Getting Started

Guidance on how to get started

Create your unique project tag.
Follow the pattern ‘ethno-projectname’. To do this, create a new post and tag it with your new tag in the ‘optional tags’ bar. So let’s say my tag is ‘ethno-amelia-smartcities’. For more information on tagging, see the Discourse Manual.

Start adding data

Say I want to add an interview. I create a new post, title it “Interview with Sanjay”, and I apply two tags: my project tag (#ethno-projectname) and a tag labelling what kind of data it is, attached to my project (#interview-projectname).

Example types of data:

I paste my interview into a post, publish it, and I can now code it. Open the coding view by clicking the “coding view” link at the top of any post. You can also add audio files and video files to code (you can code the files directly).

1. Types of Data

2. Coding Backend and User Settings

1. Types of Data

1.1. Interviews

Conduct interview then post on platform
To post an interview on the platform, create a new topic. Title it as you please and add your tags.

Do a Text-Based Interview on Platform
You can ask a participant to respond to your questions asynchronously or in real-time on the platform, then code the data.

1.2. Field Notes

To post your field notes on the platform, create a new topic. Title it and add your Discourse tags.

1.3. Focus Groups

Host conversations or focus groups on platform .
You can also host conversations on the platform to add to your data – holding digital focus groups, events, etc.

1.4. Multimedia

You can upload videos, photos, and other multimedia onto the platform in a post. Use the hyperlink or upload button to do so. You can also embed the video using the “embed” function on YouTube, by copying the Embed code.

1.5. Surveys

Set up a survey on platform .

If you click on the wheel at the far right of a post when you are making it, you can build a poll to ask participants questions. You can export the poll data when you are finished.

1.6. Platform Data

Add platform data to your project

All I have to do to add someone else’s data to my project is to navigate to another post and add my project tag to the post.

2. Coding Backend and User Settings

2.1. View Open Ethnographer Backend

Navigate to In the backend of OE, I can now see all the codes attached to my particular project (by sorting by my project tag), all the codes for one kind of data (sort by datatype-projectname) or see all the codes I’ve assigned to any project of mine (by sorting by my name).

For detailed information on how to code using Open Ethnographer, visit the Open Ethnographer Manual.

2.2. Set User Settings

I can also choose in the user settings whose codes I want to see suggested when I create new codes – only my own, only ones from a particular project of mine, only those of a particular user group (say, a group of my colleagues), or everyone.

For an example study, see the Amelia’s Smart Cities Project subcategory!