Citizen Science | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Citizen Science

Citizen Science is considered an integral part of Open Science, is scientific research in which volunteers cooperate with professional researchers, and also a form of scientific education, cooperation in scientific research and the social movement. Citizen Science is the voluntary participation of non-scientists in a research project at each of its stages: data collection, data analysis, method selection and data processing, and drawing conclusions. With the help of the Internet and an intermediary scientific institution, project participants create a publicly accessible database. The basis for this idea is the belief that every person, regardless of their material status, education or profession, can participate in scientific research and is even able to make significant scientific discoveries.

10 principles of Citizen Science

The European Citizens' Science Association, with the help of its member organizations, has formulated 10 key principles which, in the opinion of the public, lie at the heart of good Citizenship Practice. According to the document, Citizen Science is considered a research approach like any other, and volunteer contributions are highlighted in research results and publications.
10 principles of Citizen Science

Examples of citizen projects:
Examples of implementation of citizen science research

Civic Science can take various forms. In practice, volunteers can, for example:

  • help collect research data (e.g. take and record measurements, take pictures)
    Project examples: 3D visual art (crowdsourced cultural mapping of Polish cities), Disk Detective
  • analyze data: describe photos and documents according to the established methodology, listen to recordings and audio signals, and assist in the evaluation of the collected samples in order to spot repeated possible patterns or regularities. Data analysis is very often performed remotely through specialized internet platforms
    Project example: Anti-Slavery Manuscripts
  • help in combining online resources, i.e. sharing the computing power of your computers with private companies, scientific institutions, government institutions or private individuals. The principle of pooling resources is based on distributed computing, i.e. linking computers with each other (the main computer sends tasks to other computers, calculations run in the background, and the computer user performs daily activities)
    Project example: Folding @ Home
  • take part in experiments (e.g. participation of people is necessary to verify the effectiveness of theses regarding effective methods of action, in particular in medical sciences) and research expeditions
  • participate in contests or utility games that contribute to discovering new solutions, e.g. in the field of medicine. Civic Science projects use game mechanisms to encourage players to participate more often and for longer periods of time. Utility games are online games and most often consist in competition between many players in a race for points
    Utility Game Example: Eyewire
  • take part in bottom-up activities and projects (research projects do not have to be led and coordinated by professional scientists - there are groups that independently carry out all stages of research) and build and operate their own scientific instruments to collect data for private experiments or for experiments carried out in within larger projects, etc.
    Project example: Nappy Science Gang