Citizen Science at universities: trends, guidelines and recommendations

Citizen Science at universities: trends, guidelines and recommendations

Citizen science, the active involvement of non-professional scientists in research, is experiencing an upsurge of interest. Activities range from small projects by groups with a common interest to large international projects, which involve professional scientists and research institutions. Citizen science can involve a vast range of activities, from gathering data in remote regions of the planet to crowdsourcing over the internet. Smart phones and other low-cost instruments are opening up new opportunities for public engagement with research. Thus scientists at many LERU universities and elsewhere are actively involved in managing citizen science projects in various domains.

The League of European Research Universities (LERU) recognises the potential of citizen science for research and its role in the open science movement. LERU is aware that modern IT technologies enable citizens to engage in monitoring pollution, collecting data on biodiversity, language studies as well as many other research activities. LERU’s commitment to tracking important trends in research, advising on them and encouraging a productive relationship between science and society motivates this paper.

The purpose of this paper is twofold: First, it provides a set of actionable guidelines for professional scientists engaging in citizen science at universities, thus helping to ensure high quality research results of citizen science projects and encouraging efficient collaboration between professional scientists and the public. Second, based on these guidelines, this paper provides a series of policy recommendations for universities, research funding organisations and policy-making bodies to promote excellence in citizen science.

Link a la herramienta.