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Citizen science networks

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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 on Zenodo (find the link below in achievements section)

Chairs

Florian Heigl, co-chair

Working group
members

  • Anders Tøttrup
  • Annelies Duerincky
  • Cristina Luís
  • Darlene Cavalier
  • Gaia Agnello
  • Gitte Kragh
  • Grant Miller
  • Jakub Trojan
  • Liesbeth Gijsel
  • Lotta Tomasson
  • Marika Cieslinski
  • Patricia Tiago
  • Susanne Hecker
  • Susanne Tönsmann
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Activity plan

Current stage of the process

After finalizing the criteria in a 3-year-process, the working group is currently defining a new aim. As soon as this process is finished, the new aim will be described here.

Past achievements

  • The working group held several online meetings to discuss possible criteria and how to be as open as possible in this process.
  • Group members conducted a literature review on characteristics and criteria for citizen science, and extracted criteria, characteristics, definitions and/or typologies from these documents
  • Cocreation of first draft of criteria
  • Organization of workshops at international conferences (e.g. ECSA 2020, CitSciVirtual 2021)
  • Collection of feedback from international and national citizen science project coordinators and researchers on citizen science
  • Co-creating 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. You can download the criteria, the accompanying preamble, guidelines and an overview of the development process on Zenodo: “Criteria for listing citizen science projects on citizen science online platforms”

How to get involved

Interested in joining this working group? Please write to the chairs at: office@citizen-science.at