[open-science] Data sharing policy for citizen science projects?

Paweł Szczęsny ps at pawelszczesny.org
Tue Jun 12 07:25:13 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM, Puneet Kishor <punk.kish at gmail.com> wrote:
> Great question and topic close to my heart. My own comment and a question --
> 1. A citizen science data store is a "collection," that is, it has data contributed by many different folks, who, in the worst case, may have as many opinions about how their data should be shared as there are contributors;

We say in Poland: where are two Poles, there are three opinions. So,
your example isn't actually the worst case scenario... But more
seriously: that's indeed an issue, and I feel there will be another
battle again non-commercial clause in case of citizen science
projects. Maybe there's a need for a set of initial principles about
such projects (YOURCITY Open Citizen Science Declaration anyone?), as
Panton Principles aren't that attractive for everyone.

> 2. Define "rapid"? In a data store where the contributors are not scientists, that is, they don't have any reward stemming from withholding data, the motivations and the definition of rapid would be different than in a data store made up of contributions from scientists who might want a withholding period. (I work on a project that is a collection made of contributions from scientists, so I have first hand experience with one such case).

Well, as far as I know FoldIt or most of @home projects don't share
data at all. On the other hand, there are projects where each
contribution is available in real time (Open Dinosaur Project for
example). And there are projects where people come with all sorts of
ideas how and when the data should be shared. Scientists leading
citizen science projects often don't have issues with releasing the
data once the paper is out. Contributors outside of academia often
don't care, as long as the progress is seen and goals achieved (see
FoldIt). But it can take few years till data release if projects are
of a size of typical grant (I'm talking about life sciences here). So
in essence, I'm looking for a tool that would encourage data release
before the publication in fields that don't have already such a
community agreement as genomics.


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