SciStarter.com and citizenscience.org

12.12: news.adds/democratizing science/
SciStarter.com and citizenscience.org:

Citizen Science Association and SciStarter
are about making science more accessible
and crowd-sourcing science projects.

checkthescience.com ->

Erica Prange 2016 @scistarter.com:

Making citizen science tools discoverable and accessible
At SciStarter, we aim to make it easy to find and join
meaningful citizen science projects.
. for many projects and would-be participants,
there are challenges to accessing the right tools for the job.
So, we took steps to find a solution and are ready for your help
to populate a new database of citizen science tools.
Step One:
We interviewed 110 people about their citizen science tool needs.
Through participation in the National Science Foundation's
Innovation Corps for Learning program,
a collaboration of researchers between SciStarter
and Arizona State University's School for the
Future of Innovation in Society
and ASU's School of Engineering
adapted lean launch methods to explore and develop
a better understanding of the ecosystem of
stakeholders around citizen science tools.
We discovered our "value propositions":
1) to save time and effort by connecting people, projects and
vetted turnkey project-tool bundles
to collect a lot more quality data, and
2) to increase confidence when making decisions on
quality instruments, protocols, instructions and
additional citizen science resources from a trusted source.

Manufacturers and Makers need to make their instruments
more discoverable to those who need them.
Many universities and government-supported projects
cannot recommend, promote, or sell instruments.

We summarized our iCORPS insights:
[get data gathering tools at loaning libraries
for those who want to help temporarily]
and lessons learned.
[it's about quality data collection;
and learning by doing the process.]

Step Two:
We asked project owners about their tools.
We surveyed project owners to help inform
the types of tools required for their citizen science projects.

Step Three:
We organized a central repository of Citizen Science Tools
linked to SciStarter's Citizen Science Projects.
The partnership between SciStarter and Arizona State University
lead to an NSF EAGER grant to ASU's School of Engineering,
to fast-track a taxonomy to describe citizen science tools
and to further develop features of the SciStarter Tools Database
including a consumerreports.org-style review feature.
Our goal is to help project owners discover the right tools
for their projects and for all tool users to
share their experiences via a rating/review system.
This social proofing will help people understand the pros and cons
of the tools for different scenarios.
We will assemble an expert advisory panel to test and review
to communicate important requirements; eg:
Sensor manufacturers sometimes provide limited information
on these low-cost sensors,
and it is very easy to use the devices improperly.
This is because they are designed to work under
very controlled conditions – for example,
at fixed temperatures or with limited wind movement
– and these requirements often are not communicated to consumers.
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
is also helping us build the taxonomy.
This fall, we joined forces to leverage the Wilson Center's
success in convening experts to inform and document
standardized, scalable approaches.
The Wilson Center is also interested in understanding
how the data collected through these tools
can be linked to emerging, global data repositories.
In turn, by partnering with SciStarter and ASU,
the Wilson Center is able to apply scholarly research to
real-world solutions through the SciStarter platform.
. citizen science researchers and practitioners,
makers, and metadata experts participated in a workshop;
"Making Tools Discoverable".
. Summit attendees assumed one of four personas
(librarian, citizen scientist,
maker/manufacturer, and project owner)
and provided feedback on the Beta version of
the SciStarter Tools Database.

Step Four:
We're inviting people to add Citizen Science Tools
to the beta database!


Citizen Science Association:
. Citizen science is about the
involvement of the public in scientific research
– whether community-driven research or global investigations.
The Citizen Science Association unites expertise from
educators, scientists, data managers, and others
to empower citizen science.