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Citizen Science Toolkit

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To wrap up their interviews, the researchers were asked to provide advice for early career researchers interested in initiating their own citizen science project. They also shared their thoughts on the potential of citizen science for the European research community as a whole and whether they personally intend to continue their involvement in such initiatives.

Antje Wilton, Freie Universität Berlin

Francesca Sabatini, Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna

Ruxandra-Iulia Stoica, University of Edinburgh

Eljas Oksanen, Helsingin yliopisto/ Helsingfors universitet

Kinga Anna Gajda, Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie

Hanne Vrebos, KU Leuven

Alicia Castillo Mena, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Fabrice Langrognet, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne


Through their interviews, the researchers imparted numerous pieces of advice and recommendations. Here is the final set of tips to get you started on your journey:

  • Give it a try

Engaging in citizen science is not only beneficial for all involved parties, but also personally rewarding for researchers. It presents an exciting challenge that pushes researchers out of their comfort zones, offering new perspectives on their disciplines and subjects.

  • Seek examples

Before embarking on a citizen science project, consider reaching out to those who have experience in this kind of projects in your domain. Don't hesitate to connect and learn from their experiences.

  • Develop necessary skills

Leading a citizen science project demands a diverse set of skills, including project management, data analysis, networking, conflict resolution, and science communication, which is a crucial skill for collaboration with non-academic partners.

  • Choose a topic you master

Citizen science projects can be unpredictable, requiring adaptability. To maintain control amid change, it's advisable to work on a subject you are well-versed in.

  • First test the methodology with a small number of citizens

Students and a broader academic community can be valuable allies for testing new engagement methodologies, tools, and ideas.

  • Leverage Resources Creatively

Limited funding should not hinder your project activities. Various stakeholders, including your institution, can offer different forms of support that you should use creatively.

  • Consider Collaborative Technologies

Technology plays a vital role in data collection, communication, and knowledge dissemination. Ensure that the technologies you choose are inclusive and accessible to a wide range of stakeholders, making them tools for building a sustainable network rather than obstacles.

  • Foster Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Use your citizen science project as an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research. By incorporating diverse perspectives, you can address global challenges in a more complex and realistic manner.

" One of the skills needed to conduct a citizen science project successfully is to be able to communicate your research to a lay audience. I think that is one of the great challenges - making your research, the complexities of your research or your field, not only understandable to the general public, but also get them interested in it. I think that is a skill that doesn't come naturally, and you have to work on it. It would be very rewarding for people to see science communication as part of their job in academia and in research. I think it's a very inspiring and rewarding path to take. "

Antje Wilton, Freie Universität Berlin