Public Lab Wiki documentation

Posting research

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Research notes: why and how you should post them

Research notes are the crux of Public Laboratory -- they are essentially a blog which you or anyone can post to, sharing your work. Most importantly:

Posting a research note open sources your work.

While it's important to talk in person or on the mailing list about ideas, but we're trying to develop permanent documentation of our collaborative research. Share photos, videos, and other media of your projects, the sites you're investigating, etc and they will become a part of our open source environmental science literature.

Video introduction

...coming soon...


  • How to post in 10 seconds
  • Examples of short/informal and long/detailed posts
  • Show how people cite each other and how notes display related notes
  • Show how your notes accumulate in the "Contributors" box so you get credit and on your profile


Please include a main photo. Just choose something on your hard drive. This will appear at the top. There is no associated caption. It will be resized to fit perfectly. Everybody is happier if you include a main photo.

If you want to include other photos, the Gallery can be used to automatically embed images which are all displayed as thumbnails under the Main Photo but will enlarge in a shadowbox/lightbox. The photos display three across, so including multiples of three looks awesome.

You can include any hosted photo or video or most media anywhere in the note by using the embedding code from the hosting site. The notes are about 510 pixels across, so edit the “width” variable to about 500. (Known bug: These might not display if you “Review” the note, so just trust that they will when you save it and then refresh the page.)

You can always edit the note after you save it.

You can either use rich text editor, or use some kind of obscure Markdown code stuff that most people have never heard off. It’s fun to learn. Here is a quick list of magic you can do with *_#….

Don’t forget to include some tags to link this note to others about the same subject.