A collection of Citizen Science guidelines and publications

We have collected guidelines and scientific publications on citizen science and DIY science in order to start a library of good practice that we hope will be useful for CS practitioners, researchers seeking to establish CS projects and decision makers. This work is being conducted as part of the “Doing It Together Science” (DITOs) project to strengthen the knowledge base in CS and DIY science and support policy engagement for RRI.

The collection pays particular attention to six components of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) - Governance, Science Education, Ethics, Open Access, Gender and Public Engagement. RRI is a cross-cutting issue in Horizon2020, the EU’s Programme for Research and Innovation, that aims to construct societies in which research and innovation practices work towards sustainable, ethically adequate, and socially acceptable outcomes (find out more here). RRI also seeks to make discussions related to research more open to the public and to involve society in discussions on how science and technology can contribute to desirable futures (RRI Tools: towards RRI in action). We refer to these six components of RRI in order to explore how they are relevant to and addressed by citizen science (see also this blog post on “How responsible is Citizen Science?” and the ECSA working group on CS and RRI). For this reason, the RRI components have been adopted as key criteria to sort the review presented in this collection.

The two tables presented below include guidelines freely available online and scientific publications (open source and not). If you are interested in exploring a particular RRI component further, please use the legend to identify which documents addresses the component of interest for you.

Such a collection can only be work in progress – so please contact us via ditos@mfn-berlin.de to include any other important guidelines or papers.

There is also a Zotero database on citizen science literature established by CSA.


Legend of RRI Key areas covered:
E - Ethics                                
GE - Gender Equality
GO - Governance                  
OA - Open Access
PE - Public Engagement      
SE - Science Education


Selection of Guidelines that cover RRI Key Areas

RRI Key Areas Covered  Title  Author  Year   Language
E   GO   PE SE

Green Paper Citizen Science  Strategy 2020 for Germany

     GEWISS                      2016           English,  German
        PE SE

CS für alle - Eine Handreichung für CS - Beteiligte

  GEWISS  2016  German
        PE   Storytelling für CS: Tipps zur erfolgreichen Konzeption und Durchführung eines Storytelling-Workshops  GEWISS 2016 German
E   GO   PE SE White Paper on Citizen Science for Europe Fermín Serrano Sanz, Teresa Holocher-Ertl, Barbara Kieslinger, Francisco Sanz García and Cândida G. Silva 2014 English
        PE SE User’s Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes in CS Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2014 English
        PE   Introduction to the User’s Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from CS Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 English
        PE   CS Framework Review: Informing a Framework for CSwithin the US Fish and Wildlife Service Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2015 English
    GO   PE   Proceedings of the CS Toolkit Conference - June 20 - 23, 2007 Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2007 English
E       PE   Best Practices for Managing Intellectual Property in CS Commons Lab 2015 English
E           Typology of CS Projects from an Intellectual Property Perspective Commons Lab 2015 English
    GO       CS and Policy: A European Perspective Commons Lab 2015 English
E   GO       Managing Intellectual Property Rights in CS – A Guide for Researchers and Citizen Scientists Commons Lab 2015 English
E GE GO   PE SE RRI Tools: Project briefing sheet RRI Tools 2016 English
    GO     SE Report on the analysis of needs and constraints of the stakeholder groups in RRI practices in Europe RRI Tools 2015 English
E GE GO   PE SE A catalogue of good RRI practices RRI Tools 2015 English
        PE SE Australian Guide to Running a BioBlitz Australian Citizen Science Association 2015 English
        PE SE Guide to CS Natural History Museum and NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology for UK 2012 English
E           Kriterienkatalog zur Bewertung von CS Projekten und Projektanträgen Zentrum für Soziale Innovation 2015 German
    GO   PE   Data Management Guide for Public Participation in Scientific Research DataONE Public Participation in Scientific Research Working Group 2013 English
    GO   PE   Science for Environment Policy In-depth Report: Environmental CS Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol 2013 English
        PE SE Guide to Running a BioBlitz 2.0 Nhm, Bristol Natural History Consortium, Stockholm Environment Institute, Marine Biological Association of the UK 2013 English
        PE   A Regional Approach to the Global Amphibian BioBlitz Scott R. Loarie and James P. Lewis 2011 English
        PE   Community Planning Toolkit - Community Engagement Community Places 2014 English
        PE   Engaging Queenslanders: A guide to community engagement methods and techniques Queensland Government Department of Communities 2007 English
        PE   Putting Strategies into Practice: Engaging and Learning for Conservation Workshop on Public Participation in Scientific Research Center for Biodiversity and Conservation American Museum of Natural History, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society 2011 English
        PE   Public Participation in Scientific Research: Defining the Field and Assessing Its Potential for Informal Science Education Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education 2009 English
        PE SE DIY Development Impact & You, Practical Tools to Trigger & Support Social Innovation Theo Keane, Brenton Caffin, Michael Soto, Ayush Chauhan, Rikta Krishnaswamy, Geke van Dijk, Megha Wadhawan   English
        PE SE Designing Education Projects, a Comprehensive Approach to Needs Assessment, Project Planning and Implementation, and Evaluation National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce 2009 English
    GO   PE   Using Crowdsourcing In Government, Collaboration Across Boundaries Series IBM Center for the Business of Government 2013 English
        PE   Collaboration & Team Science: A Field Guide National Institutes of Health 2010 English
    GO   PE   CS and Crowdsourcing: Creative Approaches to Environmental Protection US Environmental Protection Agency 2015 English
        PE   Sustainable futures for Europe’s Heritage in Cultural landscapes: Tools for understanding, managing, and protecting landscape functions and values Claudia Bieling, Matej Batič, Hélène Draux, Brian Shaw 2014 English
            CS, Sustain – Journal of environmental and sustainability issues The Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development 2016 English
    GO   PE   From CS to DIY Science, An annotated account of an on-going trend European Commission Joint Research Centre 2014 English
        PE SE Citizens, amateurs, volunteers: conceptual struggles in studies of CS Patrícia Dias da Silva and Lorna Heaton 2015 English
E   GO   PE SE CS: New Ways for research, Policy Advice Paper ETH Zürich 2016 English
        PE   CS in den Nationalen Naturlandschaften, Anleitung zur Entwicklung von Bürgerwissenschafts-Projekte EUROPARC Deutschland e. V. 2016 German
    GO       National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, EPA Strategic Directions on Using Citizen Science for Environmental Protection US Environmental Protection Agency   English
    GO OA PE   Addressing Societal and Scientific Challenges through CS and Crowdsourcing Science and Technology Policy, The White House, Washington 2015 English
    GO       Science for Environment Policy - Identifying emerging risks for environmental policies Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol 2016 English
        PE   Choosing and Using CS: a guide to when and how to use CS  to monitor biodiversity and the environment Centre for Ecology & Hydrology 2014 English
        Pe   Ist mein Projekt für CS geeignet? Ein Wegweiser für naturwissenschafliche Fächer Arbeitsgruppe für Citizen Science, Institut für Zoologie, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien 2014 German
      GO PE   Voices for RRI: Engaging Citizens to Shape EU Research Policy on Urban Waste Jacqueline E.W. Broerse, Lia van der Ham, Barbara M. Tielemans, Marzia Mazzonetto 2014 English
        PE   A Roadmap for Citizen Researchers in the Age of Digital Culture Antonella Fresa and Börje Justrell 2015 English
E           FUTURE BRIEF: Synthetic biology and biodiversity  Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol 2015 English
      GO PE SE Synthetic genomics: options for governance Garfinkel et al. 2007 English
E       PE SE Myths and realities of Do-It-Yourself Biology Grushkin et al. 2013 English
    GO   PE SE CS and Smart Cities European Commission 2014 English
    GO OA     Open Digital Science - Final study report E. Prem, F.S.Sanz, M. Lindorfer, D. Lampert, J. Irran 2016 English
E GE GO OA PE SE Indicators for promoting and monitoring RRI - Report from the Expert Group on Policy Indicators For RRI European Commission 2015 English
E       PE SE TAB report on 'Synthetic biology – The next phase of biotechnology and genetic engineering Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag 2015 English, German
E GE GO   PE SE Citizen science at universities: Trends, guidelines and recommendations League of European Research Universities (LERU) 2016 English
E   GO   PE   UNESCO WSIS+10 Working Papers United Nations 2013 English
    GO       UNESCO WSIS+10 Outcome Documents International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2014 English
    GO   PE   Practices to Engage Citizens and Effectively Implement Federal Initiatives United States Government Accountability Office 2016 English
E   GO   PE   Agency Liability Stemming from Citizen-Generated Data Commons Lab 2014 English
E   GO   PE   Annual operating plan 2013-2014 Scottish Environmental Protection Agency 2013 English
E   GO OA     Changing What Counts: How Can Citizen-Generated and Civil Society Data Be Used as an Advocacy Tool to Change Official Data Collection? Jonathan Gray 2016 English
    GO   PE   Citizen Science and Environmental Monitoring: Towards a Methodology for Evaluating Opportunities, Costs and Benefits UK Environmental Observation Framework 2016 English
E   GO   PE   Clearing The Path: Citizen Science and Public Decision Making in the United States Commons Lab 2016 English
    GO   PE   Crowdsourcing, Citizen Science, and the Law: Legal Issues Affecting Federal Agencies Commons Lab 2015 English
E   GO   PE   From Citizen Science to Do It Yourself Science An annotated account of an on-going movement European Commission 2014 English
    GO   PE SE Environmental Citizen Science The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 2014 English
    GO   PE   Participatory Sensing A citizen-powered approach to illuminating the patterns that shape our world UCLA’s Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) 2011 English
        PE SE Citizen science at universities: Trends, guidelines and recommendations League of European Research Universities (LERU) 2016 English
      OA PE   Open innovation, open science, open to the world - a vision for Europe European Commission 2016 English
    GO   PE SE Understanding Motivations  for Citizen Science UK Environmental Observation Framework 2016 English
E   GO   PE   Science for environmental sustainability European Commission 2016 English
    GO   PE   Making the most of our evidence: A strategy for Defra and its network UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs 2014 English
    GO   PE   Citizen Science and Smart Cities European Commission 2014 English
    GO   PE   State-of-the Art Study in Citizen Observatories: Technological Trends, Development Challenges and Research Avenues Finnish Environment Institute 2016 English
E       PE   The Principles of Planning, Collecting and Using Citizne Science Data UK-Environmental Observation Framework (UK-EOF) 2016 English
        PE   Volunteers for Weather, Climate and Water World Meteorological Organization 2001 English
    GO   PE SE NACEPT 2016 Report: Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public, A Vision for Citizen Science at EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy  and Technology (NACEPT) 2016 English


Selection of Scientific Papers and Books that cover RRI Key Areas

RRI Key Areas Covered Title Authors Year Language
        PE SE


CS: A Developing Tool for Expanding Science Knowledge and Scientific Literacy

Rick Bonney, Caren B. Cooper, Janis Dickinson, Steve Kelling, Tina Phillips, Kenneth V. Rosenberg and Jennifer Shirk 2009 English
        PE SE


Scientific Knowledge and Attitude Change: The Impact of a CS Project

Dominique Brossard, Bruce Lewenstein and Rick Bonney 2012 English
        PE SE


CS as an Ecological Research Tool: Challenges and Benefits


Janis L. Dickinson, Benjamin Zuckerberg and David N. Bonter 2010 English
    GO   PE SE A review of CS and community-based environmental monitoring: issues and opportunities Cathy C. Conrad and Krista G. Hilchey 2010 English
        PE SE Creating a Successful CS Model to Detect and Report Invasive Species Travis Gallo and Damon Waitt 2011 English
        PE SE BioBlitzes help science communicators engage local communities in environmental research Erin Roger and Sarah Klistorner 2016 English
    GO   PE SE CS: a new approach to advance ecology, education, and conservation Hiromi Kobori, Janis L. Dickinson, Izumi Washitani, Ryo Sakurai, Tatsuya Amano, Naoya Komatsu, Wataru Kitamura, Shinichi Takagawa, Kazuo Koyama, Takao Ogawara and A. J.Miller-Rushing 2015 English
    GO   PE SE The future of CS Michael Mueller, Deborah Tippins, and Lynn Bryan 2012 English
        PE SE A new dawn for CS Jonathan Silvertown 2009 English
        PE SE Thinking Scientifically during Participation in a CS Project Deborah J. Trumbull, Rick Bonney, Derek Bascom and Anna Cabral 2000 English
    GO   PE SE From Conservation to Crowdsourcing: A Typology of CS Andrea Wiggins and Kevin Crowston 2011 English
    GO   PE   Constructing the scientific citizen: Science and democracy in the biosciences Alan Irwin 2001 English
E   GO   PE SE CS: Can volunteers do real research? Jeffrey P. Cohn 2008 English
        PE   CS as a Tool for Conservation in Residential Ecosystems Caren B. Cooper, Janis Dickinson, Tina Phillips, and Rick Bonney 2007 English
    GO   PE SE Next Steps for CS Rick Bonney, Jennifer L. Shirk, Tina B. Phillips, Andrea Wiggins, Heidi L. Ballard, Abraham J. Miller-Rushing, and Julia K. Parrish 2014 English
        PE SE Galaxy Zoo: Exploring the Motivations of CS Volunteers M. Jordan Raddick, Georgia Bracey, Pamela L. Gay, Chris J. Lintott, Phil Murray, Kevin Schawinski, Alexander S. Szalay, and Jan Vandenberg 2009 English
    GO   PE SE Beyond scarcity: CS programmes as useful tools for conservation biogeography Vincent Devictor, Robert J Whittaker and Coralie Beltrame 2010 English
        PE   The Neighborhood Nestwatch Program: Participant Outcomes of a CS Ecological Research Project Celia Evans, Eleanor Abrams, Robert Reitsma, Karin Roux, Laura Salmonsen and Peter P. Marra 2005 English
    GO   PE   Government 2.0: Making connections between citizens, data and government Chun, Soon Ae, Stuart Shulman, Rodrigo Sandoval, and Eduard Hovy 2010 English
    GO       Suggesting frameworks of citizen-sourcing via Government 2.0 Taewoo Nam 2012 English
    GO   PE   From e-government to we-government: Defining a typology for citizen coproduction in the age of social media Dennis Linders 2012 English
    GO   PE   Government innovation through social media J. Ignacio Criado, Rodrigo Sandoval-Almazan and J. Ramon Gil-Garci 2013 English
    GO   PE   As Science Evolves, How Can Science Policy? Benjamin Jones 2010 English
E       PE SE Faculty perspectives on community-based research: “I see this still as a journey” Caitlin Kennedy, Amanda Vogel, Clara Goldberg-Freeman, Nancy Kass, and Mark Farfel 2009 English
    GO   PE SE Can CS enhance public understanding of science? Bonney, R., Phillips, T.B., Ballard, H.L. and Enck, J.W 2015 English
        PE SE Studying CS through adaptive management and learning feedbacks as mechanisms for improving conservation Rebecca Jordan, Steven Gray, Amanda Sorensen, Greg Newman, David Mellor, Greg Newman, Cindy Hmelo-Silver, Shannon LaDeau, Dawn Biehler and Alycia Crall 2016 English
    GO   PE SE Making marine and coastal CS matter John A. Cigliano, Ryan Meyer, Heidi L. Ballard, Amy Freitag, Tina B. Phillips and Ann Wasser 2015 English
        PE SE Online CS projects: an exploration of motivation, contribution and participation Vickie Curtis 2015 English
E     OA PE   Is CS an open science in the case of biodiversity observations? Groom, Q., Weatherdon, L., & Geijzendorffer, I. R. 2016 English
E   GO OA PE   Learn from DIY biologists Todd Kuiken 2016 English
E   GO   PE   The DIY dilemma Nature   English
        PE SE European do‐it‐yourself (DIY) biology: Beyond the hope, hype and horror Günter Seyfried, Lei Pei and Markus Schmidt 2014 English
    GO   PE SE Links and Distinctions Among Citizenship,
Science, and CS
Caren B. Cooper 2012 English
        PE SE DIYbio: Making Things and Making Futures
2013 English
    GO   PE   Producing “Participation”?  The Pleasures and Perils of Technical  Engagement in Radio Activism Christina Dunbar-Hester 2014 English
    GO   PE SE Do-it-yourself biology:  Action research within  the life sciences? Stefano Golinelli and Guido Ruivenkamp 2015 English
    GO   PE SE Analyzing the Role of Citizen Science in Modern Research Luigi Ceccaroni and Jaume Piera 2017 English


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