Public Lab Wiki documentation

Posting research

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Why post? Research notes are the crux of Public Lab's collaborative process.

They're like a shared blog where everyone posts their work for others to see. Crucially,

Posting a research note open sources your work.

While it's important to talk in person or on the mailing list about ideas, we're working to develop permanent documentation of our collaborative research. is our shared "field notebook".

Research notes can be:

  • photos of what you've made
  • requests for troubleshooting
  • proposals for new projects
  • announcements of events
  • reports from a field test or meetup
  • failed attempts at doing something
  • etc!


Quick-start video


  • Please include a main photo. Just choose something on your hard drive and drag it to the Main Image area. This will appear at the top, and there is no associated caption. It will be resized to fit perfectly. Everybody is happier if you include a main photo.
  • The "Template" button offers options such as "Ask for help" or "Post an Event"
  • You can include any hosted video or most media from anywhere by using the embedding code from the hosting site.
  • As soon as you click "Publish," your note will be live at the site (unless it is your first note). Embedded media like videos will not appear the first time until you refresh the page.
  • You can always edit the note after you save it.
  • You can either use the simple text editor or use Markdown which is a suite of clever shortcuts for formatting text and content. It’s fun to learn. Here is some more information and a quick list of formatting hints.
  • Don’t forget to include some tags (keywords) at the bottom to link your note to others about the same subject. You can also add more later.

Things this page should be expanded to include:

  • Examples of short/informal and long/detailed posts
  • Show how people cite each other and how notes display related notes
  • Show how the "Contributors" page and your profile page track research you post so everyone gets due credit
  • Detail some best practices of tagging.

Also see


Available as a post-it pad on Zazzle: