University approaches to Citizen Science in the transition to Open Science Institutional opportunities and challenges for creating an open and inclusive environment for Research (12th OpenAIRE workshop - 2020)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The potential of Citizen Science is high on the agenda in the discussion on the future of academic research. The European Commission’s Communication “A new ERA for Research and Innovation”, published in September 2020, states that “[...] the engagement of citizens, local communities and civil society will [help] achieve greater social impact and increased trust in science.” Citizens can contribute in diverse ways, ranging from data collection over data analysis to co-designing projects, and thereby bring academic research and its outcomes closer to society.

However, Citizen Science also accentuates ethical and legal questions about ownership of the research process and outcomes, and poses challenges in terms of safeguarding research quality. Addressing these challenges and using the opportunities of Citizen Science will require universities to take the lead and consider the place of Citizen Science within their institutional strategies, as well as the support they offer to research staff.

Engaging in inclusive and transparent science, Citizen Science and Open Science are becoming increasingly intertwined. Currently, Citizen Science is described by the European Commission as “both an aim and enabler of Open Science”.

This joint workshop will discuss themes around institutional support for Citizen Science and offers an opportunity to transfer and share knowledge. The aim is to exchange experiences, lessons learnt, and explore common challenges. To support Citizen Science, the online workshop will discuss tools, guidelines and good practices from Open Science experiences as well. Participating universities will have the opportunity to share expertise, coordinate efforts and exchange advice on services, tools and legal and ethical issues.

The workshop will contribute to the following concrete outcomes:
  • Support universities in their development of institutional strategies on Citizen Science in the transition to Open Science.
  • Foster a deeper understanding of how universities can use these opportunities and address the challenges of Citizen Science as part of their mission.
  • Understand how Open Science practices and infrastructures, OpenAIRE in particular, can facilitate and support Citizen Science.
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