Accepted Paper:

Broadening ideas of interoperability in citizen science  


Claudia Göbel (European Citizen Science Association / Museum für Naturkunde)

Paper short abstract:

A practical example of engaged STS: a case study presenting stakeholder analysis as exploratory tool for identifying and highlighting actors and knowledge practices neglected in ICT standardisation in the field of citizen science.

Paper long abstract:

I'll to present a case study on engaged STS research related to ICT standardisation in citizen science (CS): a research project to identify stakeholders and ideas of interoperability lacking in current negotations of standards.

In the field of CS various initiatives have recently emerged with the aim of developing data standards and infrastructures. Examples include an ontology for CS data and metadata, the development of linkages between existing projects and data repositories, and a reference model for sharing CS IT tools. Data repositories from around the globe are involved.

In this context we conducted an exploratory stakeholder analysis with the aim of identifying individuals, groups, and organisations involved in and affected by CS activities, their knowledge sharing practices and perspectives on interoperability in the US, Australia and Europe. This was particularly relevant for two reasons: (1) CS is a very diverse field of practice and standardisations based on the model of data-gathering projects risks narrowing definitions; (2) standard development was carried out without participation of important stakeholders, such as project managers and citizen scientists.

My case study contributes a practical example to the "interplay between publics, researchers, and institutions" dimension of the session by presenting stakeholder analysis as simple exploratory tool for identifying and highlighting actors and knowledge practices to be taken into account for ICT standardisation. It also contributes reflections on engaged STS from a practitioner perspective.

Panel C23
STS meet ICT: politics and the collaborative turn in STS