Another approach to research area reviews:
The review process outlined above built upon previous thinking on research area reviews (here and here), which can also be broken down into more distinct phases and distributed tasks in the following way:
Phase 1: Information Gathering
In Phase 1, the goal is to sift through and update all the existing resources on PublicLab.org related to a topic. This could include checking in on other projects' updates as well, and if there's been a previous review, that's also a great place to start.
Phase 2: Convening
Phase 2 involves hosting an Open Call to bring folks together, to go through the collected materials from Phase 1, identify gaps and plan next steps.
Phase 3: Synthesizing
In Phase 3, the notes from the call and the newly collected materials, shared goals, and tasks are organized and shared on PublicLab.org, tying the review together in a single post.
This table gives more details on the tasks and can serve as a template to organize the phases of a more distributed research area review:
|Phase||Task Type||Who can do this||Difficulty||Task||I'll do this!|
|1||Garden||Anyone||Easy||Go through posts in the area and make sure they are properly tagged||LINK|
|1||Share||Anyone||Easy||Post questions on the topic area you have, or that you’re not able to find answers to on Public Lab.||LINK|
|1||Garden||One person||Medium||Make sure the wiki page has clear format||LINK|
|1||Research||Anyone||Hard||Help find answers to unanswered questions||LINK|
|1||Facilitate||Anyone||Hard||Invite, listen to, and record new stories related to the topic||LINK|
|2||Share||Anyone||Easy||Attend the open topic call and collaborate||LINK|
|2||Facilitate||One person||Medium||Host the public online meeting for group to collaborate to: Highlighting findings, ID gaps in available resources, highlight challenges in this research area||LINK|
|3||Synthesize||Anyone||Hard||Review existing material and call summary and write an update post on it with materials gathered||LINK|
|3||Research||One person||Hard||Follow up on gaps identified from the group and post materials to help support information around those gaps.||LINK|
- Posting a question related to the topic. This could be a question you have or a question you think others might have.
- Answering a question related to the topic by commenting on the post. Answering questions might involve some background research, or it could involve reaching out to someone who might be able to help.
- Find out more about asking and answering questions at About Public Lab's Questions & Answers.
- Identifying next steps could include describing where tool development might go next, or what additional information on the topic is still needed (example here).
- Following up on a “next step” that interests you could include any of the other tasks described on this page!
- Posting a summary of new resources and updates in the topic area after a TOTS.
- Identifying topics and setting up a future TOTS.