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The Science of Citizen Science

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Provides a unique overview of the field of citizen science
  • Explores and summarizes an innovative research field
  • Case studies illustrate the varying aspect of citizen science
  • Research based on a pan-European networks of experts

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Table of contents (26 chapters)

  1. Citizen Science as Science

  2. Citizen Science in Society


About this book

This open access book discusses how the involvement of citizens into scientific endeavors is expected to contribute to solve the big challenges of our time, such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity, growing inequalities within and between societies, and the sustainability turn. The field of citizen science has been growing in recent decades. Many different stakeholders from scientists to citizens and from policy makers to environmental organisations have been involved in its practice. In addition, many scientists also study citizen science as a research approach and as a way for science and society to interact and collaborate. This book provides a representation of the practices as well as scientific and societal outcomes in different disciplines. It reflects the contribution of citizen science to societal development, education, or innovation and provides and overview of the field of actors as well as on tools and guidelines. It serves as an introduction for anyone whowants to get involved in and learn more about the science of citizen science.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Museum für Naturkunde Berlin – Leibniz, Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science (MfN), Berlin, Germany

    Katrin Vohland, Katherin Wagenknecht

  • Natural History Museum (NHM), Vienna, Austria

    Katrin Vohland

  • Faculty of Science, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

    Anne Land-Zandstra

  • Earthwatch Europe, Oxford, UK

    Luigi Ceccaroni

  • Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

    Rob Lemmens

  • OpenSystems, Departament de Física de la Matèria Condensada, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

    Josep Perelló

  • Department of Applied Information Technology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

    Marisa Ponti

  • Department of Bioscience Engineering, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

    Roeland Samson

About the editors

Katrin Vohland supports and investigates knowledge exchange between science, policy, and different publics mainly in the area of biodiversity. She chairs the COST Action CA15212 to explore the added value of citizen science. She was based at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Research. Since June 2020 she is the Director General of the Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria.


Anne Land-Zandstra studies citizen science as a form of informal science education. Her research focuses on participant motivation and learning impact. She is a member of the Dutch Citizen Science Lab and is vice-chair of the COST Action CA15212. She is also an assistant professor at Leiden University.


Luigi Ceccaroni manages innovation and strategic research at Earthwatch, an independent research organisation based in Oxford, UK. He is co-vice-chair of the European Citizen Science Association.


Rob Lemmens works in the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente, with a research focus on semantic web technologies and the improvement of geo-crowdsourcing methods.


Josep Perelló is the leader of the OpenSystems Research Group and the coordinator of the CoAct EU research project. His research is focused on citizen social science and more particularly on public experimentation on a wide variety of social issues related to human collective behaviour in the field of computational social science.


Marisa Ponti works in the Department of Applied Information Technology at the University of Gothenburg. Her current research focuses on machine–human cooperation to advance collective knowledge for scientific activities and to solve social problems.


Roeland Samson is professor at the University of Antwerp. His research focuses on urban air pollution monitoring, ecosystemservices of urban green spaces, urban biodiversity, and the link between air pollution and health. He initiated and coordinated AIRbezen (strawbAIRies), and was involved in Curieuzeneuzen, both citizen science campaigns on air quality monitoring.


Katherin Wagenknecht coordinates the EU-Citizen.Science project. With a background in sociology and cultural anthropology her research focus is on participatory research practice and urban space. She was based at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Research.

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