Community Hubs for Citizen Science: Building Capacity through Libraries and Universities – LIBER Europe

“Citizen science aims to enable people of all ages, cultures, and skills to engage in real scientific research by collecting or analyzing data typically shared with professional scientists, while provenly increasing public understanding of science. SciStarter.org and Arizona State University, as well as LIBER, are building and scaling programs and resources to catalyze libraries as community hubs for citizen science.

As a result, libraries are supporting an evolving workforce and lifelong learners while addressing known critical barriers in citizen science infrastructure, including lack of 1) project awareness, 2) access to instruments, and 3) community connections.

LIBER Citizen Science Working Group and SciStarter are now organizing a three-part joint webinar series. In this first session, we will examine the realized and potential role of libraries in catalyzing and accelerating participatory science. Darlene Cavalier (SciStarter and Arizona State University, USA), Robin Salthouse (retired librarian and advisor to SciStarter, USA), and the Science shop/Boutique des sciences, University of Lille, France (to be confirmed) will share their experiences and resources to enable everyone to participate in this collaborative and open approach of research and science. Raphaëlle Bats (Urfist – University of Bordeaux, France) and Sara Decoster (KU Leuven, Belgium) will moderate the series….”

Citizen science: empowering citizens to address global challenges

“One of the big advantages of citizen science is the fact that it promotes open data practices. In this way, the approach contributes to science innovation by opening science up to society and advancing collaborations between various actors, including citizens, which helps to make science more participatory and inclusive….”

Design and development of an open-source framework for citizen-centric environmental monitoring and data analysis | Scientific Reports

Abstract:  Cities around the world are struggling with environmental pollution. The conventional monitoring approaches are not effective for undertaking large-scale environmental monitoring due to logistical and cost-related issues. The availability of low-cost and low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices has proved to be an effective alternative to monitoring the environment. Such systems have opened up environment monitoring opportunities to citizens while simultaneously confronting them with challenges related to sensor accuracy and the accumulation of large data sets. Analyzing and interpreting sensor data itself is a formidable task that requires extensive computational resources and expertise. To address this challenge, a social, open-source, and citizen-centric IoT (Soc-IoT) framework is presented, which combines a real-time environmental sensing device with an intuitive data analysis and visualization application. Soc-IoT has two main components: (1) CoSense Unit—a resource-efficient, portable and modular device designed and evaluated for indoor and outdoor environmental monitoring, and (2) exploreR—an intuitive cross-platform data analysis and visualization application that offers a comprehensive set of tools for systematic analysis of sensor data without the need for coding. Developed as a proof-of-concept framework to monitor the environment at scale, Soc-IoT aims to promote environmental resilience and open innovation by lowering technological barriers.

 

European Commission signs first grant agreements under Horizon Europe | European Research Executive Agency

The European Commission recently signed grant agreements with 49 projects that successfully applied to Horizon Europe: Reforming and Enhancing the European R&I System and Research Infrastructures.  

Find out more about these two funding opportunities and the upcoming projects below.   

Reforming and Enhancing the European R&I System 

Reforming the European R&I System is part of the Horizon Europe’s Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area call (Destination 3). 

Call for funding opened on 08 June 2021 and closed on 23 September 2021. 

Out of the 44 applications received, 20 projects covering 15 topics were funded, for a total of about 50.5 million euros of European Commission contribution. 

Projects start between June 2022 and September 2022.

Find below an overview of the selected projects per call topic(s)/type(s) of action:

[…]

Profiteure von Open Access außerhalb der Wissenschaft oder: Warum ist Open Access auch als Arbeitsfeld für öffentliche Bibliotheken interessant? · WissKom2022: Wie macht ihr das? – Öffentliche und wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken im Dialog

From Google’s English:  Abstract:  “Open Access” is primarily understood as a field of work for academic libraries, since the first definitions – such as those of the Budapest Open Access Initiative – are aimed at academic, peer-reviewed literature. At the latest with the emergence of activities on Open Science and the transfer of opening to the entire research cycle, including the inclusion of stakeholder groups outside of science (keyword: “Citizen Science”), it is becoming increasingly clear that the circle of those who benefit from Open Access benefit, are not only to be found in research and in related areas. The article shows the main actors who also benefit from free access to scientific literature outside of science. Subsequently, possible fields of work are reflected and initial discussion impulses are given as to the extent to which “Open Access” can also be a field of work for public libraries.

From Open and Citizen Science to Activism: Roles for Academic Staff

“In the context of climate change and biodiversity loss, science communication and advocacy by academic and research staff may not be sufficient to serve change in these emergency conditions. 

The Erasmus+ INOS project organizes a webinar on forms of social action undertaken by contemporary academic staff that can help change patterns of social and environmental injustice in collaboration with citizen communities. In particular, our webinar aims to question the roles of contemporary researchers in action taking and in the translation of their scholarly findings into real social action. Through this event, we are also glad to present the Scientist Rebellion initiative and its achievements so far, while evaluating the role of civil disobedience and “non-violent” action as effective means to engage people in climate action. 

The core statement of our event is “Science is not enough, Time for activism” (by Julia Steinberger), as a motto that raises both the struggle citizen communities and academic staff face when trying to translate their research and knowledge into demonstrable change.”

We’ve passed 100,000,000 verifiable observations on iNaturalist! · iNaturalist

“If you made 1,000 observations a day, every day, it would take you 274 years to generate 100 million observations. This milestone shows what people can do by working together. The iNaturalist dataset is something we’ve all made together, but it’s larger than any one of us. We hope everyone is as proud of this accomplishment as we are. Together, the iNaturalist community has created a unique window into life on Earth and hundreds of thousands of species with whom we share the planet. Thank you!

We know that even more potential for iNaturalist lies ahead. To fulfill our mission of connecting people to nature and advancing science and conservation, we’re working on a strategy to reach 100 million naturalists by 2030. This requires investing in technology improvements, so we’re now searching for two new software engineers to join the iNat team. Please spread the word to help us find great candidates….”

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.