Public Lab Wiki documentation

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New Projects

How to start a community-based technology development project in Public Lab:

Lots of people have expressed interest in using the Public Lab network as a platform to build a DIY environmental science tool. That's great -- it's one reason we started Public Lab in the first place -- and we've found this checklist to be a good starting point for such collaborations.

  • Start by writing to the main Public Lab mailing list to introduce your problem or idea. Engage in discussion with people who respond to your original post.
  • Create a wiki page to introduce your project and explain the environmental or health concern you're investigating
  • Define a unique tag for your project, also choose other topic-related tags to add to your wiki
  • Share your work in Research Notes with a consistent tag so people can follow your work as it develops
  • Nominate yourself to the organizers group to get connected with Public Lab leaders from around the world
  • As your project grows, create a “publiclab-projectname” mailing list as your group of collaborators grows, so that others can take part

Staff support

Once you've completed the above, we're happy to help, but given our limited staff resources, we ask that you post a minimum of three research notes, and try to bring ten or more people together on a mailing list, at which point we can potentially provide the following:

  • Mentorship sit-down sessions
  • Listing your mailing list on the Public Lab mailing list page
  • Helping you grow your community through matchmaking
  • Assistance on joint fundraising for tutorials, tool assembly diagrams, videos, research supplies, community workshops and software for processing data from the hardware
  • coordination of bulk buys
  • Assistance with tool distribution and bulk mailing

How to start an environmental monitoring project

If you are facing an environmental health concern and want to undertake a research project that will address it, please read this page on designing an appropriate research project:

community incubation