Contours of Citizen Science: A Vignette Study

Haklay, M., Fraisl, D. ORCID:, Greshake Tzovaras, B., Hecker, S., Gold, M., Hager, G. ORCID:, Ceccaroni, L., Kieslinger, B., et al. (2020). Contours of Citizen Science: A Vignette Study. SocArXiv 10.31235/

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Project: The Platform for Sharing, Initiating, and Learning Citizen Science in Europe (EU-Citizen.Science, H2020 824580), Extreme Citizen Science: Analysis and Visualisation (ECSAnVis, H2020 694767)


Citizen science has expanded rapidly over the past decades. Yet, defining citizen science and its boundaries remained a challenge, and this is reflected in the literature - for example in the proliferation of typologies and definitions. There is a need for identifying areas of agreement and disagreement within the citizen science practitioners community on what should be considered as citizen science activity. This paper describes the development and results of a survey that examined this issue, through the use of vignettes - short case descriptions that describe an activity, while asking the respondents to rate the activity on a scale from ‘not citizen science’ (0%) to ‘citizen science’ (100%). The survey included 50 vignettes, of which 5 were developed as clear cases of not-citizen science activities, 5 as widely accepted citizen science activities, and the others addressing 10 factors and 61 sub-factors that can lead to controversy about an activity. The survey has attracted 333 respondents, who provided over 5,100 ratings. The analysis demonstrates the plurality of understanding of what citizen science is and calls for an open understanding of what activities are included in the field.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: citizen science; open science; vignette survey
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 11:24
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2022 10:25

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