1000001 Labs @ the second workshop on apps and platforms for citizen science

On April 25-27, 2017, a broad range of civic educators, citizen scientists, social scientists and other interested individuals met at University of Gothenburg for the second ECSA workshop on apps and platforms for citizen science. The three-day workshop was packed with practitioner talks, discussions, working groups and other activities to share people’s experiences and knowledge on the topic.


The aim of the workshop was to develop a series of principles, specifically focused on apps and platforms in citizen science. Three working groups explored in more detail issues around citizen science data interoperability (Luigi Ceccaroni, 1000001 Labs, and Jaume Piera, CSIC), user interface and experience design in citizen science (Soledad Luna, ECSA), and also outreach, learning and other rewards of participation in citizen science (Dick Kasperowski, University of Gothenburg).

The event was co-organized by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), and the University of Gothenburg.

A set of principles and guidelines about the development of apps and platforms in citizen science was discussed, with the aim of making them more widely available and useful for all working in this area. The aim was also to relate the work that was undertaken to develop the ten principles of citizen science to these principles and guidelines for apps and platforms.

A strong overall theme that came out of the workshop was around trying to understand the importance to reuse existing apps and platforms to avoid duplication of work, and to ensure learning from previous experiences in app and platform development in citizen science. This of course raised many interesting practical and ethical questions.

Another theme that arose from discussions was that learning can take place at any stage of engagement with citizen science, even from the outset, at the point at which someone first visits a citizen-science project website. However, we are still a long way off understanding the complexities surrounding learning and participation in citizen science and there is much work to be done.

In the WG on “Principles for interoperability: data standardization, data quality”, facilitated by Luigi Ceccaroni (1000001 Labs) and Jaume Piera (CSIC), the goal was to define a prioritized list of five principles for interoperability in citizen science and explain them. The target audience for the principles are project leaders, because interoperability happens in the back-end… And they should be communicated for adoption to policy makers (e.g., the EC) able to support citizen science. The principles are still in a draft form, but this is the first one:

Citizen science projects’ outcomes (such as data, metadata and source code), when possible, are made publicly available and published in an open access format. Data sharing may occur during or after the project, unless there are security or privacy concerns that prevent this. This links directly to possible use of standards for data, metadata and ways to access both (i.e., services); it also links to privacy and intellectual property rights (IPRs).

Keep in touch with 1000001 Labs and ECSA to find out more about these developments, future events and publications.

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