Citizen Science Platform

The ODISSEI Citizen Science Platform will improve data quality in citizen science by applying existing expertise from the field of social science methodology. Citizen science projects include those which rely on ordinary citizens to collect scientific data at a large scale on for example air pollution, the backyard bird count, or the history of marriage. Underestimated aspects of data collection through citizen science are issues of selectivity and measurement error. For example, what type of citizen participates in science, and does that affect the conclusions? How reliable are the measures collected, and is it possible to estimate the measurement errors and correct for any detrimental effect they might have? How does one make sure that member organisations collect data in such a way as to minimise these errors? Social methodologists are used to developing solutions to such questions for social data collection at the service of social science. ODISSEI will pilot a platform for the benefit of all fields of science that use citizens as data collectors. This platform will perform three functions: (1) trusted and convenient data collection interface for fast development of Citizen Science applications through a web-based and mobile app platform to facilitate data collection; (2) link to spatial and demographic information from Statistics Netherlands to allow post-stratification to adjust for selectivity of the citizen scientist population and investigate the sensitivity of the conclusions; (3) allow double-coding and validation so researchers can estimate and correct for classification errors. The platform will be built open-source and will be modular so that teams can easily add components to the study or change the look-and-feel. Existing components will be recycled as much as possible. Over the project, the ODISSEI Citizen Science Platform will collaborate with existing citizen science projects and invite groups to use the tools and receive support through open calls.

Project team Citizen Science Platform: Peter Lugtig (Utrecht University – Task leader).

Questions regarding Citizen Science Platform? Contact Tom Emery (ODISSEI Coordination Team).