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CS-Track, Expanding our knowledge on Citizen Science through analytics and analysis

TIDE participates in CS-Track, a H2020-SwafS-2019-1 project which focuses on Citizen Science (CS) and seeks understanding it in a comprehensive way to deepen and broaden the knowledge on CS activities and their impact. Indeed, overcoming present hurdles on the way to reach that knowledge will enable the potential benefits of CS – on individual citizens, organizations, and society at large – to be realized more effectively and frequently. This is the aim of our project, CS-Track, which will seek this increased knowledge by “observing” a large and diverse set of CS activities, gathering data from the web, interviews of involved players, etc., and from a more direct inspection of running activities. Vast amounts of data will thus be studied, relying for this on (1) web- based analytics, i.e. the use of computational analyses to study CS activities based on their manifestations and traces on the web and social media, and (2) deepening and combining these analyses with approaches known from social studies through multi-perspective analysis and triangulation. Our data analytics and analysis will target both “own” aspects and developments of the CS activities (organizational/operational characteristics, scientific outcomes, good practices, individual/group learning, other success or failure indicators, etc.), and societal aspects, related to the impact of those activities on society, such as gender, age, geographical and socio-economic differences; science as a discipline and its role in society, changing attitudes to science, women in science, etc. This will enable us to understand complex processes, disseminate good practices and formulate knowledge-based policy recommendations intended to optimize CS to make it a major, positive factor for EU’s society and economy. The project will last 36 months, involving 9 partners from 7 countries.

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