Blog Post

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Help Build Trustworthy Data Practices!

Starting August and continuing through September, you will have the chance to share your experiences and expertise as part of a focus group series to help build trustworthy data practices for citizen science! Everyone with an interest in citizen science is invited to participate.

Grab Your Spot!

You are invited to participate in one or more virtual, topical focus group sessions to co-create best practices and new resources for responsibly collecting, managing, and sharing data across the citizen science community. The goal of these sessions is to discuss and develop norms, tools, and resources for the community that are designed by the people of this community. 

The focus group sessions will address five key topics from (1) achieving data openness and (2) crediting volunteers to (3) providing return of results, (4) conveying transparency, and (5) respecting data privacy. Each focus group topic is offered twice. You are welcome to register for more than one focus group topic of interest, but please select only one date per topic. There are limited spots available for each session, so grab your spot now and please be sure to attend the session(s) you register for. 

If you have ideas about how to achieve trustworthy data through the creation of norms and tools to support those norms, or if you are interested in learning more about this from colleagues in your community, then these focus group sessions are for you! All discussions from these sessions will directly inform the practical tools to be developed in following resource workshops to be offered later in the year. Examples of tools to be co-created might include a Volunteer Bill of Rights, a Privacy Policy Template, or a Data Ethics Flowchart.As part of your involvement in the Building Trustworthy Data Practices focus group sessions (offered now) and resource workshops (to be offered later), you are also invited to complete an online pre-survey prior to your participation. This 20-minute interactive survey will ask questions about your involvement in citizen science and your views of specific data practices as applied to hypothetical citizen science scenarios. Questions will assess your current perception of norms, efficacy, and attitudes of data practices in different contexts. You will have the chance to take a post-survey at the conclusion of your participation in the co-creation process (following focus group sessions and resource workshops) to assess any changes in your views. Both the pre and post-survey constitute research and your responses will be used to guide the content for the focus group sessions and resource workshops.

Your Voice Counts!

The citizen science community is as strong as the members who support it by actively engaging in ways to improve the practice, as well as impact, of citizen science. Do not miss this chance to participate in a one-of-kind opportunity to ensure that citizen science data are obtained and stewarded in an ethical and responsible manner. 

These focus group sessions acknowledge that there is “no one-size-fits-all” answer because context matters. Each project has unique aspects that may require different approaches to how data is collected and managed. Through your participation, you can voice your needs, wants, and concerns to co-create the practices and products that will serve the highly varied project styles within the field. 

Find Out More!

Building Trustworthy Data Practices is led by Caren Cooper (PhD, North Carolina State University), Lisa Rasmussen (PhD, University of North Carolina at Charlotte), and Elizabeth Jones (PhD, North Carolina State University) in collaboration with the Citizen Science Association and funded by the National Science Foundation. To learn more about this effort and your role in it, please visit the project webpage. For questions or comments, please contact the Facilitation & Research Team at

Other Details:
This research is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #1835352. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this research are those of the Research Team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This research has also been approved by North Carolina State University (NCSU) Institutional Review Board (IRB) and classified under exempt status. For questions or concerns regarding your rights as a subject in this study, contact the NCSU IRB for Human Participants Administrator at 919-515-4514 or access the website at

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