Joint Research Centre
Digital Earth Lab

We help to advance the interconnectivity between Citizen Science data, tools and apps with knowledge systems of the public sector. In this way, we intend to support the development of a methodology and accompanying toolbox to support knowledge co-creation for evidence-based policy making. This work includes investigations of the possibilities to provide long term access to the results of Citizen Science projects, with a particular emphasis on interoperability, re-use of existing practices, and the connection of EU-funded Citizen Science projects to a wider research and innovation ecosystem.

Citizens' contributions to scientific processes, i.e. Citizen Science initiatives, are blossoming all over geographic scales and disciplines. The Citizen Science and Smart City Summit , organised by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in 2014, identified the management of citizen-collected data as a major barrier to the re-usability and integration of these contributions across borders – covering the legal, organizational, semantic and technical level [1].

Amongst others, we identified the following major work items:

  • Map past and ongoing projects, and generate a semantic network of concepts between the projects to facilitate search of related activities, and community building.
  • Provide a repository for citizen science and smart city data (anonymised and aggregated), software, services, and applications so that they are maintained beyond the life of the projects they originate from, and made shareable and reusable.
  • Make available the JRC knowledge base on semantic interoperability, data models, and interoperability arrangements and standards to support citizen science projects.
  • Partner with the European Citizen Science Association, and contribute to its interoperability activities.
  • Work towards making the JRC, and the European Commission, a champion of citizen participation in European science.

The 2014 summit motivated us to project past scientific and technical work on data management and service interoperability to Citizen Science, and to embed this work into the emerging activities on European and international scale.

[1] Report of the JRC Citizen Science and Smart City Summit 2014

Activities