Middlebury

Library & ITS Wiki

Library & ITS Wiki

MiddLab

Contents

MiddLab

MiddLab is a space to discuss research at Middlebury. The current goals of MiddLab include:

  • Make research easy to discover.
  • Show connections between research.
  • Start a discussion about research.
  • Provide space for research and the sciences on our website.

You can get involved in MiddLab by emailing middlab@middlebury.edu

MiddLab is open to any student, faculty, or staff member of Middlebury College, MIIS, the Language Schools, and Bread Loaf programs. Basically, if you have an account at Middlebury, you should be able to sign in to MiddLab and create a project.

Using MiddLab

MiddLab is built using the WordPress blogging platform. If you've used WordPress for other sites at Middlebury, the interface for creating your project will be very familiar. If not, the interface is easy to learn.

Signing In

  1. Click the Log in link in the top right corner of the MiddLab site.
  2. Enter your username and password in the form.
  3. If you don't see the MiddLab dashboard, email middlab@middlebury.edu and we'll make sure you get access.

Adding your Project

Each MiddLab Project is a Post on the site. To add a project, you simply create a new post.

Basic Information

  1. Select Post from the Add New menu at the top left of your screen.
    MiddLab Add New.png
  2. Recommendation: MiddLab uses custom fields with a plugin that overrides the default WordPress custom field form to make them easier to edit. To disable the default form and make your interface less cluttered, click Screen Options at the top right and un-check Custom Fields. You'll only need to do this once.
    MiddLab Screen Options.png
  3. Enter the title of your project. Project titles can be long, so your thesis title will probably work in full, but try to keep it under 100 characters to make sure we'll have enough space to show the title appropriately.

The Main Post Body

We helpfully provide a template for you to use for your MiddLab post. Simply fill in each section of the template with relevant information about your project.

MiddLab Main Post.png

  1. Add an abstract of your project, replacing the text reading Put a short description of your project here, like an abstract.. This will be used as a short description of the project on the site. We recommend keeping this to just 3-4 sentences so that it fits in the space on the site. You can add more information about your project further down the page.
  2. In the People section replace the text reading Add a list of people who collaborated on this project with the names and short description of the people involved in your work. We typically link to the faculty profile of professors here, or the MiddLab author page of a student researcher.
  3. In the section with the text beginning This is a good place to put an image or video, add one of those multimedia features. See the documentation on working with images in WordPress or MiddMedia for adding video. Videos hosted in sites other than MiddMedia can be added using the WordPress Video Plugin shortcode.
  4. The Related Links section offers you an opportunity to link to pages outside of MiddLab related to your research. These could be papers you've cited, website resources, databases, or other projects.
  5. The Downloads section is the place to put whatever research artifacts are available for your project. A PDF copy of your paper, datasets, a spreadsheet, a copy of your poster, or whatever other materials you want to make available. Don't worry if it's in an obscure format, though you may not be able to upload those, so send an email to middlab@middlebury.edu if you run into that issue.
  6. Below the table is a space for you to add detailed information about your work.

Authors

You can add multiple Post Author(s) to a MiddLab project. These people will be credited on the automatically generated Authors page and each author has their own page on MiddLab listing the projects in which they've been involved.

Custom MiddLab Project fields

These fields add extra regions of content to the MiddLab project post. You are free to put any content in any of these fields, but their headers are static and suggest the type of content which should appear in each.

  1. Add a sentence to the Learn more about... field to direct people to the Department or Office that sponsored your research. This helps site visitors see what types of courses are taught or work is done in the area of the institution most connected to your work. Make sure to hyperlink these department names. Example "Learn more about Biology and Undergraduate Research at Middlebury College."
  2. If you blog about your project at another location, you can add the URL of that blog to the Blog URL field. This will show a link to the blog on your project description page so that people can visit there are read about the process of your research.
  3. If your project has a specific Location associated with the work, you can type the address of the site in the Location field. This information is used to build a map of MiddLab projects.

Categories and Tags

It is highly recommended that you use Categories and Tags to help people find your project. The Categories are used by some Offices and Departments to display a "MiddLab widget" on their site which will show a link to your project if it is associated with their category.

There are three types of Categories:

  • Departments: Academic departments or institutions. These are shown in a list at the bottom of the MiddLab homepage.
  • Offices: Administrative offices that sponsor research or host research events.
  • Themes: Interdisciplinary topics meant to tie together research projects.

The Categories and Tags you choose will be shown on your MiddLab project page.

Publish

When you are done with your MiddLab post, click Publish to make it live. It is highly recommended that you first click Preview to make sure all of your content lines up and there are no broken links or images. If you need any help correcting these issues, click Save Draft and send a note to middlab@middlebury.edu.

Creating a MiddLab Project Blog

A blog can be a great way to keep notes on your research and share what you're doing with other people in a way that allows them to unobtrusively suggest other resources or theories that your research might consider. It also provides an easy space for collaboration when working with multiple researchers, particularly when geographically separate. We've created a custom WordPress theme that you can use for projects that are part of MiddLab. You're not required to use this theme, but it helps thematically associate the short project description on the [MiddLab] site with the longer discussion happening in your blog.

To create a new blog using this theme:

  1. Click the Log in link in the top right corner of the MiddLab site.
  2. Enter your username and password in the form.
  3. Click the Create a Blog link in the top right corner of the page.
  4. Choose a Site Name and Site Title for your blog and click Create Site.
  5. From the Dashboard, select Themes under Appearance in the left column.
  6. Under the MiddLab Project Blog screenshot, click Activate.

More information about setting up a new blog can be found in our article on WordPress

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