Frequently Asked Questions

The list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will answer any questions you might have about participating in the WILDLABS.NET Community. For additional information, please visit our Community Guidelines.

Published Date: 2015/10/29

1. How does WILDLABS.NET add value to existing resources?

By creating WILDLABS.NET, seven of the world’s largest global conservation organisations are building the go-to place to crowd-source information, tools and resources to identify, develop and implement technology-enabled solutions to some of our greatest conservation challenges. Today, much of the data and lessons learned from piloting technology in the field are either siloed within major conservation organizations, academia, and the private and public sectors, or abbreviated in static media stories and journal articles. WILDLABS.NET will address current challenges in accessing real-time information and technical advice on appropriate technology tools for desired conservation outcomes.

2. How can I join WILDLABS.NET, and is this network only intended for members of the conservation community?

The intention of WILDLABS.NET is to break down silos and engage a diverse community beyond conservationists. Technologists, engineers, data scientists, entrepreneurs and other change makers are encouraged to join the community by registering here.

3. How do I join a group in the community?

Although you can view some of the content in the community without logging in, to join groups and participating in conversations you must be logged in. Once you are logged in, there are three types of groups on WILDLABS.NET: "Open", "Members Only" and "Closed".

To join an 'Open' group you can click the 'Subscribe to group' link found below the introductory text on the group homepage. If you start a new thread or reply to a conversation you will also be automatically signed up as a group member.

To join a 'Members Only' group you will need to click the 'Request to Join' link below the introductory text in the group homepage. You will be able to leave a message for the group manager along with your request, and we advice members to take this as an opportunity to introduce themselves and why they are interested in joining the group. Once the group manager has reviewed and approved your request to join, you will receive an email notification. The group will then appear in your subscription list and you will be able to access all content in the group.

To join a 'Closed' group, you will need to have been issued an invitation by the group manager to join the group. Unless you are a member of a closed group, you will not see the group in the community listing or the search areas.

4. How can I create a group for information-sharing on my technical area of expertise?

Registered community members can start a new group for information-sharing on a specific technology tool or technical field by emailing a request to the WILDLABS.NET Community Manager at community@wildlabs.net. We anticipate that members who request new groups will also be interested in being the Group Manager for the new group. 

5. What is a Group Manager? How do I become one? 

The role of the Group Manager is to administer the group, manage members as required, and stimulate discussion. Although Group Managers do have some administrative responsibilities (such as approving new members), their main role is to encourage lively, collaborative discourse in their group. They will bring new members to their group, share relevant content, facilitate discussions and debates, and promote opportunities for collaboration. Group Managers are supported by the WILDLABS.NET Community Manager and can also add additional 'Administrator Members’, which will give those member similar group management permissions. 

If you're interested in becoming a Group Manager, please get in touch with the WILDLABS.NET Community Manager at community@wildlabs.net.

6. As a WILDLABS.NET community member, will I receive email alerts with updates when I subscribe to groups and contribute to discussion threads?

When community members create or add to a discussion group, they can opt to automatically receive email alerts for additional posts. Members can choose to switch off these alerts at any time by changing their profile settings.

7. Is all content on WILDLABS.NET visible to the public? How will WILDLABS.NET manage risk if sensitive information is posted by community members?

Most of the resources on WILDLABS.NET will be publicly visible, so that they are searchable by non-members and can benefit the broader public. When applying to join the community, all new members must agree to the Terms of Use.

Because some information on technology tools and applications that community members share may be intended for specific networks, there are three types of groups on WILDLABS.NET: 'Open', 'Members Only' and 'Invite Only'. Discussion threads and content shared in non-sensitive 'Open' groups are visible to the public. 'Members only' group content is visible only to community members who submit a 'join' request and are approved by the Group Manager. 'Invite Only' groups are invisible to the general community and are intended as workspaces for sharing information among community members who are specifically invited to do so by that Group Manager. Visibility assignment decisions are made by Group Managers, and can be modified on a case-by-case basis.

Members also have the ability to direct message other members in community for private conversations. These content of these conversations are not accessible by the WILDLABS.NET moderation team, therefore are not monitored.

Although we have different visibility settings, we would caution members to be careful about what they choose to reveal online. As we state in our Community Guidelines, no matter where you talk on WILDLABS.NET, we advise you to refrain from discussing sensitive information about your work.

8. What protections are in place to prevent malicious posts on WILDLABS.NET?

The WILDLABS.NET Community Guidelines outline the rules for participating in the community in order to ensure the it is a safe, welcoming and collaborative place for all members. There is a system built-in to WILDLABS.NET that allows members to flag content in discussion threads that they feel is malicious or inappropriate. A Group Manager can uplist, down-list or unpublish threads at any time. As an additional layer of security, if a post or thread is reported by 5 community members, it will be automatically unpublished, pending review by the WILDLABS.NET Community Manager.

9. Is there a risk that information shared on WILDLABS.NET could fall into the wrong hands and hinder conservation?

In the wrong hands, there is always some degree of risk that any information can be used for purposes other than those intended. But the absence of open communication constrains progress. As part of the Terms of Use, community members agree to a code of conduct, which includes not sharing information openly that may be sensitive or proprietary.

10. How is WILDLABS.NET handling intellectual property rights (IPR)? 

One of the core values of WILDLABS.NET is that of being 'open', and as such we encourage an open source ethos for collaboration and development. However, users must ensure that before putting any information in the public domain that they have sought unambiguous authorisation from the owners of the intellectual property rights or copyright holders. Our definitive Terms of Use can be viewed here.

11. How is WILDLABS.NET funded?

Seed funding for WILDLABS.NET is has been generously provided by Google.org and ARM via philanthropic grants to WWF and FFI. WILDLABS.NET content is hosted by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Sustained support is sought to help this community to grow and thrive.  

12. What is United for Wildlife?

United for Wildlife is an unprecedented alliance between seven of the world’s most influential conservation organisations and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.  The collaboration between Conservation International (CI), Fauna & Flora International (FFI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), WWF, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and The Royal Foundation hopes to lead the way to substantially increase the global response to major conservation crisis. With the support of The Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife hopes to bring attention to acute conservation problems, the most pressing of which, as agreed amongst the collaboration, is the rapid escalation of the illegal wildlife trade. This trade is having a devastating effect on wild populations of some of the largest and most iconic species: elephants, rhinos and tigers, plus lesser known animals such as the pangolin. As part of the five commitments identified by the collaboration a Technology Council has been created to support the sharing and testing of technology to assist with conservation of the worlds biodiversity.

13. Who can I contact for more information, and with additional questions?