Policy ForumCitizen Science

Next Steps for Citizen Science

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Science  28 Mar 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6178, pp. 1436-1437
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251554

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Around the globe, thousands of research projects are engaging millions of individuals—many of whom are not trained as scientists—in collecting, categorizing, transcribing, or analyzing scientific data. These projects, known as citizen science, cover a breadth of topics from microbiomes to native bees to water quality to galaxies. Most projects obtain or manage scientific information at scales or resolutions unattainable by individual researchers or research teams, whether enrolling thousands of individuals collecting data across several continents, enlisting small armies of participants in categorizing vast quantities of online data, or organizing small groups of volunteers to tackle local problems.

  • * The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Interior or the U.S. Government.

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