Special Issue on Citizen Science

Special Issue on Citizen Science

Insightful and thought provoking papers on citizen science sought for themed issue.

 

Editors

Dr Emma Weitkamp, University of the West of England, Bristol
Professor Bruce Lewenstein, Cornell University, Ithaca NY
 

Citizen science, the direct participation of citizens in scientific projects, has grown rapidly in recent years. The term refers to a wide range of different activities that involve lay people at some point in the research process, from research design, to data collection (Bonney, et al. 2009), data processing (Raddick et al. 2010) and potentially even communication. Examples include projects to collect ecological data such as the Big Butterfly Count (butterflycount.org) and the data processing projects Galaxy Zoo (galazyzoo.org) and Foldit (fold.it). Such projects are often designed and led by scientists who see citizens as a way to fulfil a particular research need, although policymakers and citizen groups may also initiate such projects. Recent years have seen a large increase in the number of citizen science projects, possibly due in part to the wide availability of mobile technologies and internet access, as well as attempts to tap into current trends toward crowdsourcing and interest in apps and games. Questions of power and participation related to Citizen Science projects have been explored in a recent commentary series published in JCOM (http://jcom.sissa.it/archive/09/01). Although Riesch, Potter and Davis (2013) have explored scientists’ experiences of Citizen Science projects, little research has been published on the impacts of Citizen Science projects on the public who become involved. This call invites papers that explore these issues to further our understanding of the potential role of Citizen Science within the broad field of science communication and public engagement. Papers considering issues under the following themes are particularly welcomed:

  • Expectations for and types of engagement in Citizen Science

  • Citizen Science as public engagement

  • Citizen Science and scientific citizenship

  • Citizen-initiated or -led projects

  • Impacts – on the public, on scientists, on science

  • Case studies and their evalaution

 

Submissions are now closed. All papers will be subject to the normal peer review process.

 

References

Bonney, R et al. (2009) Citizen Science: A Developing Tool for Expanding Science Knowledge and Scientific Literacy, Bioscience, 2009, 59, 11, 977-984

Raddick, J. M. et al. (2010) Galaxy Zoo: Exploring the Motivations of Citizen Science Volunteers. Astronomy Education Review 9:1 DOI: 10.3847/AER2009036

Riesch, H., Potter, C., Davis, L. (2013), Combining citizen science and public engagement: the Open AirLaboratories Programme, JCOM, A03. Available from: http://jcom.sissa.it/archive/12/3-4/JCOM1203(2013)A03/ [Accessed 13/10/14]