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Citizen Science: Introduction

This guide provides case studies, resources and information on relevant events to support UCD staff, researchers, academics and students interested in citizen science.

What is Citizen Science?

Citizen Science encompasses a wide variety of activities and practices that recognises non-professionals as valued and empowered actors in advancing knowledge, research and innovation. (UCD’s publication Engage your Research : An Introductory Guide to Engaging& Involving the Public in Research)


Citizen science broadly refers to the active engagement of the general public in scientific research tasks. Citizen science is a growing practice in which scientists and citizens collaborate to produce new knowledge for science and society. (The Science of Citizen Science)

Citizen science can be described as the voluntary participation of non-professional scientists in research and innovation at different stages of the process and at different levels of engagement, from shaping research agendas and policies, to gathering, processing and analysing data, and assessing the outcomes of research. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, 2020)

Citizen science projects actively involve citizens in scientific endeavour that generates new knowledge or understanding. Citizens may act as contributors, collaborators, or as project leader and have a meaningful role in the projectECSA (European Citizen Science Association). 2015. Ten Principles of Citizen Science. Berlin.

Citizen science is a global movement where individuals, family members, friends, community groups, or anyone does science to address real-world questions. (SciStarter)

Other Related Guides Available

UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice Events


Citizen Science and the Rural Place in Ireland
Wednesday 29th March at 11am in the Earth Institute


UCD citizen science projects using digital technologies to enhance our understanding of past and present rural places, populations & culture

Join us for two presentations in the Earth Institute kitchen, 4th Floor O'Brien Science Centre, UCD, Belfield where light refreshments will be provided or online via Zoom. You can register for either option via Eventbrite


Dr Karen Keaveney from the School of Agriculture and Food Science will discuss how the Citizen Rural project investigates how rural populations can harness digital technologies to enhance participative democracy in the planning and policy formulation for local sustainable development.


 Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Director of the National Folklore Collection will explore the 1930s Schools Collection project which was itself an early form of citizen science or public participation and the recent digital transcribing project with Dúchas.

UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice



The UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice is supported by UCD Library and UCD Earth Institute.

Our website is at

Please join our mailing list. We welcome UCD staff and students, members of the public and people from other universities or organisations.

How to join: Open your email and start a new message; in the body of the email type: SUBSCRIBE UCDCITIZENSCIENCE firstname surname ; next, delete any other information such as logos, addresses or links which you might have in your email body ; send the email to this address:

(firstname surname should be your own name, e.g., James Joyce)

You will receive a reply to confirm that you are a member of the UCD Citizen Science mailing list.

Citizen Science Case Studies with UCD Involvement





UCD and Citizen Science

UCD’s publication Engage your Research : An Introductory Guide to Engaging

& Involving the Public in Research states:

“Citizen Science encompasses a wide variety of activities and practices that recognises non-professionals as valued and empowered actors in advancing knowledge, research and innovation.”

Ten Principles of Citizen Science



The UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice is supported by UCD Library and UCD Earth Institute


Contact: Jane Nolan, UCD Library at:

or Liz Bruton, UCD Earth Institute at:

Students, Staff and Members of UCD are invited to join the UCD Citizen Science Community of Practice