How to run successfully a Citizen Science project? Despite the prominence of Citizen Science as a form of designing, conducting, evaluating, and assessing participatory science, its successful implementation should not be taken for granted. Obstacles and challenges – such as attrition, low motivation, suspiciousness, lack of equipment and leadership – are some of the most common examples that jeopardise the sustainability of a Citizen Science project, as we have demonstrated in our D1.3 – “Requirements and motivations of quadruple helix stakeholders for active engagement in the Citizen Science“.
To cope with potential barriers and deliver a successful CS project, the University of Zurich issued this November the Handbook “Participating Citizen Science in Zurich”. The Handbook is the product of a joint effort by the community of Citizen Science practitioners in Zurich, including researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, and citizens. The Citizen Science Zurich Centre has coordinated the overall writing.
You can access the Handbook here.
The Handbook is essentially a practical guide on how to design and run, through a bottom-up, co-creation approach, a Citizen Science project. It is organised in 3 sequential steps: (i) Ideation, (ii) Planning and Design, (iii) Implementation, Dissemination, Evaluation. The steps can either be seen as consecutive phases, or accessed at one’s convenience for suggestions and recommendations on different aspects of designing, implementing, and running a Citizen Science project. For each step, different aspects of the Citizen Science methodology are discussed, with emphasis on the importance of co-creation and community management. Practical advice, tips, links, and suggested literature are provided.
The Handbook is of high relevance for the INCENTIVE project. In INCENTIVE, we are currently striving for developing for the first time in Europe our Citizen Science Hubs within the organisational structures of 4 European universities, to create a space for multi-stakeholder citizen science initiatives. As such, we have a lot to learn from the Handbook. Having actionable information on how to plan and design a CS research project is a critical resource for any CS initiative, irrespectively from context, and this is exactly what this Handbook provides.
Enjoy the reading!
Note: original photos retrieved from the Handbook. All right reserved.