Activities on iRecord are a way of setting up forms and reports for particular sites or areas, and for particular species or groups of species. Have a look at the Activities pages to see the ones that have already been set up - examples include this local moth group Activity and this national park Activity. Before setting up your own Activity it is worth searching through the list of existing ones to see if there is a suitable one already (see also more information about joining an existing Activity).
Follow the steps below to set up a new Activity. See also setting up an Activity for a bioblitz event.
A) The basic details for your Activity
- Go to the "Record" menu and choose "Activities".
- Click on the "My activities" tab (if it is not already showing), and click on the blue button to "Create new activity". You should see a form headed "Create or edit an activity", and you can use this form to define what your Actitivity will do.
- First of all, give your Activity a name and a description, so that it is clear for anyone visiting iRecord what the Activity is for.
- You need to choose an Activity type, whichever is most appropriate to your Activity:
- If your Activity is associated with an organisation, you can uplaod a logo that will be displayed on the Activity pages.
- The next question asks you to define how iRecord users can join your Activity (see also how this might affect the choices in section C below):
- In the next part of the form you can choose to make your Activity time-limited, e.g. for a bioblitz or other event that only takes place on a certain date. The dates you choose here will control the time period during which it is possible to view and join the Activity, they do not affect which records are displayed (see B.3 below for filtering records by date).
- By default, one of the administrators for the Activity will be the iRecord account that was used to set up the Activity, but you can add further administrators if the Activity is being jointly run by several iRecord users. To find another person on iRecord you need to type in their name as "Surname, Forename", or you can search on Surname alone, or you can type in the full email address of the person you wish to add, and then click the "Add" button - if there is a matching iRecord account for that email the account will be added.
B) Setting up the filter for the records you wish to include
This section of the form works in a similar way to the filtering options elsewhere in iRecord. You can choose what species or species groups will be shown in your Activity, you can define a geographical area and you can select a time period. In addition, the "Advanced" section allows further filtering based on whether or not records have been verified, and what source they come from.
- Click on "What" to choose filters for species groups, or individual species, or at other taxonomic levels.
- Click on "Where" to define the geographical area for your Activity. This can be taken from your existing list of sites (the ones that you have set up in "My Sites"), or from predefined lists of counties, countries and National Nature Reserves. Alternatively, you can define your own site boundary by using the map drawing tools - hover over the tools to see what they do:
- Click on "When" to set a time period for the records that you want to display.
- The "Quality" and "Source" filter settings can be accessed by opening the "Advanced" link. By default, your Activity will include all records except those that have been flagged as incorrect, from all sources, but you can change these filter settings if you wish.
C) Which records to include in the Activity reports
As well as the filter settings you chose in section B), you can also choose how to relate the species and geographical filters to the members of the Activity. The first and most restricted option will only display records that were added to iRecord by someone who is a member of the Activity group, AND who used one of the recording forms that you will define in section D) below. The third option will display the most complete set of records, showing all records that match the filters from section B), regardless of whether the recorder is a member of the Activity, and regardless of which data entry form they use.
D) Activity pages
This final section of the form is the one that set up the pages that Activity users will actually see, via the blue buttons that appear next to each Activity. You can choose whether to make the pages available to all iRecord users, or just to those that have joined the Activity, or just to Activity administrators.
- Under the "Form" heading you can choose from a variety of predefined forms. Many of these are specific to particular projects within iRecord, but the ones that are of more general use include:
- Enter a list of records (for a site on a date) - similar to the standard iRecord "enter a list" form, but is filtered to the species group and geogrpahical area of the Activity
- Explore activity data - similar to the standard iRecord "Explore records" page, but is also filtered to match the Activity
- Activity summary - a useful view of what's been added to the Activity, with total numbers of records and species, what's trending etc. (example here)
- Enter a casual record - similar to the standard iRecord form but filtered for the Activity
- Incoming records chart - a simple graph of incoming records
- Manage activity sites - this allows you to define sites that can then be used by all group members, as long as they enter records using one of the Activity's forms
The first two in the list are set to appear by default, but you can remove them if you don't want them. You can add as many of the others as you need.
- Under the "Link caption" heading, you can add or change the text that will appear on the blue buttons for each page of your Activity.
- Under "Who can access this page?" you can choose whether to make your forms accessible to group members only, to group admininstrators only, or to all iRecord users. For instance, you might want to make the Activity summary available to all users, the Enter records form available only to group members, and the Manage sites form available only to group admins.
You can now click on "Create activity" at the foot of the page to save your Activity!
E) Inviting participants
After creating your activity you will be taken to a page allowing you to send email invites to potential participants. You can specify a list of email addresses and amend the message to be sent as required, or just click "Not Now" if you don’t want to do this.
Invitees will receive an email with a link to allow them to easily sign up. If your Activity has been set up so that new members have to be approved by Activity administrators, the admins will see that there is a membership application waiting to be dealt with next time they go to their "My Activities" list. Under the "Members" heading a blue "pending" link will be showing - click on the link to approve or reject the new member:
You can send more invites later by clicking the "Send invites" button in the Actions column in your list of My Activities.
If you want to give out a public link to allow people to sign up (e.g. on your event’s publicity material) then you can construct the link required as follows:
- Take your activity’s title and convert it all to lower case.
- Remove everything except spaces and alphabetical or numeric characters.
- Replace all spaces with hyphens.
- Append this modified title to http://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/join to create the joining link required.
So, as an example, if your activity was called “Surveying Tom & Jan’s field!” then the joining link would be http://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/join/surveying-tom--jans-field.
In addition to the people you invite, anyone can ask to join an Activity by finding it in the "Browse all activities" tab (from the menu "Record - Activites"), and clicking on the yellow star button to join: