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Citizen Science Definitions
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Definitions of Citizen Science.csv Added more definition from different policy and literature sources Oct 16, 2019


This is a public repository to host a community generated database of the range of published definitions for "citizen science," such as in the peer-reviewed literature, government publications and policy documents, legislation, etc.

If you would like to be added as a collaborator/co-author to this database, please email Lea Shanley through GitHub. We would welcome the additional help!

Please cite as: Shanley, L.A., Hulbert, J., Auerbach, J., Haklay, M., et al. CitSciDefintions, v1.2. (2019). DOI:

This database was initially created for and referenced in: Jeremy Auerbach, Erika L. Barthelmess, Darlene Cavalier, Caren B. Cooper, Heather Fenyk, Mordechai Haklay, Joseph M. Hulbert, Christopher C. M. Kyba, Lincoln R. Larson, Eva Lewandowski, Lea Shanley. 2019. The problem with delineating narrow criteria for citizen science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jul 2019, 116 (31) 15336-15337; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1909278116 Available at:

Click on the .csv file to see a running list of definitions for citizen science.

Add more definitions by following the instructions below.

  • How to contribute
    • join github
    • join repo as contributor
      • (send request to join to one of the current collaborators)
    • download .csv and make changes
    • upload new .csv (with same filename)
    • describe and commit changes
    • push new version to branch
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