How Does Citizen Science Change Us? | UCL Institute for Global Prosperity – UCL – University College London

“On 6 April, the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) hosted a session at UCL’s Open Science conference. The session asked, ‘How Does Citizen Science Change Us?’, and was dedicated to understanding how Citizen Science (CS) impacts individual citizens, academics and policy makers, as well as wider society. The event also marked the launch of the IGP’s Citizen Science Academy in partnership with the UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship. The Academy delivers training to citizen researchers in qualitative data collection methods, and provides a theoretical grounding and practical support to citizens researching local pathways to prosperity in their neighbourhoods. …

Open science is about opening access of research to wider audiences. One of the benefits being the ability to bridge the gap between local people and policymakers. ‘How does Citizen Science Change us?’ was an amazing example of this.”

Supporting knowledge creation and sharing by building a standardised interconnected repository of biodiversity data | Zenodo

“This EOSC in practice story was developed within the Cos4cloud project and targets a very wide user base as it is addressed to any researchers, teachers, students, companies, institutions and, more generally, anyone interested in knowing, studying or analysing biodiversity information.

The story presents Cos4Bio, a co-designed, interoperable and open-source service that integrates biodiversity observations from multiple citizen observatories in one place, allowing experts to save time in the species identification process and get access to an enormous number of biodiversity observations. This resource is available on the EOSC Portal Catalogue and Marketplace …”

Supporting knowledge creation and sharing by building a standardised interconnected repository of biodiversity data | EOSC Portal

“This EOSC in practice story targets a very wide user base as it is addressed to any researchers, teachers, students, companies, institutions and, more generally, anyone interested in knowing, studying or analysing biodiversity information. It was developed within the Cos4cloud project….

Cos4Bio is a co-designed, interoperable and open-source service that integrates biodiversity observations from multiple citizen observatories in one place, allowing experts to save time in the species identification process and get access to an enormous number of biodiversity observations….”

Designing an Open Peer Review Process for Open Access Guides | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

by Simon Worthington

The LIBER Citizen Science Working Group is embarking on the design of an open peer review process for the guidebook series being published on the topic of citizen science for research libraries. The LIBER working group in collaboration with COPIM is looking for input and feedback on the design of the open peer review workflow. COPIM is supporting the working group by contributing its experience and knowledge of open access book publishing, with respect to collaborative post-publication input, community peer review processes, and reuse. The first section of the guide Citizen Science Skilling for Library Staff, Researchers, and the Public has already been published with three more sections to follow.

 

Open Science in the recently adopted Resolution on the Slovenian Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy 2030 – OpenAIRE Blog

“At the end of March 2022, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Resolution on the Slovenian Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy 2030 which was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia in April 2022. This is a key Slovenian strategic document for research and innovation until 2030, which will be the basis for formulating policies related to social and economic development as well as to societal challenges. The Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy is inextricably intertwined with the Resolution on National Programme of Higher Education 2030, and both are harmonized with the Slovenian Development Strategy 2030. At the implementation level, the Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy will be supplemented by action plans and sectoral strategic documents (e.g., Research Infrastructure Development Plan, Open Science Action Plan, Action Plan for Technology Transfer Offices, Equal Opportunities Action Plan), which will define the set goals and upgrade them with measurable monitoring indicators.

The Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy, which is based on the Article 10 of the new Scientific Research and Innovation Activities Act, introduces Open Science as an important integral part of the scientific research. In the context of the horizontal objectives under Item 6.2., the Strategy defines six key measures in the field of Open Science, as follows:

1. Effective management and financing of the development of the national Open Science ecosystem and related national structures and infrastructures, ensuring their international alignment as well as integration into international associations and infrastructures.

2. Introduction of modern approaches to the evaluation of scientific research activity in accordance with Open Science principles to increase the quality and impact of research (e.g., DORA – San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics, ERAC – European Research Area and Innovation Committee Guidelines).

3. Ensuring that the results of scientific research comply with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), and that full and immediate open access is provided (subject to legitimate exceptions).

4. Establishment of a National Open Science Community for the introduction and monitoring of Open Science in Slovenia, as well as its integration into ERA and beyond.

5. Promoting the development of citizen science and public involvement in scientific research.

6. Promoting the development of a national scientific publishing system to operate according to the principles of Open Science.

These measures, which are recognised as essential for the development of Open Science in Slovenia, are the basis for the Action Plan on Open Science in preparation. Its adoption by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia is expected later this year.”

 

How research is being transformed by open data and AI | Popular Science

“How iNaturalist can correctly recognize (most of the time, at least) different living organisms is thanks to a machine-learning model that works off of data collected by its original app, which first debuted in 2008 and is simply called iNaturalist. Its goal is to help people connect to the richly animated natural world around them. 

The iNaturalist platform, which boasts around 2 million users, is a mashup of social networking and citizen science where people can observe, document, share, discuss, learn more about nature, and create data for science and conservation. Outside of taking photos, the iNaturalist app has extended capabilities compared to the gamified Seek. It has a news tab, local wildlife guides, and organizations can also use the platform to host data collection “projects” that focus on certain areas or certain species of interest. 

When new users join iNaturalist, they’re prompted to check a box that allows them to share their data with scientists (although you can still join if you don’t check the box). Images and information about their location that users agree to share are tagged with a creative commons license, otherwise, it’s held under an all-rights reserved license. About 70 percent of the app’s data on the platform is classified as creative commons. “You can think of iNaturalist as this big open data pipe that just goes out there into the scientific community and is used by scientists in many ways that we’re totally surprised by,” says Scott Loarie, co-director of iNaturalist. …

But with an ever-growing amount of data, our ability to wrangle these numbers and stats manually becomes virtually impossible. “You would only be able to handle these quantities of data using very advanced computing techniques. This is part of the scientific world we live in today,” Durant adds….

Another problem that researchers have to consider is maintaining the quality of big datasets, which can impinge on the effectiveness of analytics tools. This is where the peer-review process plays an important role….”

 

Citizen seismology helps decipher the 2021 Haiti earthquake

Abstract:  The August 14, Mw7.2, Nippes earthquake in Haiti occurred within the same fault zone as its devastating, Mw7.0, 2010 predecessor but struck the country when field access was limited by insecurity and conventional seismometers from the national network were inoperative. A network of citizen seismometers installed in 2019 provided near-field data critical to rapidly understand the mechanism of the mainshock and monitor its aftershock sequence. Their real-time data define two aftershock clusters that coincide with two areas of coseismic slip derived from inversions of conventional seismological and geodetic data. Machine learning applied to data from the citizen seismometer closest to the mainshock allows us to forecast aftershocks as accurately as with the network-derived catalog. This shows the utility of citizen science contributing to the understanding of a major earthquake.

 

When a seismic network failed, citizen science stepped in | Ars Technica

“On the afternoon of January 12, 2010, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck about 16 miles west of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince. Among the most significant seismic disasters recorded, more than 100,000 people lost their lives. The damage—costing billions of dollars—rendered more than a million people homeless and destroyed much of the region’s infrastructure. The earth tore at the relatively shallow depth of about 8 miles, toppling poorly constructed buildings.

At the time, Haiti had no national seismic network. After the devastating event, scientists installed expensive seismic stations around the country, but that instrumentation requires funding, care, and expertise; today, those stations are no longer functional. In 2019, seismologists opted to try something different and far less expensive—citizen seismology via Raspberry Shakes.

On the morning of August 14, 2021, amidst a summer of COVID-19 lockdowns and political unrest, another earthquake struck, providing the opportunity to test just how useful these Raspberry-pi powered devices could be. In a paper published on Thursday in Science, researchers described using the Raspberry Shake data to demonstrate that this citizen science network successfully monitored both the mainshock and subsequent aftershocks and provided data integral to untangling what turned out to be a less-than-simple rending of the earth….”

NUI Galway Open Scholarship Week 2022, April 11-12, 2022

Our annual NUI Galway Open Scholarship Week is now in its fourth year! #OSW2022 is an exciting and innovative event that will bring together researchers, academics, educators, policymakers and students to highlight and showcase what Open Scholarship is and how it can be achieved, to work together towards creating knowledge that is open and accessible to all. Events will target several elements of Open Scholarship, including Open Data, Open Access, Open Education and Citizen Science.

OSW 2022 is organised by the NUI Galway Library in partnership with the Open Scholarship Community Galway (OSCG). OSW 2022 also welcomes the contributions of our partners at the Atlantic Technological University. The programme is put together by our Organising Committee of volunteers.

Open Scholarship is all about collaboration and lowering barriers to research and learning. Everyone is welcome! All events on 11 April will be virtual while on 12th April we have a mix of online and in person sessions. All events are free!

 

AVONET: morphological, ecological and geographical data for all birds – Tobias – 2022 – Ecology Letters – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Functional traits offer a rich quantitative framework for developing and testing theories in evolutionary biology, ecology and ecosystem science. However, the potential of functional traits to drive theoretical advances and refine models of global change can only be fully realised when species-level information is complete. Here we present the AVONET dataset containing comprehensive functional trait data for all birds, including six ecological variables, 11 continuous morphological traits, and information on range size and location. Raw morphological measurements are presented from 90,020 individuals of 11,009 extant bird species sampled from 181 countries. These data are also summarised as species averages in three taxonomic formats, allowing integration with a global phylogeny, geographical range maps, IUCN Red List data and the eBird citizen science database. The AVONET dataset provides the most detailed picture of continuous trait variation for any major radiation of organisms, offering a global template for testing hypotheses and exploring the evolutionary origins, structure and functioning of biodiversity.

 

Press Release — LIBER Signs MoU with the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA)  – LIBER Europe

“LIBER, the Association of European Research Libraries, and the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), have, as per the 20th of January 2022, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop, promote and facilitate citizen science-related support services at research libraries within Europe. …”

Frontiers | Sounding the Call for a Global Library of Underwater Biological Sounds | Ecology and Evolution

Abstract:  Aquatic environments encompass the world’s most extensive habitats, rich with sounds produced by a diversity of animals. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) is an increasingly accessible remote sensing technology that uses hydrophones to listen to the underwater world and represents an unprecedented, non-invasive method to monitor underwater environments. This information can assist in the delineation of biologically important areas via detection of sound-producing species or characterization of ecosystem type and condition, inferred from the acoustic properties of the local soundscape. At a time when worldwide biodiversity is in significant decline and underwater soundscapes are being altered as a result of anthropogenic impacts, there is a need to document, quantify, and understand biotic sound sources–potentially before they disappear. A significant step toward these goals is the development of a web-based, open-access platform that provides: (1) a reference library of known and unknown biological sound sources (by integrating and expanding existing libraries around the world); (2) a data repository portal for annotated and unannotated audio recordings of single sources and of soundscapes; (3) a training platform for artificial intelligence algorithms for signal detection and classification; and (4) a citizen science-based application for public users. Although individually, these resources are often met on regional and taxa-specific scales, many are not sustained and, collectively, an enduring global database with an integrated platform has not been realized. We discuss the benefits such a program can provide, previous calls for global data-sharing and reference libraries, and the challenges that need to be overcome to bring together bio- and ecoacousticians, bioinformaticians, propagation experts, web engineers, and signal processing specialists (e.g., artificial intelligence) with the necessary support and funding to build a sustainable and scalable platform that could address the needs of all contributors and stakeholders into the future.

South Africa’s draft open science policy promises shake-up – Research Professional News

“All publicly-funded research conducted in South Africa will have to be published in open access journals under a draft national open science policy released this week.

The draft was published on 15 February by the Academy of Science of South Africa, ahead of a workshop to discuss it on 22 February. It was drawn up under the leadership of Ahmed Bawa, the chief executive of Universities South Africa….

The draft policy suggests the establishment of a “national forum” to promote best practice in open science. Researchers will also be offered as-yet unspecified incentives to encourage them to publish in open-access journals….

The policy recommends that a national agency be established to curate publicly-funded research data. Also on the cards is a “federated open science infrastructure” which will make it easier for everyone to access research outputs….

The use of (not) defining Citizen Science – Citizen Science | CS Track Project

“Even among researchers who are highly specialised on the topic there is no consensus about what exactly citizen science means. Funding agencies and policy makers also use it in various different ways:: “[…] no central authority or governing body oversees the field, and even agreeing about who counts as a citizen scientist is challenging.” (Rasmussen and Cooper, 2019, p. 1) But while there is a broad consensus that the term is fuzzy, the question whether it should be defined at all remains controversial….”

The use of (not) defining Citizen Science – Citizen Science | CS Track Project

“Even among researchers who are highly specialised on the topic there is no consensus about what exactly citizen science means. Funding agencies and policy makers also use it in various different ways:: “[…] no central authority or governing body oversees the field, and even agreeing about who counts as a citizen scientist is challenging.” (Rasmussen and Cooper, 2019, p. 1) But while there is a broad consensus that the term is fuzzy, the question whether it should be defined at all remains controversial….”