Friday, February 17, 2012

e-infrastructures for Citizen Science - an EU perspective

Providing an EU perspective on the important links between citizen science and e-infrastructures, was Kirsti Ala-Mutka who is a Project Officer at the GEANT and e-Infrastructures unit of the European Commission DG Information Society and an expert in online networks and learning.

The EU provides high-speed connectivity for researchers to set up collaboration platforms, which have a global dimension. Citizen Science is helping with building this global dimension and there is great potential for collaboration. The EU wants to citizens to become much more involved, with greater global collaboration between amateur and professional scientists, to create new user communities.

Kirsti's talk provided some examples on how Citizen Scientists can work together with EU e-infrastructures:
• Data collection and infrastructure development
• Citizen Science provides a highly distributed computation resource
• Providing new ideas for developing tools and practices

...and how EU e-infrastructures can help citizen scientists:
• Persistent data storage solutions
• Remote access to specific resources and equipment
• Strategy and inter-operability support for worldwide collaboration.

Kirsti is interested in further ideas/suggestions from Citizen CyberScience Summit delegates on open access, and shared some developments:
Open access pilot in FP7 in all e-infrastructures
• Open access publications and data infrastructure- OpenAIRE, EUDAT
• Tools and models for citizen science-Gloria, Discover the Cosmos
• Roadmap on e-infrastructures for Open Science

Questions asked during the session included: Should citizen science have specific, own programmes or be seen as part of broader e-infrastructure development activities? How important is it to have collaborations between citizen science initiatives and discipline-based “professional” research communities? How to best encourage citizen science initiatives for preparing proposals? Are there any gaps in certain areas?

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