The videos and other material on this page will give you an introduction to the field of citizen science, the history, background and current trends, as well as a typology of the different types of citizen science. The recommended reading and videos in this module will take you about 1 hour to complete.

Everybody Counts 

In this short TEDx talk, Caren Cooper introduces us to citizen science and shows how important every single participant is (15 min).

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Recommended reading 

This paper discusses how citizen science has changed recently, the impact that citizen science has and opportunities for the future of citizen science (2 pages).

Bonney et al. 2014. Next Steps for Citizen Science. Science, 343(6178), 1436–1437. Download it here

Video lectures


History, Trends and an Overview of Citizen Science, parts 1 & 2 (11 & 12 minutes)

Prof Muki Haklay Part 1 Introduction to Citizen Science

Download the annotated slides here

Prof Muki Haklay Part 2 Introduction to Citizen Science

Download the annotated slides here

Video lecture


A typology of Citizen Science (11 minutes)

Prof Muki Haklay Part 3 Introduction to Citizen Science

Download the annotated slides here


Explore some online citizen science projects

Zooniverse Whether you are interested in penguins, insects or transcribing old museum labels, Zooniverse is the place to look for interesting online citizen science projects

Explore some online and offline citizen science projects

SciStarter With more than 3,000 searchable projects from around the world, SciStarter is where you can find projects to do indoors, outdoors, at home, at school, at the beach, anywhere, across all topics and age groups

Further learning

Further reading

European Citizen Science Association (ECSA). The 10 principles of Citizen Science

Eitzel, M.V. et al., 2017. Citizen Science Terminology Matters: Exploring Key TermsCitizen Science: Theory and Practice, 2(1), p1. You can find it here

POSTNote:  Environmental Citizen Science. Number 476, August 2014. You can find it here

Cooper, C., 2017. Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery. Gerald Duckworth & Co.

Further learning

Introduction to Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing, UCL, extensive free online course about citizen science. You can find it here

Other modules

There are five modules in this course. You can follow them in order or pick the ones that interest you. 

Introduction to Citizen Science - this module

Environmental Citizen Science - zooming in on environmental applications and activities

Information Technology in Citizen Science - focusing on the importance of data management and IT platforms

Understanding Participant Motivation - addressing the common question of why people participate in citizen science

Evaluation - developing an appropriate evaluation for citizen science projects

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