ECSA Working Group:
Citizen science networks
Since the early 2010s, several national networks and initiatives have been established to connect different citizen science projects in their respective countries, often across scientific disciplines. These platforms pursue several goals, such as: (1) displaying citizen science projects to an interested public; (2) connecting citizen science actors to foster innovation and learning; and (3) lobbying for citizen science in their respective contexts.
However, many of these initiatives face a number of challenges. These include, but are not limited to: funding; organization of workloads (e.g. organizational structure, IPR); and framing of citizen science (e.g. transparent criteria on which projects are listed on online platforms, and which are not).
In the Citizen Science Networks working group, representatives from established and emerging citizen science networks are collaborating to tackle some of these challenges.
The group’s first goal was to frame transparent criteria that help networks to decide, in a transparent and impartial way, if a project should be listed as citizen science on online platforms or not. This will facilitate the exchange of projects between networks and make projects more comparable. In October 2022, the process of co-creating these criteria together with citizen science researchers, practitioners, project coordinators and citizen scientists was successfully finished. You can download the criteria, the accompanying preamble, guidelines and an overview of the development process from Zenodo: https://zenodo.org/record/7249085#.ZAW_VEzkREa
After finalizing the criteria, the new aim of the working group was again jointly defined at a meeting in Berlin during the ECSA 2022. The new aim is to share experiences of how to run a citizen science network/platform.