Scout

  • e.g. crowdfunding, intellectual property, 5 USC 552

Using Scout Collections

What is a Scout collection?

A collection is a list of Scout alerts that is curated and can be shared publicly on the site. You can make a collection on any topic of interest, and you can create multiple collections. Creating a collection can help you organize your alerts by themes or topics by tagging various search terms into one collection.

You can also customize your collection page by adding a summary describing the collection and adding a profile for your organization including a logo and URL. Each collection also generates a single RSS feed that combines all of the alerts into one syndication.

Additionally, collections make it easier for other users to subscribe to the entire collection at once without having to replicate the individual alerts. Subscribers to your alerts will have the option to receive email notification of any activity in the collection.

Making a collection

To get started, begin by creating alerts on key terms or bills on Scout. (Watch this tutorial if you are new to Scout). Once you created your Scout alerts, go to Manage Alerts in your account. An empty "collections" field will appear under your alerts. Type in the name of your collection to add the alert to it.

Repeat this step for all the alerts you want included in the collection. When you create a collection, it will appear in the right sidebar of your Manage Alerts page. To view your collection, click on the name of your collection in the sidebar.

Viewing your collection

Your collection will be accessible in the sidebar via the Manage Alerts page of your account. On the collection page, it will list all of the alerts that are currently part of the collection. You also have an option to add a description (via "edit description" under the header) to the collection. You can also preview the list of recent activities of your collection by clicking on the "Jump to preview of results" link under the description. To edit your collection, simply return to the Manage Alerts page to add or remove collections for alerts.

The default setting of your collection is private and you can make your collection public by clicking on the "Make Collection Public" button in the right sidebar. This allows you to share the collection and makes the collection discoverable to other users. You can also follow the link in this section to "update your profile" to add a description of your organization, a logo and a URL.

Setting up a Profile

To add a profile to your Scout account, click on the Settings link in the navigation. In the "profile" sidebar, fill in the information that is required for sharing including "Full Name" and a username. The "Full Name" is the name of your organization that will be displayed. Your username is the handle used in the URL of your collection. For example, if your username is johnny and your collection is named candy, your collect will appear at https://scout.sunlightfoundation.com/user/johnny/candy.

You also have the option to add a brief user bio and website to your profile, shown alongside your public collections.

Still have questions? Contact us.