On July 9th & 10th, 2015, a Citizen Science & Crowdsourcing Metadata Workshop was hosted by the Wilson Center's Commons Lab in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science. The results of this workshop included 30 fields describing citizen science project metadata and are summarized in this publication.
This report reviews legal and regulatory issues that federal agencies face when they engage in citizen science and crowdsourcing activities.
Typology of Citizen Science Projects from an Intellectual Property Perspective: Invention and Authorship between Researchers and Participants, written by Dr. Teresa Scassa and doctoral candidate Haewon Chung of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, analyzes various types of volunteer citizen science activities to determine whether they raise legal questions about IP ownership. The report includes a typology comparing the IP implications of different types of citizen science projects, from transcribing or gathering data to assisting with problem solving.
Citizen Science and Policy: A European Perspective, written by Dr. Muki Haklay of University College London, examines European citizen science projects to understand how they can support or influence public policy (and how policy can support or constrain citizen science). The report concludes with suggestions for how projects around the world can be structured to meet policy goals—for example, through strategic partnerships, and by developing guidelines to facilitate the use of citizen science data.
How has the global economy changed, and what does it mean for innovation? How should we be thinking about innovation? What conditions are necessary for innovation to thrive? How can we attract greater investment for innovation activities? What types of government policies and regulations can strengthen innovation? How can we better integrate science and technology into practical applications? What are the barriers to innovation, and how can we overcome them? This publication summarizes the main themes of the High-Level Innovation Forum for Policymakers 2013 and highlights some lessons learned. The purpose of this paper is to aid in ongoing dialogue, the next stage of which will take place in Washington, DC in November, 2014 (The publication is available both in English and Spanish).
New ways to gather data are on the rise. One of these ways is through citizen science. While citizen science can be defined broadly, this article defines citizen science as the voluntary participation of members of the public in scientific research, including but not limited to data collection and analysis, and problem solving. Agencies can feel confident about using citizen science for a few reasons, as outlined in this report.
Article published in the Policy forum of Interactions Magazine. Citizen science projects must protect the privacy of volunteers by informing them about potential threats and implementing safeguards. Privacy laws, policies, and standards exist to guide developers of citizen science applications toward best practices.
Published by the Commons Lab, "New Visions in Citizen Science" showcases seventeen case studies that offer a mosaic view of federally-sponsored citizen science and open innovation projects, from in-the-field data collection to online games for collective problem-solving. This report offers a sampling of different models that support public contribution, potential challenges, and positive impacts that projects can have on scientific literacy, research, management, and public policy.
Leaders in disaster response are finding it necessary to adapt to a new reality. Although community actions have always been the core of the recovery process, collective action from the grassroots has changed response operations in ways that few would have predicted. Using new tools that interconnect over expanding mobile networks, citizens can exchange information via maps and social media, then mobilize thousands of people to collect, analyze, and act on that information. Sometimes, community-sourced intelligence may be fresher and more accurate than the information given to the responders who provide aid. This report explores approaches to the questions that commonly emerge when building an interface between the grassroots and government agencies, with a particular focus on the accompanying legal, policy, and technology challenges.
The growing use of social media and other mass collaboration technologies is opening up new opportunities in disaster management efforts, but is also creating new challenges for policymakers looking to incorporate these tools into existing frameworks. The Commons Lab, part of the Science & Technology Innovation Program, hosted a September 2012 workshop bringing together emergency responders, crisis mappers, researchers, and software programmers to discuss issues surrounding the adoption of these new technologies. This report discusses the key findings, policy suggestions, and success stories that emerged during the workshop.