Surveying the citizen science landscape


  • Andrea Wiggins University of Maryland College Park
  • Kevin Crowston Syracuse University



citizen science, crowdsourcing, open collaboration systems, open movements


Citizen science has seen enormous growth in recent years, in part due to the influence of the Internet, and a corresponding growth in interest. However, the few stand-out examples that have received attention from media and researchers are not representative of the diversity of the field as a whole, and therefore may not be the best models for those seeking to study or start a citizen science project. In this work, we present the results of a survey of citizen science project leaders, identifying sub-groups of project types according to a variety of features related to project design and management, including funding sources, goals, participant activities, data quality processes, and social interaction. These combined features highlight the diversity of citizen science, providing an overview of the breadth of the phenomenon and laying a foundation for comparison between citizen science projects and to other online communities.

Author Biographies

Andrea Wiggins, University of Maryland College Park

Assistant Professor, College of Information Studies

Kevin Crowston, Syracuse University

Distinguished Professor of Information Studies, School of Information Studies




How to Cite

Wiggins, A., & Crowston, K. (2014). Surveying the citizen science landscape. First Monday, 20(1).