Public Lab Research note


Post a new method to publiclab.org

by liz |

Read more: publiclab.org/n/13756


Public Lab is about sharing how to do things with other people.

Have a new method for collecting environmental data that you'd like to introduce? Great! This is for you.

If you're not sure if you need all this just yet, try starting by posting a single activity. Once you have more documentation, you can collect it all on a method page later.


Why make a method page?

  • to collect many activities into a coherent environmental monitoring method
  • to gather questions into an FAQ
  • to collect stories of using it
  • to comparisons to other methods: pros + cons?
  • to express a "design philosophy"
  • to explain the "constraints" you're designing for (cost, simplicity, power?)

1. Read through the template. Notice the main sections:

  • a one sentence opener/summary
  • Basis -- quick ways to categorize what's going on with this method
  • Story -- really getting into it
  • Activities grid -- lists the step by step activities for using this method (it's OK to not have any yet)
  • Frequently Asked Questions -- any question asked about your method will show up here

2. Take a moment to think about your method. Decide on a simple single word or hyphenated phrase to refer to your method.


3. Use this button to create a new page based on the method template:

Click here to create a new page

In the title field, type in your word or hyphenated phrase. Stay here in editing mode (don't click publish yet)


4. While editing, do a "find and replace" for METHODNAME and replace each instance with your method's name. The HTML code will make sense after you hit publish. Click Publish.


5. On your new published page, scroll down to the tags.

  • Notice that tool is already a tag.
  • Type METHODNAME, replacing METHODNAME with the word for your method, and press enter.
  • Then type activities:METHODNAME, replacing METHODNAME with the word for your method, and press enter.


Success! Now start thinking about how to make a simple introduction activity for your method, the shorter the better! Read more here: https://publiclab.org/notes/warren/09-17-2016/what-makes-a-good-activity


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2 Comments

Hi, Liz - I made a new methods page based on this, for kite making: https://publiclab.org/wiki/kite-making

Since it's a sub-category of #aerial-photography, I deleted a few sections that would end up redundant. Also, I changed a few titles, curious of your thoughts:


#### What environmental problems might this apply to

* For example, particulate matter in air, turbidity in water, lead in soil?

#### Limitations

(formerly What limitations does the method have?)

* not weather proof? needs a calibration?

#### What it's based on

(formerly Literature review -- could also be "starting points" or something)

#### Design constraints

(formerly What is the design philosophy)

I see that you've made the titles into questions addressed to the author, which I like.

Do you think transforming them into more typical headings (that are, for example, easier to link to), as I did, closes the door too much for future people to expand on these ideas?

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.


Also, instead of "Literature review" -- what about "Precedents" or something?

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.


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