Question: "Rounding up" research areas?

liz is asking a question about general: Subscribe to answer questions on this topic

liz asked on February 14, 2018 20:49
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I often impatiently just want to know, "what's the State of X topic?"

On, it's easy to find what the latest research is, but not straightforward to gain a comprehensive understanding of, for instance, particulate matter (pm), in terms of how many different method development & organizing/advocacy projects are going on, what their level of development is, and what the next challenges are.

Over the past couple months, Public Lab staff have been making notes on how we do "research roundups" when we need to talk about a project's status and invite new people in. I'd love your help improving these steps. Eventually, we'll create an activity out of them. Below, pm is used to illustrate how each step would work:

  • Review all posts, comments on topic areas (
  • Do keyword searches through the website and email groups to find stray content and tag it
  • Do an internet search to round up related work not in Public Lab
  • Write a provisional synthesis of "State of X topic" to present at OpenHour
  • Invite all contributors to come to OpenHour (
  • Write a blog (update the methods or topics page) up about the outcome of the meeting which becomes somehow the top of the wiki or tag page for that research area.

Related -- how often should a research area be rounded-up? What do you think?


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