Supporting research data management and use of FAIR principles in citizen science projects by university libraries

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24 Jan 2020

Supporting research data management and use of FAIR principles in citizen science projects by university libraries


This project aims to identify and communicate good practices in research data management (RDM) of citizen science (CS) projects. The project is a part of a collaboration between Danish university libraries and researchers about our role in supporting and promoting CS projects and in implementing the FAIR principles in CS projects.


We use Danish CS projects as cases to identify challenges in RDM of CS projects. We interview researchers and support writing of data management plans if not yet available. We aim to produce different information materials about library services to students and researchers interested in CS method and data. In addition, data management guidelines and a DMP template for CS project managers will be developed. The following RDA outcomes are currently considered for adoption in the CS data management guidelines:

  1. Principles and Guidelines for Legal Interoperability of Research Data1
  2. Best practices For Data Providers and Repositories from the Best Practices for Making Data Findable Task Force2
  3. Data Foundation and Terminology WG Recommendation3


CS projects often contain personal data, which challenges the CS principle of data being shared with the community. Following the FAIR principles in CS projects will support the “Ten Principles of Citizen Science”4. Thus, publishing metadata with a persistent identifier, using open formats, community-specific standards and ontologies, and clear use licenses will increase findability and re-usability of CS projects. Several biodiversity CS projects may benefit from data sharing, which may be facilitated by good RDM and by adhering to the FAIR guiding principles. We anticipate that the RDA outcomes will assist us in creating the guidelines for RDM of CS projects.

A couple of introductory videos are produced for public dissemination in the project and address the above subjects. The videos will also be presented at the plenary.


Links to videos produced for the project and Love Data Week 2020:

Introduction to Citizen Science 

FAIR data in a Citizen Science project

About the Ten Principles for Citizen Science


Click on the poster image to enlarge


Name & surname: 
Jitka Stilund Hansen
Scientific Discipline / Research Area: 
Domain Agnostic
Technical University of Denmark
  • Patricia Herterich's picture

    Author: Patricia Herterich

    Date: 03 Apr, 2020

    This looks super interesting. Could you elaborate how exactly you identify the Citizen Science projects that you talk to? I don't know the Danish landscape, but I can imagine that being rather challenging. 

    Many thanks,


  • Jitka Stilund Hansen's picture

    Author: Jitka Stilund Hansen

    Date: 04 Apr, 2020

    Hi Patricia,

    We are several university libraries participating in the project, and we were able to identify citizen science projects embedded in/affiliated with our individual universities. So we are able to reach the project leaders in this way. There is also a Danish CS network, where I believe most CS projects are described. We are also offering assistance in writing a DMP for the project leaders we get to interview, which is also a way that we use to identify challenges in research data management. All project leaders are scientists, so busy people, but willing to participate in our project to different extents. Best regards, Jitka

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