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Characteristics of Citizen Science

6. May. 2020

What is it, that is called "Citizen Science"?

Recently an international working group, established by the European Citizen Science Association - ECSA and the H2020 funded project EU-Citizen Science, set out to address the question: what is citizen science, and what isn’t? 

To come up with a set of characteristics of what constitutes citizen science, the working group led by Muki Haklay and with the participation of Barbara Kieslinger and Teresa Schäfer from ZSI, created a ‘vignette survey’, a method in which participants give their opinion on a set of descriptions (citizen science projects in this context). Reviewing up to 70 examples of projects or activities, respondents were asked to quantify the extent to which they considered each to be citizen science. 

In total, 330 responses were collated, generating a consensus as to what people in the field consider to be citizen science. The contributors had different levels of experience in citizen science, and the working group was careful to make sure that this was taken into account when analysing the survey results and writing the characteristics document, to be inclusive of a wide range of perceptions and experiences.

A first version of the characteristics has now been published and is available here: https://zenodo.org/record/3758668#.XrL_PZMzbOQ

and a version with explanatory notes is available here: https://zenodo.org/record/3758555#.XrL_YZMzbOQ

Tags: citizen science

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