New best practice data guidance for citizen science projects

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) and DASSH have produced new best practice data guidance for citizen science projects. The guidance is delivered by the MBA, in partnership with Natural England, and funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) through the Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) programme.

The interactive guide summarises best practice principles for creating and using high quality data from citizen science and community science projects. It offers guidance for collating, quality assuring, and managing citizen science data.

The aim is to provide data guidance that can broaden the participation in environmental montioring and maximise the efficacy of volunteers in citizen science projects so they can contribute good quality marine evidence which is FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable). FAIR data ensures that data impact is maximised and longevity increased, as data users can find and easily use these data for research and data-driven policy, both nationally and internationally.

Citizen science, for the purpose of this guide, is defined as the involvement of volunteers in science; they can be involved at any stage of the scientific process. The guide describes volunteer projects in the widest sense, as the guidance may also be relevant to other non-volunteer projects.

The guide is divided into 6 main stages composed of a series of activities to consider within each stage in order to produce high quality, FAIR data. Each stage provides a list of data management recommendations which may be used as a checklist.

You can read more and download the guide on the MBA website.

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