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Frequently Asked Questions

General User Questions
Contributions & Challenges
Technical Questions

General User Questions

How can I create a profile?

Register on the site (or login if you have already registered). Click on the blue triangle to the right of your user name in the upper right corner of the screen and select "My profile". Once on your profile page, select "Manage profile and settings". Fill out and save your profile (don't forget to upload a photo!)

How can I retrieve my password if I've forgotten it?

Please follow this screencast to easily reset your password.

I'm getting too many Pandemic Response CoLab emails!  How can I get fewer emails or unsubscribe?

The Pandemic Response CoLab sends members emails about site activity that they have subscribed to, as well as occasional CoLab Talk newsletters.

To change how often you receive site activity notifications, please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Pandemic Response CoLab account and select "My profile"
  2. Click "Manage profile and settings >>"
  3. On the right column under "Message settings", either:
    • Select "Only send me a daily summary of all activities I'm subscribed to" (once-a-day digest of notifications), or
    • Uncheck all the checkboxes (stop all notifications)
  4. Click Save

Do you have a privacy policy?

Yes, please see the latest version of our privacy policy here

Can I message people on the Pandemic Response COLab?

Yes, you can send messages to other members via the CoLab messaging system.  Open the recipient member's profile page and select "Send message".  They will receive a notification on the site and, if they have selected this option, an email notification of your message.  Members can send a maximum of 15 messages per 24 hour period.  

Do you have a policy or guidelines on community etiquette on the Pandemic Response CoLab?

The community expects its members to engage with each other respectfully and courteously. The community will seek to frame controversial issues in a way that is respectful to all sides in the debate and does not favor a particular perspective. Failure to act in a respectful and courteous way is grounds for loss of member privileges.

The general approach to engagement is in line with the behavioral guidelines that have been developed by the Wikipedia community. Another useful articulation of these guidelines appears in Wikipedia's Etiquette page. 

We expect all community members to follow the standard guidelines of MIT Center for Collective Intelligence's crowdsourcing platforms. 


Contributions & Challenges

How can I submit a contribution?

Register on the site (or log in if you have already registered). Go to the contest page Select the area that is most appropriate for your contribution and click on it. Click the "Contribute" button in lower right corner. Fill out the fields in the template.

How do I delete my contribution?

Under the Admin tab on your proposal page, click the delete button

How can I save a draft of my contribution?

Unfortunately, it is only possible to save and publish your contribution at the same time, but you can always go back and edit your contribution after it is published.

Can I edit my contribution after submission?

You can always edit your contribution by logging into your account and clicking edit.

How can I join a team? How can I add people to my contribution?

Some contributions can be edited by anyone on Pandemic Response CoLab, but others are only open to team members. To join a team, you should first log in.  Then go to the "Contributors" tab of the contribution you would like to join and click the "Request membership" button in the upper right.  The system will send your membership request to the owner.  After theowner approves the request, your username will show up as a team member in the Contributors tab and you will have the privileges of a team member - the ability to contribute to the contribution by editing the description.

Who can submit a contribution?

Challenges are open to anyone in the world, regardless of age, nationality, or political viewpoint.  This challenge, however, is void where prohibited by law. It is your responsibility to check with your local laws to make sure that this challenge does not violate any applicable law or ordinance, and to make sure that you are eligible to participate. If you are under 18 years old, you will need your parent or legal guardian to register on the website and submit your contribution for you.  You may submit contributions that you have previously published or exhibited so long as they conform to the entry guidelines and the rules of this challenge.

What is the format for a contribution?

When you start a contribution, the layout will be provided. Many of the questions are consistent throughout, but some challenges may have slightly different questions.  Click "CONTRIBUTE" on the challenge homepage to review the contribution format for that challenge.

Do we translate contributions?

Currently we do not have the capacity to translate contributions, as there is a constant input of new content. However, we recommend using a trusted translation website to assist you. 

What are the copyrights on this proposal?

Everything posted is subject to our Creative Commons License, which is at the bottom of each website page.

How can I make sure my proposal is entered in the contest?

Once you click "Save and Publish changes", it will automatically appear on the homepage and considered entered into the challenge.

Technical Questions

How can I include images in my contribution?

If you would like to include images in your contribution, you will first need to upload them on a public image hosting site (such as ImageShack, Flickr, or imgur) and then copy and paste the URL of the image into the "URL" field when you click "Insert Image".  Follow these steps, using the image hosting site imgur as an example: Go to, click on 'Computer' just under 'Upload Images' on the right hand side, select your image, click on 'start upload' and your image should show up on the site.  On the right hand side of the screen displaying your image, you can see a little table. Go to 'Direct Link [..]' and copy the link you find in there to your clipboard. (looks like: )  Go to your contribution on the Pandemic Response CoLab into the text field you would like to insert the image to. Click on the text field as if you would want to write something in it. A few buttons should show up just below the upper border of the text field; select 'Image' which is located to the very right.  Paste the link to your imgur image into the URL field and hit 'OK'. To adjust size of your images please use Width and Height fields in image edit dialog box.