Help:How to share projects

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This page contains advice on sharing your own (or someone elses) personal science project on this wiki, based on some of the experiences made within the larger personal science and quantified self communities.

This page focuses about how to write the actual content for project pages. For a more technical guide on wiki details, see How to make a Project page. For a beginner's guide on how to do personal science see getting started with personal science.

Why should I share my self-research?[edit | edit source]

As the MythBusters used to say "the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down". But on a more serious note: Sharing your own self-research efforts will help both you and other self-researchers in their own efforts. By sharing your own self-research project, you given others the opportunity to help you by giving feedback, suggestions and ideas. This can be particularly valuable if you're currently stuck in your self-research efforts.

Additionally, by sharing your own self-research you can help others that are interested in a given topic, as they can learn from the work you have already done to identify approaches to doing the research that worked from you instead of having to start fresh from scratch.

What counts as a project?[edit | edit source]

There is no fixed definition of what makes a "full" or "finished" personal science project. Generally, this wiki considers any projects in which someone uses empirical methods to answer personal questions. A project does not necessarily have to be finished to be shared here, but a project should include some details on what you have learned from the project so far. If you continue your project at some

To get some inspiration, please see the Projects section.

How should I structure my project?[edit | edit source]

There is no strict format that one needs to adhere to when writing up a personal science project, but the "Show and Tell" format has been used widely to share personal science-efforts and can offer a simple template. This format includes answering three questions:

  1. What did you do?
  2. How did you do it?
  3. What did you learn?

If you are familiar with academic writing, these three questions roughly correspond to the "Introduction", "Methods" and "Results/Discussion" sections one would see in academic manuscripts. The Show & Tell category includes a large number of projects that have been documented in presentations that other personal scientists have given using this format.

What did you do?[edit | edit source]

A good project description provides some details on what the question was that you tried to address. Ideally it also outlines and motivates why you decided on this question, as this is often just as a interesting as the question you tried to answer. If you were inspired by other self-researchers (or by other research you read somewhere!) you can include this as well, as it's nice to see how your ideas developed.

How did you do it?[edit | edit source]

Your project write-up should also outline how you went about answering your personal question. While it can be tempting to only share your success stories, letting others know which things you tried that ultimately didn't work is just as useful. Which types of data did you (try) to collect? Which ways worked or didn't work? All of these things are useful!

You can also share your code in a notebook, so others can rerun your analyses and reuse your code. An easy way to get started sharing notebooks online is via Juno's exploratory on Open Humans.

What did you learn?[edit | edit source]

A project description should also include what you learned from doing it. This can be what you learned about your original research question, but also additional meta-observations (e.g. why you think different things you tried worked or didn't work). Even if your project is still on-going, there will probably many things you learned and writing these down not only can help other self-researchers, but also help you reflect on the things you learned!

Can I add someone else's project?[edit | edit source]

If you have seen an interesting project somewhere, e.g. on Reddit, someone's blog etc. you can also create a project page on this wiki. But you should make clear that this is not your work by clearly referencing the original author and linking to the original source. If you've done this you might also consider writing to the person who made the project, as they might be interested in expanding the article!

My project page does not appear in the "Projects" list. Why?[edit | edit source]

Please have a look at the technical help for creating a project page.