(360) 789-9669 codeinnovations@ecobuilding.org

Informant Review Process

When a case study has been drafted by consultant, intern, or volunteer researcher, it must undergo a technical informant review by those involved in the project to insure the highest quality product.

This would include anyone who contributed information or content to the case study, including but not limited to:
·         Approving official(s)
·         Project owner(s)
·         Architect / designer
·         General contractor / project manager
·         Subcontractors
·         Product / technology suppliers

The researcher will:


  1. Having starting writing in MS Word (or equivalent), transfer contents of the Case Study to a Google Doc using the following naming format:  [Project Title] + “final draft”
  2. Review the final draft case study for conformance with format and content standards (See Case Study Template 9-2012, attached)
  3. Assemble a list of suggested informant Reviewer Evaluators (including contact information and identified role in the project)
  4. Note any specific informant review questions for Evaluators to consider
  5. These will be submitted to the Principal Investigator/

The Principal Investigator will:

  1. Check if the draft conforms with format and content standards
  2. Edit the document, send back to you any changes requested before informant review
  3. Designate a informant Review Moderator for the case study (if different from the researcher).
  4. Designate 3 or more informant Review Evaluators for the case study.
  5. Note any specific informant review questions for Evaluators to consider.
  6. Mark draft is “released” for informant review, and the process may begin.

The informant Review Moderator conducts the process from there:

  1. Finalize specific technical review questions, and assign them to individual informant Reviewer Evaluators as appropriate
  2. Create a separate Google Doc for each reviewer (from Doc, click File, Make a Copy; then click on title and add reviewer’s name to replace “final draft”.
  3. On Google Drive, create a system of folders to facilitate sharing of documents for review.  In the folder “Case Studies” create a folder for each case study, then save a different version of the study titled with the reviewers’ names.  Then “Share” the entire folder with each reviewer so they can see each others’ comments.
  4. Writes an email (see informant Review email text below) or letter, to each of individual informant Review Evaluator, in which you a) share the google link / attached word doc, 2) request their input, and 3) outline the informant review schedule.
  5. The email should identify any specific questions addressed to that informant Review Evaluator
  6. Follow-up Phone Call within 36 hours to each informant Review Evaluator, to insure they have access to the document, agree to review, and review informant review schedule deadlines.
  7. During the phone call, draw attention to any specific questions addressed to that informant Review Evaluator
  8. Send follow-up email including thank you for participating, schedule deadline reminder
  9. Send reminder email 3 days before schedule deadline.
  10. If necessary send additional reminder email / phone calls after the schedule deadline

During the process, if you get them on the phone:

  • Ask if they are at their computer, can they open the email?  Instruct them to click on the Google Doc link, and make sure they can access the document.
  • Draw their attention to the specific technical review questions which they may have knowledge of
  • Remind them of the review schedule, and ask if they can meet the deadline.
  • Ask if they’ve had a chance to check out the Database website, online at www.CodeInnovations.org

Informant Review email text – Template

Subject:  Code Innovation Case Study: (project title)

Dear Contact Name ,

You may already be aware of the Case Study we are conducting on the (project title) which you (permitted/designed/built/installed/etc) for project owner (owners name) .  Would you be willing to help with review of this case study, so we can publish the most accurate and useful information when it is posted to our website You can view completed case studies at www.CodeInnovations.org

I hope you can make time in the next few days to help us identify any errors, omissions or other problems with the text, references or specific project data.   Please Click Here (insert google doc link, and remember to “share” the doc with the person’s email address) and you’ll be taken to the document on “google docs” where you can comment or edit the review draft as appropriate.  If you have trouble accessing the document, I have also attached it as word document for your convenience.

As the (approving official/architect/builder/owner) of this project, you have unique knowledge of this project overall, and specifically as it relates to the (area of specific question addressed to this informant review Evaluator) .  As you review the study, please (include specific questions for the Evaluator, such as):

The following are some possible questions you might address to a specific evaluator, and you’ll write your own based on each individual study.

  • Review the “applicable codes and standards” section, and check for accuracy of those references, and any we might have missed.  “Is that the right code section?” – “any additional codes or standards you required for approval?”
  • Review the permitting process and approval requirements sections, and “does this match your memory of the process that occurred?  ”
  • Read what was written about the motivations and cost-benefit of the project, to see if we got it right.  (include this paragraph if appropriate)
  • If any sections of the study seem weak, ask for additional information or analysis from the evaluator.
  • We are also seeking 3-5 supporting documents for each study which will add depth and detail to the case study when it is published.  These might include:
    • Photos, drawings, or other images of the project and innovation (send as attachments in jpg, gif, pdf or other graphic file).
    • Evaluation reports, testing data or other official information which were submitted to gain approval
    • Engineering reports, energy calculations, architectural drawings or other project-specific information (these will only be published with express written permission of the owner(s) of the information)
    • General reports, resources, or other information related to the innovation form
    • Performance data / reports from the innovation and project
    • Links to any of this information, if it already exists online.

Now back to the text of the email template:

As I mentioned we are planning to publish this case study to our website on (target publish date) .  Therefore, our informant-review deadline on this study is (date 3-5 days before target publish date) .  Please conduct your review and provide the requested feedback and information on or before that date.

Meanwhile, I’d recommend you check out the Code Innovations Database, and tell us what you think of the website and all the resources we are assembling there.  We are conducting a “beta-test” of the site between now and November 30, and we would love any suggestions you might have to help us improve it.

Thank you very much,

Name and title
Code Innovations Database Project
Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
911 Adams St. SE
Olympia, WA  98501