Research

SciStarter is a research affiliate of Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, and the Center for Engagement and Training in Science and Society.

Through support from the National Science Foundation's Advancing Informal Science Learning, and iCORPS, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Simons Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Knight Foundation, SciStarter is emerging as a premier, universal research platform to advance understanding of citizen science and crowdsoucing by making it possible to conduct comprehensive research on projects and participants.  

Feel free to use any of these, and forthcoming, tools and publications:

  • Have you ever wondered how many projects can be done indoors? Or what topics or activities represent the highest number of projects? Or what percentage of projects include classroom materials?  We've made it super simple for you to find out with our Magic 8 Ball for citizen science projects. 
  • Add citizen science to your website by using the free and open SciStarter API key or by embedding our ready-to-use widgets. 

SciStarter and Arizona State University organized Citizen Science Maker Summit in October, 2016. Here is a new report,"ASU / SciStarter Citizen Science Maker Summit: Learning Outcomes and Next Steps" [ http://links.asu.edu/ASUCitizenScienceMakerSummitReport ] which highlights activities from the Summit, provides links to speakers' recorded talks [also posted to the http://makersummit.asu.edu website ], and includes recommendations for future areas of inquiry and development.

The day-and-a-half event brought together academics, practitioners, educators, citizen scientists and Makers to catalyze and strengthen collaborations between the communities.

 
Objectives included the following:
  • Develop a framework for a public-facing database of common citizen science tools and low-cost sensors to complement SciStarter’s database of citizen science projects and events;
  • Identify real-world case studies including efforts to identify, build or improve low-cost tools for citizen science;
  • Address issues of access: how to better reach and support underrepresented communities and educators around citizen science and Making;
  • and, explore plans for future citizen science and Making collaborations.
This paper synthesizes some of the above objectives into four learning outcomes identified during the Summit: (1) Successful citizen science and Maker projects require participation from a variety of stakeholders; (2) People (participants and project leaders) want information about, and access to, appropriate and reliable tools to effectively engage in citizen science; (3) Tools designed by or modified by Makers can be used in citizen science projects; (4) Tool and project design are vital for data quality and participant understanding.
 
Following each learning outcome is research illustrating how SciStarter’s emerging Tools Database could address some of the needs identified during the Summit.
 

[Recommended citation:  Prange, E., Lande, M. & Cavalier, D. (2018). Citizen Science Maker Summit Report: Learning Outcomes and Next Steps. Arizona State University White Paper. Tempe, AZ. Retrieved from http://links.asu.edu/ASUCitizenScienceMakerSummitReport ]

 

In 2015, SciStarter and Azavea, with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,  spent a year investigating developments in software, hardware and data processing capability for citizen science. 

The results of this research are assembled in this four-part report.  The first part, Data Collection Platform Evaluation, examines existing online software platforms designed to support citizen science.  The second, Technology Evaluation, describes recent technology related to sensors, data collection and data visualization.  The last two parts include a set of user interface designs for a future citizen science data collection platform and the results of testing cloud computing platforms for geospatial data processing performance.


 

Post-publication Updates

The CitSci.org application has sent several updates to Part 1 of the report:

  • CitSci.org now fully supports photo support
  • CitSci.org now has full mobile apps for both iOS and Android
  • CitSci.org now also a Form Creator tool