Blog Post

Special Collection: Ethical Issues in Citizen Science

Collection launched: 07 Mar 2019
Image by Ed Gregory via Stokpic.

Citizen science can challenge existing ethical norms because it falls outside of customary methods of ensuring that research is conducted ethically. What ethical issues arise when engaging the public in research? How have these issues been addressed, and how should they be addressed in the future?

Several papers in this collection of Citizen Science: Theory and Practice  address collaborations with human beings: What to call them when they are not mere passive subjects of research; what ethical issues arise when citizen scientists are also patients reporting their own data; how to acknowledge the significant contributions of volunteers to research; how to foster inclusion, diversity, and trust; and how to establish accurate expectations for collaboration. Other papers consider potential challenges of citizen science that was not conducted ethically, including the possibility of research misconduct, disagreements between collaborators, or poor scientific methodology.

Together, this collection of papers shows a young and rapidly growing field grappling thoughtfully with numerous challenges that citizen scientists and practitioners are finding in their work. Many thanks to the authors and reviewers who made the issue possible!

Guest Edited by Lisa Rasmussen and Caren Cooper

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