Citizen science networks

ECSA Working Group:
Citizen science networks

Since the early 2010s, several national networks and initiatives have been established to connect different citizen science projects in their respective countries, often across scientific disciplines. These platforms pursue several goals, such as: (1) displaying citizen science projects to an interested public; (2) connecting citizen science actors to foster innovation and learning; and (3) lobbying for citizen science in their respective contexts.

However, many of these initiatives face a number of challenges. These include, but are not limited to: funding; organization of workloads (e.g. organizational structure, IPR); and framing of citizen science (e.g. transparent criteria on which projects are listed on online platforms, and which are not).

In the Citizen Science Networks working group, representatives from established and emerging citizen science networks are collaborating to tackle some of these challenges. The group’s first goal is to frame transparent criteria that help networks to decide, in a transparent and impartial way, if a project should be listed as citizen science on online platforms or not. This will facilitate the exchange of projects between networks and make projects more comparable.


Florian Heigl, co-chair

Working group

  • Anders Tøttrup
  • Annelies Duerincky
  • Cristina Luís
  • Darlene Cavalier
  • Gaia Agnello
  • Gitte Kragh
  • Grant Miller
  • Jakub Trojan
  • Liesbeth Gijsel
  • Lotta Tomasson
  • Marika Cieslinski
  • Patricia Tiago
  • Susanne Hecker
  • Susanne Tönsmann
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Activity plan

The common goal of the working group is to establish measurable, easy-to-understand criteria for citizen science networks. Project leaders from citizen science projects, as well as the general public of the countries represented in the working group, will be consulted in several steps of the process. To facilitate wider involvement, the necessary documents will be translated into the respective languages to avoid exclusion due to language barriers. 

In 2020, the characteristics, criteria, definitions and typologies collected from literature so far will be grouped and refined in a transparent process. An important part of the work will be to document the process, so that  people can see which of these form the basis of each single criterion in the final criteria catalogue.

Past achievements

  • The working group held several online meetings to discuss possible criteria and how to be as open as possible in this process. 
  • Group members conducted a literature review on characteristics and criteria for citizen science, and extracted criteria, characteristics, definitions and/or typologies from these document.

How to get involved

Interested in joining this working group? Please write to the chairs at: office [AT]