Dossier citizen science (burgerwetenschap)


Citizen science

Citizen science is research which is wholly or partially carried out by amateurs of non-professional scientists. In the dossier, you will find news and background information, as well as research results that were obtained through citizen science projects of Wageningen University & Research.

What is the added value of citizen science?

Citizen Science certainly has added value, for example for policy-making. Did you know that 95% of Dutch EU reports on biodiversity are filled with citizen science data? The data gathered by volunteers are increasingly used for all sorts of scientific research and publications.

There also is added value for society. By collecting data about nature, volunteers become more knowledgeable and more involved in their natural environment.

Eventually, there is a financial aspect as well: citizen science is perhaps not free, but still much more economical than data being collected by paid professionals. Some research would even be impracticable if data were not collected by volunteers.

Is citizen science reliable?

There exist many different kinds and levels of citizen science, and citizen science is used with different objectives in mind. Reliability of data depends on the purpose of the research.

In some instances, there is justified concern about the scientific validity of citizen science projects. Therefore, increasingly checks and balances are built in to make sure that data serve their purpose. With plenty of attention to preparation, communication and monitoring, the use of citizen-collected data can be of great use in scientific research.

News about citizen science

Projects using citizen science

Publications on citizen science