Citizen Science/Crowdsourcing Best Practices for Digitization

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The Citizen Science/Crowdsourcing Working Group is developing this list of best practices for citizen science and crowdsourcing in the context of the digitization of biological and paleontological scientific collections.

Below are existing descriptions of best practices in public engagement in science. Quotes have been taken directly from the website of the respective organization or publication.

Citizen Science Toolkit

“Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research - this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.”

Data Management Guide for Citizen Science - DataONE Public Participation in Science and Research (PPSR) working group

“This guide provides a step-by-step introduction to the data management life cycle. It includes examples from citizen science projects and links to best practices and tools to help project organizers optimize the quality, usability, and accessibility of their project data.”

DEVISE (Developing, Validating, and Implementing Standardized Evaluation Instruments)

“DEVISE is a new project aimed at helping professional science educators obtain strategies and tools for evaluating the educational and social impacts of informal science education projects with an emphasis on projects that engage the public in scientific research.”

CAISE (Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education) Inquiry Group report on citizen science

“This report describes how Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR), in the context of informal science education (ISE), can provide multiple opportunities to increase public science literacy.”

Data management course materials from DataONE

A series of education modules in *.ppt format that can be downloaded and incorporated into teaching materials. An online learning environment is under development.

Proceedings from California Academy of Sciences citizen science meetings: best practices for biodiversity-related citizen science projects

“The goal of these meetings was to discuss best practices of public participation in scientific research with other institutions, citizen science practitioners and participants, data managers, and biodiversity researchers. This was done not only to help inform the Academy’s new citizen science initiative on documenting California biodiversity, but also to help advance the field of citizen science as a whole through engaging discussions and presentations about working with volunteers, aligning research and conservation goals with participant needs, and the use of technology in a variety of ways to benefit projects that involve public participation in research.”

• Bonney, R. et al. (2009) Citizen Science: A developing tool for expanding science knowledge and scientific literacy. BioScience.

“This article describes the model for building and operating citizen science projects that has evolved at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology over the past two decades. We hope that our model will inform the fields of biodiversity monitoring, biological research, and science education while providing a window into the culture of citizen science.”