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Citizen Science School

Reading Material


Getting into the field of Citizen Science

We have selected these links and papers for you to browse, become informed and inspired. We assume that some participants of the Summer School have some experience with citizen science, while for others, it is a new field. The list is not in any way complete, and it does not have to be looked through entirely. Please let us know if you would like to add or change something. Enjoy!


Table of Contents

For an introduction to Citizen Science

Crowd Cloud


The Crowd and the Cloud: TV-series on citizen science:
TED TED Talk from Caren Cooper author of « Citizen Science - How Ordinary People are changing the face of discovery Caren Cooper. 2016: "Citizen Science - How Ordinary People are changing the face of discovery". The book provides a very accessible introduction to the area of citizen science and provides further details and background to topics covered in the winter school.
Scientific American Scientific American:  A nice website to browse current citizen science research projects:


Contours of citizen science: a vignette study: Article analyzing and demonstrating the plurality of understandings of what citizen science is. A call for an open understanding of what activities are included in the field.

Citizen Science platforms and some Citizen Science advocates

Bürger Schaffen Wissen


Bürger schaffen Wissen: Based on a joint project by Wissenschaft im Dialog and the Museum of Naturkunde Berlin this central platform for citizen science in Germany gives an overview of projects and provides information on how to start a citizen science project, as well as the possibility of getting in touch with different actors working with and about citizen science: 


Monicalogues: Monica Peters started her blog to create a forum for communicating her PhD research (see Research tab) on community environmental groups, restoration and citizen science to a wide audience. She provides summaries of key citizen science projects and programmes and environmental restoration workshops, seminars, conferences and events from New Zealand and internationally: 
Österreich Österreich forscht: This platform was founded by Florianl Heigl and Daniel Dörfler, coordinators of diverse networking activities, e.g. the annual Austrian Citizen Science Conference. 


PoVeSham: Muki Haklay is Professor of Geographic Information Science at the Department of Geography, University College London. As an expert in citizen science, he regularly shares notes and impressions from various events in the citizen science sphere.
Rethinking Rethinking Science and Public Participation: Our speaker Bruno Strasser has initiated a blog on citizen science and shares insights together with Dana Mahr on how citizens produce scientific knowledge:
Schweiz Schweiz forscht: In collaboration with the Citizen Science Network Switzerland, Science et Cité is developing an online overview of Swiss citizen science projects,. The website has been launched in September 2016 and is available in German and French language:
Zooniverse Zooniverse: Kevin Schawinski, ETH professor for astronomy until 2018,  has co-founded Galaxy Zoo, which later became Zooniverse – home to some of the Internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects:

Citizen Science all over the world



Scistarter: To search for projects in the English-speaking world, you can use Scistarter. On this platform you will not only find a comprehensive selection of projects, but also a blog about news around Citizen Science. 
However, it is not only projects that are increasingly being carried out internationally at the moment; associations and networks are also being formed with the aim of professionalising Citizen Science and strengthening supraregional cooperation. In Europe, this is the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA). For the U.S.A., see the Citizen Science Association (CSA),  for  Australia the Citizen Science Network Australia (CSNA) and for Asia, see Citizen Science.Asia. EU-Citizen.Science: The three-year EU-Citizen.Science project aims to enable and accelerate the mainstreaming of Citizen Science in Europe by creating a central hub for knowledge sharing, coordination, and action at the regional, national and international levels:

Getting started with your own project

There are various resources available designed to assist with designing and carrying out a citizen science project. We list a few below.

PWA Logo


Guides and support: All listed national and international initiatives (see above) provide various options for participation as well as tipps to start your own citizen science project. For instance, Bürger schaffen Wissen provides a guide for citizen science practitioners, Österreich forscht offers guidelines for projects from the natural science field. At ETH and University of Zurich, the Participatory Science Academy (co-organizer of Citizen Science Winter School) offers trainings, coaching and funding opportunities, the Citizen Science Center Zurich co-creates interactive tools and supports community building offers tools to develop your own project and also lists many Citizen Science projects to participate in. 
Td-net toolbox for co-producing knowledge: Methods and tools offered specifically focus on jointly developing projects, conducting research and exploring ways to impact in heterogeneous groups: EU-Citizen.Science Trainings: Introduction and advanced courses and resources:

Articles, documents and books

  • League of European Research Universities (LERU) (2016) Citizen Science at universities: trends, guidelines and recommendations. Advice Paper.
  • Bonney, R., Ballard, H., Jordan, R., McCallie, E., Phillips, T., Shirk, J. and Wilderman, C.C., 2009a. Public Participation in Scientific Research: Defining the Field and Assessing Its Potential for Informal Science Education. A CAISE Inquiry Group Report. Washington, D.C.: Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE). 
  • Eitzel, M.V., Cappadonna, J.L., Santos-Lang, C., Duerr, R.E., Virapongse, A., West, S.E., Kyba, C.C.M., Bowser, A., Cooper, C.B., Sforzi, A., Metcalfe, A.N., Harris, E.S., Thiel, M., Haklay, M., Ponciano, L., Roche, J., Ceccaroni, L., Shilling, F.M., Dörler, D., Heigl, F., Kiessling, T., Davis, B.Y. and Jiang, Q., 2017. Citizen Science Terminology Matters: Exploring Key Terms. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 2(1), p.1. DOI:
  • Bruno Strasser. 2019: Collecting Experiments: Making Big Data Biology, Univ. of Chicago Press) 
  • Caren Cooper. 2016. "Citizen Science - How Ordinary People are changing the face of discovery". The book provides a very accessible introduction to the area of citizen science and provides further details and background to topics covered in the winter school. More info: 
  • Citizen Science in Switzerland: When you open politics to the public, you get direct democracy. But what happens when you open science to the public? An article on citizen science by "swissinfo":
  • Susanne Hecker, Muki Haklay, Anne Bowser, Zen Makuch, Johannes Vogel, and Aletta Bonn (Eds.). 2018. Citizen Science. Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy. UCL Press.  
    Free download.
  • Fermín Serrano Sanz, Teresa Holocher-Ertl, Barbara Kieslinger, Francisco Sanz García and Cândida G. Silva. 2014. White Paper on Citizen Science for Europe. Socientize consortium. European Commission.
  • Jonathan Silvertown. 2009. A new dawn for citizen science. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol.24 No.9. 
  • Effy Vayena & John Tasioulas. 2015. We the Scientists: a Human Right to Citizen Science. Philos. Technol. (2015) 28:479–485. DOI 10.1007/s13347-015-0204-0 PDF
  • Muki Haklay. 2018. Participatory citizen science. In: Hecker, S., Susanne Hecker, Muki Haklay, Anne Bowser, Zen Makuch, Johannes Vogel, and Aletta Bonn (Eds.). 2018. Citizen Science. Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy. UCL Press.  Free download..
  • Shirk, J. L., H. L. Ballard, C. C. Wilderman, T. Phillips, A. Wiggins, R. Jordan, E. McCallie, M. Minarchek, B. V. Lewenstein, M. E. Krasny, and R. Bonney. (2012). Public participation in scientific research: a framework for deliberate design. Ecology and Society 17(2): 29.
  • Biberhofer, Petra; Lembke-Ibold, Birte; Tönsmann, Susanne. 2020. Early Career Researchers’ Perspective on Citizen Science. Free download. (PDF, 268 KB)