Research data management challenges in citizen science projects and recommendations for library support services. A scoping review and case study.

Jitka Stilund Hansen, Signe Gadegaard, Karsten Kryger Hansen, Asger Væring Larsen, Søren Møller, Gertrud Stougård Thomsen, Katrine Flindt Holmstrand

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Citizen science (CS) projects are part of a new era of data aggregation and harmonisation that facilitates interconnections between different datasets. Increasing the value and reuse of CS data has received growing attention with the appearance of the FAIR principles and systematic RDM practises, which are often promoted by university libraries. However, research data management (RDM) initiatives in CS appear diversified and if CS have special needs in terms of RDM is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this article is firstly to identify RDM challenges for CS projects and secondly, to discuss how university libraries may support any such challenges.

    A scoping review and a case study of Danish CS projects were performed to identify and confirm RDM challenges, respectively. 48 articles were selected for data extraction. Five academic project leaders were interviewed about RDM practices in their CS projects.

    Based on the identified challenges, it is recommended that university libraries focus their services on 1) identifying legal and ethical issues that the project managers should be aware of in their projects, 2) elaborating these issues in a Terms of Participation that also specifies data handling and sharing to the citizen scientist, and 3) motivating the project manager to good data handling practises. Adhering to the FAIR principles and good RDM practices in CS projects will secure contextualisation and data quality. High data quality increases the value and reuse of the data and, therefore, the empowerment of the citizen scientist.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalData Science Journal
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jun 2021

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