really special. Even though we aren’t meeting in person, you can still enjoy spending time with colleagues and friends from around the world. Use hashtags to find each other online, or try one of our special networking events!
  6. Good behaviour is expected. We know that within a community as diverse as ours, everyone needs to work together to make sure #shareEGU20 is a safe space for all who want to participate. So if you become concerned about any behaviour that violates the EGU Code of Conduct, please let us know.
  7. Ask for help. This week will include a lot of firsts, for EGU and for all our members and event participants. There may well be some things that don’t work the way we expect them to, or challenges that we don’t yet know exist, so if you need help during the week, please reach out to us, Copernicus or your convener.
  8. Take a break. Engaging with others online can be exhausting! One of the big benefits of #shareEGU20 is that with the exception of the live text chats, ALL our material will be made available online after the week has ended – so be gentle with yourself and take breaks as you need them.
  9. Constructive commenting is key. We all know that the best science comes from the sharing and rigorous testing of ideas, but it is can be easier to misinterpret people’s intentions online. So when commenting, please try to make sure that you are constructive, supportive and, most importantly, kind!
  10. Have fun! We want every person who participates in #shareEGU20 to get something positive out of it. This is a challenging time for many people, and so we want to encourage you to try and have some fun together as we embark on this great adventure!


Worried about abusive behaviour?

Abusive behaviour (trolling, harassment and, in general, not following the EGU’s Code of Conduct) WILL NOT BE TOLERATED on our platforms. More information on the procedures for reporting and removal of those who do not follow these guidelines will be available in the week prior to Sharing Geoscience Online on the website.


If you are still feeling uncertain, why not check out something with a somewhat similar format like twitter chats! These are large, open access chats hosted in the open platform of Twitter and focussed around a central idea or speaker. It can be a good way of picking up some methods of interacting online in this way and still having fun.


We are so much looking forward to seeing all of you online, discussing your research in an open and constructive way.


Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, EGU has made the decision to cancel this year’s physical General Assembly in Vienna and instead offer a partial alternative meeting online, called #shareEGU20. Over the next few weeks in the run up to #shareEGU20, which will be held from the 4 – 8 May 2020, we will be posting regular updates and information about how to get involved, what EGU can offer during this week and how to find each other. We know that there will be many, many questions that people have, and we are learning how to do this right along with you, so please send us your questions over social media or by emailing or We’re looking forward to sharing EGU with you, online!

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Hazel Gibson is Head of Communications at the European Geosciences Union. She is responsible for the management of the Union's social media presence and the EGU blogs, where she writes regularly for the EGU's official blog, GeoLog. She has a PhD in Geoscience Communication and Cognition from the University of Plymouth in the UK. Hazel tweets @iamhazelgibson.

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