Welcome to the First Edition of Citizen Science Today!

By Chris Lintott and Lucy Fortson

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Citizen Science Today as the latest PressForward publication, presented by the Zooniverse and our friends from the growing community of researchers and practitioners of citizen science.

Citizen science – the involvement of non-professionals in the research process – has been part of research for centuries, and fields ranging from paleontology to meteorology got their start through the efforts of volunteers. In recent years, the vast increase in the volume and variety of data, as well as the velocity with which it arrives, has led to a revival.

Citizen scientists now discover planets, map the human brain and explore their local environments. Yet the literature describing these efforts is widely distributed between fields, encompassing computer science and human computation, psychology, economics, information science, museum studies, domain sciences such as astrophysics, and on and on… and then there’s all the non-peer-reviewed work.

Citizen Science Today is thus born out of the need to aggregate important peer reviewed content together with blog posts, evaluation summaries, reports on methods and protocols, and technical reports as well as policy and ethics statements.

For lead editors Chris Lintott and Lucy Fortson, the process of engaging with citizen science includes continually discovering papers and posts they should have read. As the citizen science research and practioner community is growing, especially as shown through the emergence of the Citizen Science Association in the US, and the European Citizen Science Association, we expect that many of you may be in the same boat. And thanks to the Press Forward plugin, we now have the opportunity to aggregate material on citizen science from across the Internet. With an editorial team encompassing experts from all corners of the academy and beyond, Citizen Science Today takes a crowdsourcing approach for finding and sharing information, aggregating online resources curated by editors to highlight good writing and clear-sighted scholarship related to citizen science. We hope Citizen Science Today will be the solution – a one-stop shop – for anyone interested in perusing the latest goings-on in the wide ranging field of public participation in research. Look for new content every first Tuesday of the month!

We thank the Sloan Foundation and the team at RRCHNM, including Stephanie Westcott and Mandy Regan, for their help in enabling Citizen Science Today to become a Press Forward pilot publication. Our Managing Editor is Juliana Vievering at the University of Minnesota. We also thank Justin Schell and Laureen Boutang of the University of Minnesota Libraries and Adam McMaster of the Oxford University Zooniverse team for their assistance in managing the push towards our first edition.

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