Checklist: How to plan a citizen science project

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The publication “Citizen Science for all – A guide for citizen science practitioners” is the result of intense collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders in the citizen science community within the Citizens Create Knowledge (BürGEr schaffen WISSen, GEWISS) project. It offers helpful insights on how to plan a citizen science project from start to finish.

Before beginning

  • Define the research question based on a hypothesis or a social problem
    • Is there a clear research question?
  • Define the benefit of using citizen science
    • What is the advantage of using a citizen science approach?

First Steps

  • Establish the project team
  • Develop concrete development goals
    • Are the necessary skills and interests represented?

Planning Phase

  • Determine the research design
  • Determine the methods
  • Who should participate?
    • How long should the project take?
    • What resources are required?
    • How can participants be motivated? What are the benefits for participants?
    • Do participants need training and if so, how?
    • How will the project be evaluated?
    • What infrastructures are required?
    • Where and how will data be (permanently) stored?
    • What licences will be used for data/photos/reports?

Data collection

  • Collect, visualize and analyse the data
  • Give feedbacks to participants
    • Who is responsible for communicating with participants?

Communication and discussion

  • Publish and present the results
    • How will the results be published and what is the target audience?
    • How can participants’ role be made visible?


  • Evaluate the quality, process and benefits for all
    • What criteria must be fulfilled so that the project can be considered a success?

Iterative adaption of plan

  • ...

Source and background

Digital Transformation in Adult Learning for Active Citizenship

This text was published in the frame of the project DIGIT-AL - Digital Transformation Adult Learning for Active Citizenship.






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