Citizen Science

LibOCS training event in Riga

The KTU Library team (Gintarė Tautkevičienė, Aistė Pranckutė, Daiva Steponavičienė) is participating in the Project “University libraries strengthening the academia-society connection through citizen science in the Baltics” (LibOCS) project event “Training activity for Baltic HEIs on open and citizen science capabilities”, which is taking place at the University of Latvia in Riga, Latvia, on 20-23 September 2022. One of the main objectives of the training is to strengthen the cooperation between the project partners and to prepare for the next stage of the LibOCS project – the development of a training course for librarians on citizen science. The training is being delivered by project partners from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece and Germany.

SURVEY

Did you know that everyone can participate in science activities and this is referred to as citizen science? Or are you already involved in a citizen science project? The LibOCS project aims to promote and disseminate citizen science ideas and collaboration between researchers from academic communities, libraries and active members of society.
We invite you to take ~7 minutes of your time and participate in a short survey. All data will be used only for research purposes in the Project, preserving the confidentiality of participants. SURVEY

KTU librarians presented Citizen Science and LibOCS at the Conference of Lithuanian Librarians’ Association

 

KTU Library librarians Aistė Pranckutė and Daiva Steponavičienė took part in the conference “Sustainable Library”. It was organised by the Lithuanian Librarians‘

Association and held in Jurbarkas Public Library on 29th of April, 2022. During the conference, KTU librarians gave a presentation on the LibOCS project, its goals and activities, as well as on citizen science as an example of sustainable science. Most of the conference participants were public library representatives, staff, and professionals, so the aim was not only to share the information, but also to create new connections and involve colleagues from the library sector.

A recording of the conference (in Lithuanian) can be viewed here (the presentation starts from 2:49:05).

LibOCS webinar “Citizen Involvement in Open Science: Roles, Levels and Opportunities” presentations and video recording are available

On May 26, 2022, the webinar “Citizen Involvement in Open Science: Roles, Levels and Opportunities” was held. Researchers, library staff and specialists from other memory institutions – in total more than 130 participants learned about one of the directions of open science – citizen science, its various aspects and opportunities to participate in initiatives that promote it. The participants also got to know the LibOCS project, its goals and first results.

The webinar presentations:

The webinar video recording available HERE.

Webinar organized by LibOCS project team and with the support of Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership program. Project Number: Nr. 2021-1-EE01-KA220-HED-000031125

Project title: University libraries strengthening the academia-society connection through citizen science in the Baltics (LibOCS)

Project Number: 2021-1-EE01-KA220-HED-000031125

Project description: The project’s primary goal is to raise awareness and mainstream citizen science activities in Baltic countries (EE, LV, LT), which are experts in open science but not in citizen science. In addition to keeping track of CS OS implementation progress and procedures, document and publicly FAIR-share best practices, and engage non-expert public groups in social engagement and collaboration.

The target group of the project is librarians (primarily librarians in academic institutions, but also public libraries). Librarians will contribute to an effective dialogue between the scientific community and civil society by acquiring knowledge and skills on citizen science, its applications and citizen engagement in open science. Together with the support of Greek and German consultants, the Baltic University Libraries project will aim to equip librarians with civic engagement management skills, knowledge of the opportunities and benefits of integrating citizen science, and the ability to overcome barriers in academia and civil society. The project partners will also create a wide network of cooperation, allowing learning and sharing of information on citizen science in the Baltic States beyond the project. Benefits for higher education institutions: Academic staff will be able to build on the knowledge generated and disseminated by the project and incorporate knowledge about citizen science, its potential and benefits for society into their curricula.

Project activities include a study to identify opportunities and barriers to engaging citizens in open science and to define the role of academic libraries in the implementation of citizen science activities in the Baltic Sea Region; the development of virtual training modules for librarians to be made available on the Open Access; the organisation of training sessions in each project partner institution, to which librarians, researchers, students and interested parties from all over the country will be invited; and the development of a toolkit (support material) for librarians working with open science and citizen science. Events are also planned to invite audiences interested in citizen science and its applications.

Project funding: This project is funded under the Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships program.

Project duration: 01.01.2022 – 30.06.2024 (30 months)

Project partners: University of Tartu (Estonia), University of Latvia (Latvia), Kaunas Technological University, Vytautas Magnus University, Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), Web2Learn (Greece), Immer Besser GmbH (Germany)

Project webpagehttps://www.libocs.ut.ee

What citizen science is

Citizen science allows people who are not professional scientists to participate in a wide range of scientific activities, from collecting and analysing the data for a research, to disseminating the results of the research or even formulating the research problem. Citizen science brings opportunities for collaborative learning, for building a scientifically literate society, for creating innovations that respond to community needs, for sharing resources and for sustainable problem solving.

Citizen science brings benefits to members of the society by fostering trust in science and providing opportunities to contribute to solving important societal problems. Citizen science is a sustainable science as it saves human and environmental resources by enabling scientists to collect and process larger volumes of data, etc.

Citizen Science principles

The statements below were developed by the European Citizen Science Association to set out some of the key principles which underlie good practice in citizen science.

  1. Citizen science projects actively involve citizens in scientific endeavour that generates new
    knowledge or understanding. Citizens may act as contributors, collaborators, or as project
    leader and have a meaningful role in the project.
  2. Citizen science projects have a genuine science outcome. For example, answering a research
    question or informing conservation action, management decisions or environmental policy.
  3. Both the professional scientists and the citizen scientists benefit from taking part. Benefits
    may include the publication of research outputs, learning opportunities, personal enjoyment,
    social benefits, satisfaction through contributing to scientific evidence e.g. to address local,
    national and international issues, and through that, the potential to influence policy.
  4. Citizen scientists may, if they wish, participate in multiple stages of the scientific process.
    This may include developing the research question, designing the method, gathering and
    analysing data, and communicating the results.
  5. Citizen scientists receive feedback from the project. For example, how their data are being used
    and what the research, policy or societal outcomes are.
  6. Citizen science is considered a research approach like any other, with limitations and biases
    that should be considered and controlled for. However unlike traditional research approaches,
    citizen science provides opportunity for greater public engagement and democratisation of
  7. Citizen science project data and meta-data are made publicly available and where possible,
    results are published in an open access format. Data sharing may occur during or after the
    project, unless there are security or privacy concerns that prevent this.
  8. Citizen scientists are acknowledged in project results and publications.
  9. Citizen science programmes are evaluated for their scientific output, data quality, participant
    experience and wider societal or policy impact.
  10. The leaders of citizen science projects take into consideration legal and ethical issues
    surrounding copyright, intellectual property, data sharing agreements, confidentiality,
    attribution, and the environmental impact of any activities.

Source: ECSA (European Citizen Science Association). 2015. Ten Principles of Citizen Science. Berlin. http://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/XPR2N

Literature

  1. Piliečių mokslas kaip inovatyvi piliečių dalyvavimo forma kuriant gerovės visuomenę (in lithuanian)
  2. Metodinės gairės mokslininkams, bendruomenėms ir piliečiams (in lithuanian)

Useful links

  1. Lithuanian Citizen Science Association The Citizen Science Association (LT: Piliečių mokslo asociacija) has been operating in Lithuania since April, 2020. The objectives of the Association are to grow the citizen science community by bringing together scientists, practitioners and stakeholders, to communicate citizen science projects and initiatives, and to organise and publicise science outreach events, research and citizen science projects.
  2. LIBER Open Science Roadmap. A tool on open science, including citizen science, developed by the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), with applications and recommendations for research libraries. Open access to the document via the Zenodo repository: https://zenodo.org/record/1303002