Citizen Science for Research Libraries–A Guide


From LIBER Europe and the LIBER Citizen Science Working Group.

A guide book of around one hundred pages to be released incrementally in sections before the end of 2021.

Working document - v1.2 GitHub, 14 June 2021 | Issue tracker | Notes

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The Editors-in-Chief: Simon Worthington ( and Thomas Kaarsted (

Table of Contents

Mission statement

The guide is designed to be a practical and compact gateway publication for the purpose of assisting research libraries to start setting up a Citizen Science programme.

Citizen Science for research libraries is a way to build new and more engaged audiences as a way to establish new links between science and society.

The guide will address the unique context of research libraries – as becoming the ‘go to place’ for the new and exciting Open Science data world that is opening up to the wider public.

As a starting point the guide will use the four recommendations for Citizen Science from the LIBER Open Science Roadmap: infrastructures; good scientific practice; guidelines, and; skilling.


The content will be organised around the following four main sections and release in sequential modules for reuse. The top level sections are set but the section contents should be seen as working ideas or suggestions for content.

  1. Skills: Citizen Science skills development for staff, researchers, and the public;

  2. Infrastructures: As being active in the development of infrastructure for researchers to carry out Citizen Science;

  3. Good [open] scientific practice: as managing bodies around knowledge libraries that can translate good [Open Science] scholarly practice into new Citizen Science fields, and;

  4. Guidelines: develop guidelines for Citizen Science activities involving the library.


Start with Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) terms, then fit to taxonomies, add to Wikidata, then describe. Use as a SEO primer. Here is an Open Science example.


First section will be released July 2021, with the publication released as a first full version by the end of 2021.

Editorial management

Co-Editors-in-Chief: Simon Worthington and Thomas Kaarsted, reports to CSWG. The role is that of content planning and project management – that contributions fulfill the mission to make a compelling and exciting end product; ensuring publication review groups and production workflows stay on track. Duties: maintain content outline; organise meeting schedule; oversee technical production, and; responsible for legal, ethical, and quality guidelines and standards compliance on behalf of CSWG.

Editorial committee (can also peer review): Chair – Paul Ayris, with a minimum of four members of the committee. The committee is made up of the section editors. There will be one section editor per section of four sections (optionally sometimes two section editors). The committee has the final editorial signoff on content. The role of the committee is content coordination and commissioning contributions – that sections have enough content, the right type of content, and that style guides and templates, etc., are being followed.

Section editors: The role of the section editor is to oversee that the content fits the scope and editorial policy. Section editors work with close support from the Editors-in-Chief and report to the editorial committee with the content of the section, recruit contributors, and correspond with peer reviewers. Section editors would ensure that contributors have followed contributor guidelines.

Section editors are:

  1. Citizen Science research infrastructure – Kirsty Wallis, University College London

  2. Good (Open Science) scholarly practice in Citizen Science – Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, OpenHumans

  3. Guidelines for Citizen Science programme development in libraries – Paul Ayris, University College London

  4. Citizen Science skilling for staff, researchers, and the public – Jitka Stilund Hansen, Technical University of Denmark

Contributor: A contributor would provide one or two articles in agreement with section editors following the templates and style sheet of the guide.

Peer review: Carry out some parts as Open Peer Review. Made up of people appointed by section editors. There will be two peer reviewers per section. The reviews will be selected from – CSWG; editorial committee; external appointees, and publication partners and collaborators.

Scientific peer review: The editorial committee would aim to appoint two experts in the field as external reviewers.

Partners: Bring on contributing partners to the publication as institutional partners. Primarily these partners would provide and exchange content, as experts in the field, and be co-producers. These partners could also contribute resources and be attributed: DOIs, ISBN, profiling, translations, etc. Letters of agreement would be made with partners.

Collaborations: These would orientate around content provision, advocacy, research and resource provision.

Notes for editors

Co-Editors-in-Chief Simon Worthington and Thomas Kaarsted will provide writers guidelines for you to distribute to contributors.

All character counts are inclusive white spaces.

We would encourage contributors to do the following:

Style Guide

  1. Prepare the text in English. The Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition is being used as the overall publication style.

  2. Submit the paper in a template in the Google Drive (to be supplied).

  3. The text should have a Title (between 1 and 10 words).

  4. The text should have a headline summary that briefly outlines the content of the section (max. 30 words).

  5. For each introduction author submit a name and title and e-mail address.

  6. Please divide the text into sections, with:

    1. Headings H2,

    2. Subheadings H3.

  7. Do not include a Table of Contents.

  8. Use single space for spacing.

  9. Do not use line spaces between paragraphs or for line spacing, instead use space before and after paragraph or header.

  10. Use single column format.

  11. Tables and figures. To be placed in individual files. Tables should serve a purpose and display cores data in a brief and structured way.

  12. Each Table and Figure should have a number and a brief description placed below that correspond with the file. All Figures in min. 600 dpi resolution or vector graphic. Please embed figures and also upload to associated Google Drive folder (Google Docs have a habit or lowering resolutions.

  13. References: Do not list references in the text.

  14. A maximum of three core references listed at the very bottom.

  15. Use The Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition style for references. All references should have an author or organization given first. Also please list a DOI for each reference if possible.

    Sample reference:

    Ayris, Paul, Isabel Bernal, Valentino Cavalli, Bertil Dorch, Jeannette Frey, Martin Hallik, Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, et al. ‘LIBER Open Science Roadmap’. LIBER, 2 July 2018. .

  16. List references in alphabetical order at end of text.

  17. For any additional details please contact the Co-Editors-in-Chief: Simon Worthington ( or Thomas Kaarsted (

Template Guides

Section introduction - to be written by section editor

Total for section into 700 words.

Quick start guide - p5 example from SciStarter guide

This could be to introduce a topic, or a service someone could use, like FloraIncognita.

Overview / Essay / Expository text - p6 SciStarter (3 page example, can also be longer with 4 page example and more text 9000 characters)

3 page version
4 page version

Project highlight or example, this could also count for a video piece - one pager p20 SciStarter

Step-by-step guide

Short - p28 SciStarter
Long - p30 SciStarter


The book is intended as a short guide and will be approximately one hundred pages in length. The publication will be produced in conventional and sprint/dash book sprints, as multi-format and multi-channel distribution (print-on-demand, PDF, Webbook W3C+, website, eBook, and as a Jupyter Book – and will be technically designed for reuse, for example in – community translations or in MOOCs. High quality open standards, metadata, and modern sematic/computational publishing are a priority and research interest of the production process.

Book sections will be released incrementally as they are ready. Ideally the book will become a community owned publication with regular updates.


We would like to acknowledge The Library & Community Guide to Citizen Science published by SciStarter as an inspiration for the idea for our publication. Additionally The Turing Way from the Alan Turing Institute is worth mentioning as a community model of open science publishing that we look to emulate.

An Open Science publication

The publication will be produced as an Open Access publication and use Open Science practices – where appropriate – to ensure the research is open and reusable as possible, including: open data, open standards, PIDs, open peer review, open source software, and open methods, etc.

© 2021 the authors. All content licensed Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0), unless otherwise stated. | Publication:


Ayris, Paul, Bernal, Isabel, Cavalli, Valentino, Dorch, Bertil, Frey, Jeannette, Hallik, Martin, Hormia-Poutanen, Kristiina, et al. “LIBER Open Science Roadmap”. Zenodo, July 2, 2018. doi: Page 29.

Mahey, Al-Abdulla, Ames, Bray, Candela, Chambers, Derven, et al. Open a Glam Lab. Doha, Qatar: Digital Cultural Heritage Innovation Labs, 2019.

Cavalier, Darlene, Caroline Nickerson, Robin Salthouse, and Dan Stanton, eds. The Library & Community Guide to Citizen Science. SciStarter, 2020 (Revised 2021).

Arnold, Becky, Louise Bowler, Sarah Gibson, Patricia Herterich, Rosie Higman, Anna Krystalli, Alexander Morley, Martin O’Reilly, Kirstie Whitaker, and The Turing Way Community. The Turing Way: A Handbook for Reproducible Data Science, 2019.


© 2021 the authors. All content licensed Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0), unless otherwise stated. | Publication:

Imprint: Responsible for the content of the domain - Simon Worthington (LIBER CSWG Secretary), Lausitzer Platz 10, 10997 Berlin, Germany. E-mail: simon.worthington AT - Internet: The respective authors are responsible for the content of their posts.

Data protection: No data trackers are used on this site and no personal information is stored. Data protection notice - version 1.0, 25 Jan 2021.