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Help and Frequently Asked Questions


Workspaces Help

What is a Workspace?

The workspace is the easiest way to make your work available on ConserveOnline. A workspace is a small website where you can post data, documents, images, maps etc. Using a workspace you can:

  • Create events calendar.
  • Hold discussions.
  • Invite people with/without ConserveOnline membership to access your workspace.
  • Restrict the information to a group of collaborators or make it public.

Please note that all documents that are available to the public will be accessible to search engines like Google.

The screenshot below shows an example of a Workspace:

FAQ Screenshot

How Do I Join A Workspace?

Each workspace is essentially a 'franchise' within ConserveOnline, and is independently owned and operated. To join a workspace you must contact the manager of that workspace.

To join a workspace:

  • Login to ConserveOnline.
  • Select the Workspaces tab.
  • The Browse My Workspaces page appears. By default, you will see your workspaces.
  • You can browse for other workspaces by Countries, Search Terms or All Workspaces.
  • Navigate to the name of the workspace that interests you.
  • The selected workspace home page appears. Click on the blue Join Workspace button on the right-hand side of the screen. Fill out the form and submit it to request permission to join the workspace. A request will be sent to the workspace manager, who will then approve or reject your request. You will get an e-mail or notification in your profile when your request is approved or rejected.
How can I change my Workspace homepage?

To change your workspace homepage:

  • Access your workspace.
  • Click Workspace Settings on the left-hand side menu.
  • The Workspace Settings page appears. On this page, you can change the title of the workspace, icon and logo images and the associated metadata by altering the fields.

In order to change the look of the homepage, you will need to use tool bar at the top of the content box that allows you to change the formatting of text, images, etc on the page.

The screenshot below shows the use of the tool bar to edit the content.

FAQ Screenshot

How do I edit a page in my Workspace?

In order to edit a page located under Files & Pages:

  • Access your workspace.
  • Click Files and Pages on the left-hand side menu.
  • Navigate and click on the page you would like to edit.
  • Click the blue Edit button.
  • The Edit File page appears.
  • Make desired changes and click Save.
What is metadata and where is it entered in COL?

Metadata is a way of describing a file or a workspace in ConserveOnline. It is structured information that allows users to find and retrieve information quickly using descriptors rather than folders. In ConserveOnline, there are two types of metadata:

  • Searchable: Searchable means that you can use the Search box to find the information.
  • Non-searchable: Non-searchable requires you to manually navigate to find the information.

The table below distinguishes between what is searchable and what is not.

Searchable Metadata Non-Searchable Metadata
  • All Search Terms
  • Workspace Settings Descriptors:
    • Workspace Name
    • Biogeographic Realm
    • Habitat Type
    • Direct Threats
    • Etc.
  • Library File Descriptors:
    • Author
    • Title
    • All file content
    • Etc.
  • Workspace Files & Pages Keywords
What is searchable in my Workspace?

Everything except keywords in a workspace is searchable. The search engine will search the full text of every document and page in the workspace.

Can I publish documents in my Workspace?

Yes, you can move a file directly from your workspace to the library by viewing the properties of a file and pressing the blue Add to Library button. You can also post a document to the library by going to the Library tab and following the instructions for adding a file to the library.

How do I add new members to Workspaces?

If you create a workspace, you are automatically assigned as the workspace manager. To add new members:

  • Access your workspace.
  • Click Members on the left hand side menu.
  • The Manage Workspace Members page appears. You can invite new members to join your workspace by entering their email addresses in the Invite New Members box. You can also use the Search function to find ConserveOnline members by first and/or last name and then obtain their email address. When you have completed the list of people to invite, click the Invite Button below the box to send the invitations.

You can invite people to join your workspace; in addition, other members of ConserveOnline can contact you and request permission to join your workspace.

Below is an example of adding new members to Workspace:

FAQ Screenshot

How do I create an event in a calendar?

To create an event in a calendar:

  • Go to your workspace.
  • Click Calendar on the left hand side menu.
  • The Calendar page appears. On the right hand side of the screen, just below the green title bar, click on the blue Add Event button.
  • The Add Event page appears. Fill out the required information and then click Save to add an event.

Below is an example of adding an event:

FAQ Screenshot

How do I create a topic in a discussion?

To create a topic in a discussion:

  • Go to your Workspace.
  • Click Discussions on the left hand side menu.
  • The Discussions page appears. On the right hand side of the screen, just below the green title bar, click on the blue Add Discussions button.
  • The Add Discussion page appears. Fill out the required information and then click Save to add a discussion topic.

Below is an example of adding an event:

FAQ Screenshot

What is the Workspace Settings tab?

In your workspace, you will see a menu on the left hand side of the screen titled Workspace Home. The last item on the menu is called the Workspace Settings. This item appears in the workspace only if you are the owner of that workspace.

Using the Workspace Settings tab the user can:

  • Change the name, description, and permissions (public/private) of your workspace.
  • Add an icon or logo.
  • Change the Biogeographic Realm, Habitat Type and other properties associated with your workspace. These terms are considered metadata. They are searchable by search engines.
What is the difference between searching and browsing in a Workspace?

Search within a workspace uses a Google search engine. It searches:

  • The full text of all documents in your workspace.
  • Specific search terms for your workspace and its files/pages.

Note that Keywords associated with Files & Pages are not included in the Google searching.

Browsing within a workspace involves organizing files in a workspace using keywords.

  • Keywords are author-defined at the time a file or a page is uploaded into the workspace and it groups-together files based on their keywords, purposes, and authors.

Note that if your workspace was migrated from old ConserveOnline, the keyword for a file or page will default to the foldername it existed in (for the top two folder levels). (Keywords can be added or changed by editing the file or page.)


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