The Notes section lets you write and publish rich notes describing your thoughts and your work; for example, you can discuss how you used files, comparisons, and apps—which you can also attach to the note—to prove a certain point or to document a procedure. You can read what others have reported and access their attachments to take a closer look at their work or even reproduce it on your own.

Notes are listed as cards, with their title at the top, the author's organization handle and username at the bottom. If there are any attachments, the attached item counts are also displayed. The following icons are used to denote each collection: = Files, = Comparisons, = Jobs, = Apps, and = Assets.

Clicking on a note brings up the full note text. If the note has attachments, those are listed on the right hand side. Each attachment contains an icon to identify its type: = File, = Comparison, = Job, = App, and = Asset.

Editing notes

Notes are written using Markdown syntax. While editing a note, you can switch between editing the Markdown content and previewing the result. The editing mode also allows you to remove any attachments. When you are happy with your edits, click "Save" to store your changes.

To attach an item (such as a file, an app, a job, a comparison, or an asset) to a note, navigate to the page of that item and click "Attach to...". A list of all the notes authored by you will pop up. Select one or more notes and click "Attach". If you attach a private item to a public note, the system does not adjust any permissions; you need to separately publish that item so that others can access it when they read your note.

You don't need to own an item in order to attach it — you are welcome to attach other people's items to your notes. However, if they later delete one of these items, the attachment will be automatically removed.

Ideas for using notes

Notes often function as a way to document information about their attachments. For that reason, when you visit the page of an item that has been attached to one or more notes, the system will show a "Notes" tab containing all related notes.

When publishing items (like files or comparisons) to the precisionFDA community, it's a good idea to also publish a note describing why you are contributing these items and what you expect community members to do with them. This way, when someone stumbles upon a published item of yours, they can look up the relevant note to learn more. For more information, see Publishing.

TIP: Notes can also function as organizational structures, i.e. as "virtual folders" which contain the attached items. For example, you can create a "scrapbook" note and while browsing the rest of the website, if you come across an interesting item, attach it to your scrapbook.

Tell us how you'd like this feature to evolve. Are you interested in the ability to comment on other people's notes? Would you care to "subscribe" to a note and get notifications when it changes? Should notes be collaboratively edited? Drop us a note (no pun intended!) with your ideas and suggestions.