What is the Work and Family Researchers Network?

The Work and Family Researchers Network (formerly the Sloan Work and Family Research Network), is an international membership organization of interdisciplinary work and family researchers. The WFRN also welcomes the participation of policy makers and practitioners as it seeks to promote knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among the community of global stakeholders.

What was the (former) Sloan Work and Family Research Network?

For 14 years, the Alfred P. Sloan Work and Family Research Network served a global community as the premier online destination for information and resources about work and family. The Sloan Network housed a virtual library of research and reference information including the Work and Family Encyclopedia, the Glossary, a “Who’s Who” database of work and family leaders, and a Literature Database of citations and annotations. The Sloan Network’s virtual presence allowed individuals across various disciplines to connect to the work and family global community. The Sloan Network closed in February 2012.

Why did the Network change?

Funding from the Sloan Foundation allowed the Sloan Network to provide all its resources to users free of charge since it began operating in 1997. Since Foundation funding ended in 2010, the Sloan Network has transitioned to the Work and Family Researchers Network. The new and enhanced Work and Family Researchers Network will continue the efforts of the original Network and the legacy established by the Sloan Foundation.

When did this change occur?

Sloan Network funding concluded in October 2010, at which time transition funding was obtained to develop the new Work and Family Researchers Network. The Sloan Network website closed in February 2012.

What are the key differences between the old Network and the new Network?

First, the Network has relocated to the University of Pennsylvania. Jerry A. Jacobs is the Executive Officer. Judi Casey, Director of the former Sloan Network at Boston College, served as Director of WFRN through 2014. 

Second, the new website offers an open access web platform showcasing the Work and Family Commons, a global, interdisciplinary work and family subject matter repository, as well as a community-driven News Feed, and Events calendar among other features.

Third, our new name is the Work and Family Researchers Network. To acknowledge the strength of our members and the community-driven nature of our new website, we have changed the word “Research” to “Researchers.”

Finally, the Network has transformed from a staff-driven enterprise to a member-driven one. The membership organization takes a leadership role in managing and populating the new WFRN website with content of interest to the interdisciplinary work and family research community. Members contribute dues and provide the manpower for biennial conferences that will generate revenue for sustainability.