2. Field Types for Data Collection

As explained in the Basics of Data Collection, we focus on the use of the Directories Pro plugin for setting up an ELN. The field types in the Directories Pro plugin are shown in the following screenshot. You can review these field types to determine if they would meet your needs for data collection.

Screenshot of the Field Types in Directories Pro

Field types are also covered in the documentation on the Directories Pro site.

In order to cover these field types in depth, we separate the field types into five groups with somewhat descriptive names, as shown below. Each group is then covered in depth in a separate Knowledge Base Item. Note that like many WordPress plugins, the Directories Pro plugin has an emphasis on field types that are useful for commercial entities like Opening Hours for stores. In the MyLabBook approach, we discuss how the available fields can be repurposed in many cases for use in a research context.

Event Field Group

  • Date – A date field with a drop-down calendar to pick a date and optionally, a time as well
  • Location – A geo-location field with a map display and address values and longitude and latitude coordinates
  • Map – A map with longitude and latitude coordinates
  • Opening Hours – A set of drop-down select values to set a span of days and hours
  • Social Accounts – A set of URLs and icons for the major social networks (e.g., Facebook, Instagram)
  • Time – A time value drop-down select with optional day of the week and end time drop-down selects

Media Field Group

  • Color – A drop-down with patches of color that populates a text box with the hex values for the color
  • Icon – An icon drop-down select where you can select an icon from a set of over 1400 possibilities
  • Image – An image from an upload or the media library
  • Video – A YouTube or Vimeo video

Quantitative Field Group

  • Choice – The choice widget can be one of 3 forms – an HTML select form element (often called a drop-down), or radio buttons, or check-boxes
  • Number – An integer or decimal value with an optional minimum value, maximum value, prefix or suffix using a text box or a slider widget
  • On/Off – A checkbox widget
  • Price – A decimal value with a drop-down for different currencies
  • Range – A range for an integer or decimal value with an optional minimum value, maximum value, prefix or suffix using a slider widget

Reference Field Group

  • File A file from an upload or from the media library where you can select the possible extension values of the file and maximum size
  • Post Reference – A reference to an existing WordPress post or another custom post type apart from content in a directory
  • Reference – A reference to an existing piece of content in a directory
  • URL – A URL value (for example, https://google.com)
  • User – A reference to a Username in the current website

Text Field Group

  • Email – A text field that is restricted to having the format of an email address
  • Name – A group of widgets for name fields. This can include widgets for a prefix, first name, middle name, last name, and suffix.
  • Paragraph Text – An HTML text area that can be edited with the WordPress editor or as raw HTML
  • Phone Number – A text field that is restricted to having the format of a phone number
  • Simple Line Text – A plain text field (not HTML) with optional prefix and suffix and possible auto-population values