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Citizen science (also known as crowd science, crowd-sourced science, or networked science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists, often by crowdsourcing. Formally, citizen science has been defined as "the systematic collection and analysis of data; development of technology; testing of natural phenomena; and the dissemination of these activities by researchers on a primarily avocational basis". Citizen science is sometimes called "public participation in scientific research."
Citizen science activities 
Citizen-science activities can take many forms:
- Citizen scientists can help gather data that will be analyzed by professional researchers. The Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, which began in 1900, is a good example. The American Association of Variable Star Observers has gathered data on variable stars for educational and professional analysis since 1911 and promotes participation beyond its membership on its Citizen Sky website. On BugGuide.Net, an online community of naturalists who share observations of arthropods, amateurs and professional researchers contribute to the analysis. In the EU-funded Citclops project (2012–2015), citizen scientists help gather data to assess the environmental status of water bodies by measuring their optical properties.
- Citizen scientists can help analyze data that has been gathered by professional researchers. SETILive, Clumpy, EyeWire, Galaxy Zoo, Cell Slider  and other Zooniverse projects are examples.
- Citizen scientists can volunteer at a research center or join a research expedition, such as those organized by the Earthwatch Institute.
- Citizen scientists can compete in competition such as NASA's International Space Apps Challenge.
- Citizen scientists can build and operate their own instruments to gather data for their own experiments or as part of a larger project. Examples include amateur radio, amateur astronomy, Six Sigma Projects, and Maker activities.
- Citizen scientists can travel to areas that are seldom visited by professional researchers. Examples include James Cameron's DeepSea Challenger project and Citizens in Space
- Citizen scientists can use their own organs as scientific sensors. Examples include GLOBE at Night and the Loss of the Night app.
Citizen science may be performed by individuals, teams, or networks of volunteers. Citizen scientists often partner with professional scientists to achieve common goals. Large volunteer networks often allow scientists to accomplish tasks that would be too expensive or time consuming to accomplish through other means. Volunteers increasingly find opportunities to participate in science by visiting websites such as SciStarter, the largest online collection of citizen science projects.
Citizen science networks are often involved in the observation of cyclic events of nature (phenology), such as effects of global warming on plant and animal life in different geographic areas, and in monitoring programs for natural-resource management.
Many citizen-science projects serve education and outreach goals. engagement in scientific research. These projects may be designed for a formal classroom environment or an informal education environment such as museums.
New technology 
Many citizen-science projects are now taking advantage of mobile phones and other consumer electronic devices with recording capabilities for easy data collection. Examples include the San Francisco  project, the WildLab, iNaturalist, and Project Noah  iPhone apps for monitoring birds, marine wildlife, and other organisms, the NASA meteor counter app , and the Loss of the Night app.
The Internet has also been a boon to citizen science, particularly through gamification. Internet-based citizen-science include NASA's Stardust@home, Clickworkers, SETILive, CosmoQuest, and various Zooniverse projects such as Galaxy Zoo, Foldit, and the Phylo video game. National Geographic has an archeology project, Field Expedition: Mongolia, in which users tag potential archeological dig sites on GeoEye satellite images, to assist explorers on the ground in Mongolia. EyeWire users help scientists trace neurons through the retina, with the goal of creating a full retinal connectome.
Some projects, such as SETI@home, use the Internet to take advantage of distributed computing. These projects are generally passive. Computation tasks are performed by volunteers' computers and require little involvement beyond initial setup. There is disagreement as to whether these projects should be classified as citizen science. Yale astrophysicist and Galaxy Zoo co-founder Kevin Schawinski, said,
- "We prefer to call this Galaxy Zoo citizen science because it's a better description of what you're doing; you're a regular citizen but you're doing science. Crowd sourcing sounds a bit like, well, you're just a member of the crowd and you're not; you're our collaborator. You're pro-actively involved in the process of science by participating."
- -- Kevin Schawinski
Compared to SETI@home, "Galaxy Zoo volunteers do real work. They're not just passively running something on their computer and hoping that they'll be the first person to find aliens. They have a stake in science that comes out of it, which means that they are now interested in what we do with it, and what we find."
Citizens in Space 
Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy, seeks to combine citizen science with citizen space exploration. Citizens in Space is training citizen astronauts to fly as payload operators on suborbital reusable spacecraft that are now in development. Citizens in Space will also be developing, and encouraging others to develop, citizen-science payloads to fly on suborbital vehicles. Citizens in Space has already acquired a contract for 10 flights on the Lynx suborbital vehicle, being developed by XCOR Aerospace, and plans to acquire additional flights on Lynx and other suborbital vehicles in the future.
Citizens in Space believes that "The development of low-cost reusable suborbital spacecraft will be the next great enabler, allowing citizens to participate in space exploration and space science." 
History of citizen science 
"Citizen science" is a fairly new term but an old practice. Prior to the 20th Century, science was often the pursuit of gentleman scientists, amateur or self-funded researchers such as Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Darwin. By the mid-20th Century, however, science was dominated by researchers employed by universities and government research laboratories. By the 1970s, this transformation was being called into question. Philosopher Paul Feyerabend called for a "democratization of science." Biochemist Erwin Chargaff advocated a return to science by nature-loving amateurs in the tradition of Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Buffon, and Darwin—science dominated by "amateurship instead of money-biased technical bureaucrats."
Rick Bonney is credited with coining the term "citizen science" in the 1990s.
Citizen science has evolved over the past two decades. Recent projects place more emphasis on scientifically sound practices and measurable goals for public education. Modern citizen science differs from its historical forms primarily in the access for, and subsequent scale of, public participation; technology is credited as one of the main drivers of the recent explosion of citizen science activity.
Another factor leading to this increase in citizen science participation is continued introduction into pop culture and outreach. The citizen science movement has attracted ambassadors from professional sports leagues such as the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.
Other definitions of citizen science 
(2) the engagement of nonscientists in true decision-making about policy issues that have technical or scientific components; and (3) the engagement of research scientists in the democratic and policy process.—Bruce V. Lewenstein
Scientists and scholars who have used these other definitions include Frank Von Hippel, Steve Schneider, Neal Lane, Jon Beckwith, and Alan Irwin. Alternative terminology proposed for these definitions are "civic science" and "civic scientist."
Limitations of citizen science 
In a research report published by the U.S. National Park Service, Brett Amy Thelen and Rachel K. Thiet mention the following concerns, previously reported in the literature, about the validity of volunteer-generated data:
- Some projects may not be suitable for volunteers, for instance when they use complex research methods or require arduous or repetitive work.
- Because volunteers have insufficient training in research and monitoring protocols, they are more at risk of introducing bias into the data.
Citizen science conferences 
The first Conference on Public Participation in Scientific Research was held in Portland, Oregon in August 2012.
See also 
- GLOBE at Night
- List of citizen science projects
- Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science
- "Finalizing a Definition of "Citizen Science" and "Citizen Scientists"". OpenScientist. 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- Hand, E. (2010). "Citizen science: People power". Nature 466 (7307): 685–687. doi:10.1038/466685a. PMID 20686547.
- http://www.citizensky.org/ Citizen Sky
- https://plus.google.com/102181745587261283861 Citclops, EU Collaborative Project, STREP, GA nº 308469, total cost: 4.743.458 €
- http://setilive.org SETI Live
- http://clumpy.ex.ac.uk/ Clumpy
- http://eyewire.org/ EyeWire
- Lintott, C. J.; Schawinski, K.; Slosar, A. E.; Land, K.; Bamford, S.; Thomas, D.; Raddick, M. J.; Nichol, R. C. et al. (2008). "Galaxy Zoo: Morphologies derived from visual inspection of galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 389 (3): 1179. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.389.1179L. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13689.x.
- CellSlider.net. Accessed: November 8, 2012.
- http://spaceappschallenge.org/ Space Apps Challenge
- http://deepseachallenge.com/ DeepSea Challenger.
- http://citizensinspace.org/ Citizens in Space
- O'Hanlon, Larry (1 May 2013). "Turn Yourself into a Skyglow Meter". Discovery News. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- http://scistarter.com/ SciStarter
- 'Citizen scientists' watch for signs of climate change, The Christian Science Monitor, April 10, 2008
- Ballard, H., Pilz, D., Jones, E.T., and Getz, C. (2005). Training Curriculum for Scientists and Managers: Broadening Participation in Biological Monitoring. Corvalis, OR: Institute for Culture and Ecology.
- Cooper, C.B., Dickinson, J., Phillips, T., and Bonney, R. (2007). Citizen Science as a Tool for Conservation in Residential Ecosystems. Ecology and Society. 12 (2).
- Firehock, K.; West, J. (1995). "A Brief History of Volunteer Biological Water Monitoring Using Macroinvertebrates". Journal of the North American Benthological Society 14 (1): 197–202. doi:10.2307/1467734.
- Osborn, D. A. (2002). "Monitoring Rocky Intertidal Shorelines: A Role for the Public in Resource Management". California and the World Ocean 02 175. p. 57. doi:10.1061/40761(175)57. ISBN 0-7844-0761-4.
- Brossard, D.; Lewenstein, B.; Bonney, R. (2005). "Scientific knowledge and attitude change: The impact of a citizen science project". International Journal of Science Education 27 (9): 1099. doi:10.1080/09500690500069483.
- Bauer, M. W.; Petkova, K.; Boyadjieva, P. (2000). "Public Knowledge of and Attitudes to Science: Alternative Measures That May End the "Science War"". Science, Technology & Human Values 25: 30. doi:10.1177/016224390002500102.
- Bonney, R. and LaBranche, M. (2004). Citizen Science: Involving the Public in Research. ASTC Dimensions. May/June 2004, p. 13.
- Baretto, C., Fastovsky, D. and Sheehan, P. (2003). A Model for Integrating the Public into Scientific Research. Journal of Geoscience Education. 50 (1). p. 71-75.
- McCaffrey, R.E. (2005). Using Citizen Science in Urban Bird Studies. Urban Habitats. 3 (1). p. 70-86.
- http://www.parkscan.org ParkScan ParkScan project
- http://www.thewildlab.org The Wildlab
- http://www.inaturalist.org iNauralist
- http://www.projectnoah.org Project Noah
- Eiben, C. B.; Siegel, J. B.; Bale, J. B.; Cooper, S.; Khatib, F.; Shen, B. W.; Players, F.; Stoddard, B. L. et al. (2012). "Increased Diels-Alderase activity through backbone remodeling guided by Foldit players". Nature Biotechnology 30 (2): 190–192. doi:10.1038/nbt.2109. PMID 22267011.
- Khatib, F.; Cooper, S.; Tyka, M. D.; Xu, K.; Makedon, I.; Popovic, Z.; Baker, D.; Players, F. (2011). "Algorithm discovery by protein folding game players". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (47): 18949–18953. doi:10.1073/pnas.1115898108. PMC 3223433. PMID 22065763.
- Cooper, S.; Khatib, F.; Treuille, A.; Barbero, J.; Lee, J.; Beenen, M.; Leaver-Fay, A.; Baker, D. et al. (2010). "Predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game". Nature 466 (7307): 756–760. Bibcode:2010Natur.466..756C. doi:10.1038/nature09304. PMC 2956414. PMID 20686574.
- Kawrykow, A.; Roumanis, G.; Kam, A.; Kwak, D.; Leung, C.; Wu, C.; Zarour, E.; Sarmenta, L. et al. (2012). "Phylo: A Citizen Science Approach for Improving Multiple Sequence Alignment". In Michalak, Pawel. PLoS ONE 7 (3): e31362. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031362. PMC 3296692. PMID 22412834.
- [dead link]
- "Wikinomics – Crowdsourcing versus citizen science". Wikinomics.com. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- ""Teachers in Space" becomes "Citizens In Space"". Citizensinspace.org. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Feyerabend, Paul Karl (1982). Science in a free society. London: NLB. ISBN 0-86091-753-3.
- Chargaff, Erwin (1978). Heraclitean fire: sketches from a life before nature. New York: Rockefeller University Press. ISBN 0-87470-029-9.
- Rosner, Hillary (2013). "Data on Wings". Scientific American 308 (2): 68–73. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0213-68. ISSN 0036-8733.
- Bonney, R.; Cooper, C. B.; Dickinson, J.; Kelling, S.; Phillips, T.; Rosenberg, K. V.; Shirk, J. (2009). "Citizen Science: A Developing Tool for Expanding Science Knowledge and Scientific Literacy". BioScience 59 (11): 977. doi:10.1525/bio.2009.59.11.9.
- Silvertown, J. (2009). "A new dawn for citizen science". Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24 (9): 467–201. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2009.03.017.
- Darlene Cavalier (2012-03-22). "Chemical Heritage Magazine, "Science Cheerleader."". Chemheritage.org. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Lewenstein, Bruce V. "What does citizen science accomplish?" Paper read at CNRS colloquium, 8 June 2004, in Paris, France.
- Von Hippel, Frank (1991). Citizen scientist. New York: American Institute of Physics. ISBN 0-88318-709-4.
- Beckwith, Jonathan R. (2002). Making genes, making waves: a social activist in science. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00928-2.
- Irwin, Alan (1995). Citizen science: a study of people, expertise, and sustainable development. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13010-7.
- Neal Lane, "Remarks" at Panel Discussion on Future of Federal Funding for Science and Engineering, Rutgers University, April 8, 1996. Steve Schneider remarks at AAAS meeting, February 1997; see here .
- Clark, F.; Illman, D. L. (2001). "Dimensions of Civic Science: Introductory Essay". Science Communication 23: 5. doi:10.1177/1075547001023001002.
- Thelen, Brett Amy; and Thiet, Rachel K. (2008). "Cultivating connection: Incorporating meaningful citizen science into Cape Cod National Seashore's estuarine research and monitoring programs". Park Science 25 (1). ISSN 1090-9966. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
Further reading 
- Franzoni, Chiara; and Henry Sauermann. (2012, November 14). "Crowd Science: The Organization of Scientific Research in Open Collaborative Projects", Social Science Research Network
- Ridley, Matt. (2012, February 8). "Following the Crowd to Citizen Science," The Wall Street Journal
- Young, Jeffrey R. (2010, May 28). "Crowd Science Reaches New Heights," The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- BBC Lab UK - take part in groundbreaking science
- Beaver Creek Reserve Citizen Science Center
- British Geological Survey - citizen science at BGS
- CitizenSci - PLOS blog
- Citizen Science - BBC Radio 4 Science
- Citizen Science Alliance
- Citizen Science Central
- Citizen Scientists League
- Citizen CyberScience Centre
- Citizens in Space
- ClicktoCure / Cell Slider - teaming Cancer Research UK & Zooniverse
- CoCoRaHS: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network
- ECOCEAN USA - Shepherd Project : Whale Sharks : Mantas
- EyeWire Project
- Loss of the Night app
- Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
- National Geographic Education - Encyclopedic Entry: citizen science
- Operation RubyThroat
- Project Budburst
- Project Noah
- Redmap - Australians monitoring marine species its vast coastline
- Serious Leisure Perspective on amateur science
- Scientific American citizen science portal
- UK-EOF: UK Environmental Observation Framework
- Wildlife Sightings - citizens serving biodiversity conservation efforts
- World Water Monitoring Day
- Zooniverse - Real Science Online