Guide to Citizen Science

Citizen science – the involvement of volunteers in science – isn’t new. Within the UK we have a long and rich tradition of scientific discovery by unpaid individuals and interest groups. Indeed our current understanding of UK wildlife and the wider environment is due in large part to the dedication and expertise of the naturalist community. Over the past decade, there has been a rapid increase in the diversity and scale of citizen science. Initiatives range from crowd sourcing activities, in which the time and effort of large numbers of people are used to solve a problem or analyse a large dataset, to small groups of volunteers, who are experts in their own right, collecting and analysing environmental data and sharing their findings. The range of possible approaches can be bewildering, but when it is planned and executed well, citizen science can increase scientific knowledge, raise people’s awareness of their environment and allow like-minded people to share enthusiasm and knowledge. This guide aims to support people already involved in citizen science, and those new to it, within the UK. It is based on detailed information gathered and analysed as part of the UK-EOF funded project “Understanding Citizen Science & Environmental Monitoring”, which semi-systematically reviewed 234 projects and included 30 case studies (Roy et al., 2012). It will help you to design and implement a citizen science project relating to biodiversity or the environment. Please see this guide as a starting point that you can add to and adapt to meet your needs and above all, remember to have fun... enthusiasm is infectious!

UK Environmental Observation Framework

UK Environmental Observation Framework

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