Call for Papers – Policy Perspectives in Citizen Science

Citizen science and crowdsourcing enable the public to make meaningful contributions to scientific and engineering research and monitoring. These approaches also produce accurate data to inform a wide range of management and public policy issues.

Conversely, the impact of citizen science on public policy is often constrained by legal, policy, and institutional barriers, which consider issues including privacy, liability, physical and intellectual property, data quality assurance (or “fitness for use”), and organisational cultural change, among others. This special issue of the Citizen Science Journal, “Policy Perspectives in Citizen Science”, will invite contributions that explore the ways in which citizen science may inform management and public policy, or that examine the legal, policy, and organisational challenges to conducting citizen science, including strategies for improving bureaucratic processes to increase the impact of citizen science on public sector policies and practices.

What could this Policy Perspectives in Citizen Science Special Issue address?

Among many possible citizen science and public policy issues, this Special Issue could address the following:

  • What are the opportunities for citizen science to work with decision-makers in all levels of government, indigenous communities, and NGOs to inform management and shape public policy? How do we measure success and impact?
  • How can science and technology policy be crafted to support citizen science, either through opening opportunities or mitigating barriers?
  • What legal issues must be considered and addressed when developing and implementing citizen science projects?
  • How do we make citizen science data information more trustworthy, efficient, and actionable for management and public decision-making? What do concepts like “fitness for purpose” mean in practice?

This special issue invites research articles and research perspectives along with articles in other formats, such as essays, as outlined on the Theory and Practice website*.

Key dates

Abstracts (250-300 words) for proposed papers due by March 1, 2018 to the Editorial team (

Notification of accepted abstracts by April 1, 2018

2-Page extended abstract (750-1,000 words) of approved contributions due by May 1, 2018 to the Editorial team (

Submissions of full approved papers due by September 1, 2018 at the Theory and Practice website


*Citizen Science: Theory and Practice is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal providing a central space for cross-disciplinary scholarly exchanges aimed at advancing the field of citizen science.  It focuses on advancing the field of citizen science by providing a venue for citizen science researchers and practitioners – scientists, information technologists, conservation biologists, community health organizers, educators, evaluators, urban planners, and more – to share best practices in conceiving, developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining projects that facilitate public participation in scientific endeavors in any discipline.

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