pixabay Lizenz geralt (https://pixabay.com/de/photos/steine-kiesel-wasser-wellen-244244/)


WG for quality critera (ongoing)

At the annual platform meeting of Österreich forscht on 1 March 2017, the partners decided to set up a working group on quality criteria for citizen science projects. This became necessary because, due to new funding programmes and the level of awareness of citizen science that has been achieved in the meantime, more and more projects consider themselves as citizen science, which also requested to be included in Österreich forscht. Up to this point, projects were examined by the platform coordinators for consistency with the different definitions of citizen science before they were accepted. In order to create objective, comprehensible and, above all, transparent criteria for the future, the working group for quality criteria was founded. The working group consists of project leaders and partners of Österreich forscht and is headed by Florian Heigl and Daniel Dörler.



WG for Legal Aspects (closed)

In the course of developing quality criteria for citizen science projects at Österreich forscht, it soon became apparent that recommendations for existing and new citizen science projects are needed for certain areas, which project coordinators can use as a guideline. One very important area is legal aspects, which often arise for project coordinators for the first time in the context of citizen science projects. Therefore, the working group on legal aspects in citizen science has developed a recommendations for general legal questions in the context of citizen science projects. The recommendations are based on questions from ongoing projects on Österreich forscht and the input of lawyers who have dealt specifically with this topic.



WG Biodiversity (closed)

During the annual platform meeting of the Citizen Science Network Austria on 31.01.2018, the participating partners decided to establish a working group on open biodiversity databases. The following objectives were addressed in the working group: (1) Creation of a questionnaire to help assess the feasibility/meaningfulness of opening specific citizen science biodiversity databases (tested on existing and theoretical projects).(2) An implementation/experience report from an Austrian citizen science project that is opening its biodiversity database.


  • Publications:
    • Heigl F, Dörler D, Walter T, & Morawetz L (2019) Citizen Science Network Austria Arbeitsgruppe für Offene Biodiversitätsdatenbanken in Citizen Science Projekten: Fragenkatalog für Projektleiter*innen (Version 1).
    • Heigl F, Dörler D, Walter T, & Morawetz L (2019) Citizen Science Network Austria Working Group on Open Biodiversity Databases in Citizen Science Projects: Catalogue of Questions for Project Managers (Version 1).
    • Implementation and experience report from an Austrian citizen science project that opens its biodiversity database:
      • In the Roadkill project of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, 912 Citizen Scientists reported 17,163 roadkills from 2014-2020. This Austrian citizen science project was selected to try to open up its biodiversity database and to document the hurdles that had to be overcome. The first step was to identify which repository, i.e. public database, would be most suitable for the collected roadkill data. We decided to publish the highest quality data on GBIF. GBIF - the Global Biodiversity Information Facility - is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world's governments that aims to provide open access to data on all species of life on Earth to anyone, anywhere. We wanted to publish the quality level 2 data on Zenodo. Zenodo is an open-discipline repository, based at CERN and funded by the European Commission. In contrast to GBIF, Zenodo does not have any specifications regarding the properties or formats of the data. Publishing data via Zenodo is therefore very simple and straightforward. GBIF currently only allows organisations to publish data, and only data that meets the strict biodiversity data standards accepted by GBIF. The first hurdle was to find an organisation that was willing to publish the data from the Roadkill project. We finally found this in the Biology Centre of the Upper Austrian State Museum, which runs the database ZOBODAT, whose data are also feed into GBIF. Besides the Biology Centre, there are many other organisations in Austria that publish data in GBIF. Another way would be to register your own organisation on GBIF and host the data yourself. The second hurdle was to bring the collected data into a data standard requested by GBIF. This required a lot of time resources and could be avoided by introducing the appropriate standard for data collection at the start of the project. Another important step was to describe exactly how the published data was collected and checked for accuracy, so that researchers and other interested parties could understand how the published data was collected and then use it for their own research or conservation actions. We have published this description of the data in the form of a data paper in the international scientific journal Scientific Data. Such a publication is optional and does not have to be done via a peer-reviewed journal. One can also add such a description in an abbreviated form directly in GBIF. The experiences described above show that the publishing of biodiversity data from citizen science projects can be challenging if the data were not collected according to the specifications of the respective repository. If possible, the repository in which the data is to be published should be determined at the start of the project in order to simplify the publication process. It remains to be seen which advantages will result from publication. However, we are convinced that the publication will contribute to the fact that the time invested by citizen scientists in data collection will be even more appreciated, as the data can now be used not only for the Roadkill project but also for other research projects, thus creating added value.


WG Open Science (ongoing)

The open science trainings working group has set itself the goal of promoting the dissemination of Open Science methods and facilitating their implementation in everyday scientific work. Project managers often lack knowledge of specific tools or their application. The training workshops, which are available to all interested parties, follow a “train-the-trainer” approach, where those who complete them should acquire the knowledge needed to then be able to pass on that knowledge of how to use specific tools to others. The goal is to offer discipline-specific training workshops. Workshops are announced on Österreich forscht.



WG Conference (ongoing)

The Working Group "Conference" organizes the annual Austrian Citizen Science Conference. It is composed of the local organization team, which changes every year depending on the conference location, and a team of dedicated individuals, which on the one hand takes care of the scientific support of the conference (i.e. mainly evaluating the incoming contributions for the respective conference), and on the other hand also prepares general documents, which enable a flow of information between the different local organization teams from one year to the next. Thus, the conference working group is a core element in the organization of Austria's largest Citizen Science event.


WG Schools (ongoing)

The working group "Citizen Science at/with schools" was founded during the platform meeting on 26 June 2019 in Obergurgl to bring together the numerous experiences from the cooperation between science and schools. The members of the WG come from research institutions and schools.



WG Strategy (ongoing)

The aim of this working group is to develop a strategy including an action plan for the development of the Citizen Science Network Austria and the associated platform Österreich forscht until 2027.


Short News

  • Only 4 days left for submitting an abstract to the joint ECSA/ACSC conference in Vienna in April 2024. Find all information here: https://2024.ecsa.ngo/

    Tuesday, 26 September 2023
  • The deadline for submitting abstracts for the ECSA/ACSC double conference in April 2024 in Vienna is approaching. Contributions can only be submitted until September 30. An extension of this deadline is not possible. We are looking forward to many contributions from all over Europe! Please find all information about the conference on the conference website.

    Tuesday, 19 September 2023
  • The crowdsourcing project "Viennese playbills 1930-1939" is about the metadata capture of the playbills from the holdings of the Vienna City Library from this period. Previously only organized by theater and not indexed individually, during the project these valuable historical sources will become recorded individually and thus discoverable for all. If you want to know more about this fascinating project, then have a look a the project's website. Join the research!

    Tuesday, 12 September 2023

Österreich forscht auf:

twitter Twitter facebook Facebook youtube YouTube