Advice for people running projects—what do you want to know/tell?

I posted in the Google group about this last night but thought I'd try here too since not everyone is in the Google group.

For while I've thought that the Help section could benefit from more advice/tips specifically for projects and many of the regular readers of this group have experience with organizing/running/curating projects in iNaturalist. If you're a site curator you could theoretically edit the html of the help page, but since that's a much higher bar to contribution I thought I'd start a Google Doc for drafting.

So if you know a thing or two about iNaturalist projects, what do you think other people should know if they want to start a project? Or do a better job with the project they already have? Anyone should be able to edit using this link:

I started with a few questions and sections, but please jump in and edit/revise/expand. Then after we've got something more substantial we can get it in the Help section on iNat.

This community has a wealth of knowledge to help each other be more effective with projects! Let's get more of it out there.

Posted on Ιούλιος 06, 2017 0502 ΜΜ by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer


@cullen @kpmcfarland @chlorophilia @sambiology @laura_sebastianelli any comments or other project owners you want to tag? @jakob is off in a canoe for a few weeks so I'll try to fill in for AfriBats once a few more people contribute.

Tagging a few more people who have written journal posts recently: @biohexx1 @vermfly @patsimpson2000 @m0liveray- @rcurtis @diego4nature @cgritz

Αναρτήθηκε από carrieseltzer σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

Very interesting. I created my own project for a local nature area that my father-in-law runs for the local Kiwanis club.
So far I've been the only contributor but I'm hoping to work on that in the near future. I'm thinking of trying to set up a group for an evening with a moth sheet. We could always use more insects for the project.

Αναρτήθηκε από vermfly σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

In the "Should I start a Project" section you might mention that defining a Place sometimes does everything you need. And you'll be able to see all the observations posted in that place without having to have observations added to a project explicitly. But a Place doesn't have the communication channel that a Project does.

Αναρτήθηκε από mikaelb σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

I think we should somehow warn folks that the "build it and they will come" or the "field of dreams" model rarely works. Creating a project is the easy part really. What you have to have is a communications plan that has a target audience to recruit and then retain members for your project.

Αναρτήθηκε από kpmcfarland σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

Your plan is very neatly presented, I think we should all consider it. I've been working as the lead citizen scientist of my community in the City of Diamond Bar, CA, and I need some serious recruiting on my Puente-Chino Hills Conservation project. I'll take your advice, and continue on and cross my fingers that the rolling hillsides aren't paved and built upon. Once again, thank you.

Αναρτήθηκε από diego4nature σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

Thanks! I tried to incorporate your suggestions, @mikaelb and @kpmcfarland. Is there anything else that you think would be helpful to know as a new project leader, @diego4nature?

Also tagging @lhiggins @rebeccafay @kestrel @smartrf @gregpauly because I'm sure they have some thoughts too!

Αναρτήθηκε από carrieseltzer σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

Looks great, thanks!

Αναρτήθηκε από mikaelb σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

Thank you for including me in the conversation. The document has thus far been insightful. I wonder If personally inviting highly *"skilled" observers and identifiers to your project makes a difference. Does anybody have experience with that?

Thank you
*skilled for lack of better words, but sure does take skills to ID and observe.

Αναρτήθηκε από m0liveray- σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

Projects allows for interaction. Also, I wanted the best examples of species highlighted for reference sake. While a guide can do this too, I eventually would like others to curate too and have the project live in real time. The added bonus to managing a project is also getting to know the top contributors: observers and identifiers, the local experts.

Αναρτήθηκε από m0liveray- σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

@m0liveray- I think jakob has actively done that for the AfriBats project by recruiting other bat experts. I know some of the state-level projects in the US have added several managers or curators to help with IDs. Interaction is key to projects. I really haven't been holding up my end of the social contract recently! I am aiming for 2x as many IDs as I have observations. Instead I tend to be a little more meta in trying to recruit and retain other people I guess.

Αναρτήθηκε από carrieseltzer σχεδόν 7 χρόνια πριν

Just got out of a family reunion / retreat with no internet access for the last week. I will attend to this once I am back home.

Αναρτήθηκε από chlorophilia πάνω από 6 χρόνια πριν

Alright, I think we're getting close. @bouteloua made a lot of great edits and suggested explaining each of the project settings. Anyone else want to weigh in? Would still love to hear from@cholorphilia @lhiggins @rebeccafay @kestrel @smartrf @gregpauly if you have a chance.

Αναρτήθηκε από carrieseltzer πάνω από 6 χρόνια πριν

Hi Carrie, thanks for the reminder.

In my experience, the success of the Bio Galiano project has relied on:

1) Consolidating historic data for the locality (Galiano Island, BC)
2) Effectively communicating the rationale of the project within the community (confirming historic records, adding new species to the list)
3) Social media presence and outreach. I can't emphasize enough how effective Facebook has been for recruiting contributors to the Bio Galiano project and raising awareness of the local biodiversity among community members
4) Tracking the project stats and communicating them through social and traditional media, to motivate participation. e.g. "To date the Galiano Community has documented 58% of the algae, bryophytes, and vascular plant species reported for Galiano Island, and added >200 new species to the list; e.g. 13-yo community member Marlin Stewart added Claytonia exigua new to the list of species known for Galiano Island, BC (I can state facts like this because I have compiled an exhaustive record of historic reports so can track the significance of novel species reports)
5) Maintaining a separate 'Place' on iNaturalist where list data can be uploaded for the locality, to bolster the effectiveness of the 'Compare' feature (old 'Identotron') and assist citizen scientists in identifying species
6) Promoting project visibility in the community: signs, newspaper articles, presentation displays at community events, etc.
7) Organizing events: community inventories of local parks, bioblitzes, algae-pressing workshops, etc., etc.; don't just appeal to the scientist inside everyone; appeal to the artist, too.
9) Networking with local conservation groups, regional authorities and experts in the local and global community to ascertain species IDs
10) Collect specimens where necessary to improve rigour of the project; encourage community members to do so as well, if they demonstrate an interest in obscure groups such as lichens and bryophytes; add collection numbers to observations and keep track using traditional methods, accessioning specimens in a formally annotated collection ledger; contributing specimens submitted by community members to local herbaria (with their name on them) can also be a way of gaining public support, by formally acknowledging and validating their contributions
12) Acknowledge community members for their findings, however significant or insignificant. Even a weed reported new for the island can be meaningful for someone
13) Working with parents and educators to get youth involved. e.g. We organized a bugblitz on Galiano where a group of kids got outside and captured bugs. I did the documentation and sharing on iNat and sent off specimens through my network of collaborators. We were able to identify a weevil that may be new to science (we need to find more specimens). This kind of news can really galvanize support for a community citizen science project
14) Be willing to put in countless hours of voluntary work; a little passion goes a long way
15) Finally I will reiterate the importance of consolidating historic records and keeping track of the progress of the project in confirming those records. I maintain a private database / spreadsheet to keep track of this information. It is a powerful tool for grounding objective statements about the accomplishments being made by local citizen scientists, contributing to our overall knowledge of the local flora and fauna

Αναρτήθηκε από chlorophilia πάνω από 6 χρόνια πριν

Thanks @chlorphilia! Sorry for the long silence. I tried to incorporate your suggestions in to the working document. Can you take a look and add links for your 'tracking stats' tip?

Αναρτήθηκε από carrieseltzer πάνω από 6 χρόνια πριν

The page is now live on the site! Sharing with the google group shortly.

Αναρτήθηκε από carrieseltzer πάνω από 6 χρόνια πριν
Αναρτήθηκε από mellis πάνω από 6 χρόνια πριν

@mellis I hadn't! That's great!

Αναρτήθηκε από carrieseltzer πάνω από 6 χρόνια πριν

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