Development of Standards for Metadata Documentation in Citizen Science Projects




Citizen science, Metadata, Standards, Interoperability, Data reuse, Collaboration


Introduction: Citizen science has generated large volumes of data contributed by citizens in the last decade. However, the lack of standardization in metadata threatens the interoperability and reuse of information.

Objective: The objective was to develop a proposal for standards to document metadata in citizen science projects in order to improve interoperability and data reuse.

Methods: A literature review was conducted that characterized the challenges in metadata documentation. Likewise, it analyzed previous experiences with standards such as Darwin Core and Dublin Core.

Results: The review showed a high heterogeneity in the documentation, making interoperability difficult. The analyzes showed that standards facilitate the flow of information when they cover basic needs.

Conclusions: It was concluded that standardizing metadata is essential to harness the potential of citizen science. The initial proposal, consisting of flexible norms focused on critical aspects, sought to establish bases for a collaborative debate considering the changing needs of this community.


Fraisl D, Hager G, Bedessem B, Gold M, Hsing PY, Danielsen F, et al. Citizen science in environmental and ecological sciences. Nature Reviews Methods Primers. 2022;2(1):64.

Roche J, Bell L, Galvão C, Golumbic YN, Kloetzer L, Knoben N, et al. Citizen Science, Education, and Learning: Challenges and Opportunities. Frontiers in Sociology. 2020;5:613814.

Fraisl D, Campbell J, See L, Wehn U, Wardlaw J, Gold M, et al. Mapping citizen science contributions to the UN sustainable development goals. Sustainability Science. 2020;15(6):1735–51.

Aristeidou M, Herodotou C. Online Citizen Science: A Systematic Review of Effects on Learning and Scientific Literacy. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. 2020;5(1):11.

Groom Q, Weatherdon L, Geijzendorffer IR. Is citizen science an open science in the case of biodiversity observations?. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2017;54(2):612–7.

Pocock MJO, Chapman DS, Sheppard LJ, Roy HE. Choosing and Using Citizen Science: A Guide to when and how to Use Citizen Science to Monitor Biodiversity and the Environment. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology; 2014. 24 p.

Hernández-Sampieri R, Mendoza C. Metodología de la investigación: las rutas cuantitativa, cualitativa y mixta. Mcgraw-hill; 2020.

Batista-Mariño Y, Gutiérrez-Cristo HG, Díaz-Vidal M, Peña-Marrero Y, Mulet-Labrada S, Díaz LER. Behavior of stomatological emergencies of dental origin. Mario Pozo Ochoa Stomatology Clinic. 2022-

Theobald EJ, Ettinger AK, Burgess HK, DeBey LB, Schmidt NR, Froehlich HE, et al. Global change and local solutions: Tapping the unrealized potential of citizen science for biodiversity research. Biological Conservation. 2015;181:236–44.

Kullenberg C, Kasperowski D. What Is Citizen Science? – A Scientometric Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(1):e0147152.

Shirk JL, Ballard HL, Wilderman CC, Phillips T, Wiggins A, Jordan R, et al. Public participation in scientific research: a framework for deliberate design. Ecology and society. 2012;17(2).

Cabrera-Aguilar E, Zevallos-Francia M, Morales-García M, Ramírez-Coronel AA, Morales-García SB, Sairitupa-Sanchez LZ, et al. Resilience and stress as predictors of work engagement: the mediating role of self-efficacy in nurses. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2023;14:1202048.

Newman G, Wiggins A, Crall A, Graham E, Newman S, Crowston K. The future of citizen science: emerging technologies and shifting paradigms. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2012;10(6):298–304.

Gouveia C, Fonseca A, Câmara A, Ferreira F. Promoting the use of environmental data collected by concerned citizens through information and communication technologies. Journal of Environmental Management. 2004;71(2):135–54.

Walker DW, Smigaj M, Tani M. The benefits and negative impacts of citizen science applications to water as experienced by participants and communities. WIREs Water. 2021;8(1):e1488.

Hecker S, Wicke N, Haklay M, Bonn A. How Does Policy Conceptualise Citizen Science? A Qualitative Content Analysis of International Policy Documents. CSTP. 2019;4(1):32.

Bonney R, Ballard H, Jordan R, McCallie E, Phillips T, Shirk J, et al. Public Participation in Scientific Research: Defining the Field and Assessing Its Potential for Informal Science Education. A CAISE Inquiry Group Report. Online submission. 2009;

Ramirez-Andreotta MD, Brusseau ML, Artiola J, Maier RM, Gandolfi AJ. Building a co-created citizen science program with gardeners neighboring a superfund site: The Gardenroots case study. International public health journal. 2015;7(1).

Wieczorek J, Bloom D, Guralnick R, Blum S, Döring M, Giovanni R, et al. Darwin Core: An Evolving Community-Developed Biodiversity Data Standard. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(1):e29715.

Jones BA, Madden GJ, Wengreen HJ. The FIT Game: preliminary evaluation of a gamification approach to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in school. Preventive Medicine. 2014;68:76–9.

Michener WK, Jones MB. Ecoinformatics: supporting ecology as a data-intensive science. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 2012;27(2):85–93.

Plaza-Ccuno JNR, Vasquez Puri C, Calizaya-Milla YE, Morales-García WC, Huancahuire-Vega S, Soriano-Moreno AN, et al. Physical Inactivity is Associated with Job Burnout in Health Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy. 2023;Volume 16:725–33.

Huaman N, Morales-García WC, Castillo-Blanco R, Saintila J, Huancahuire-Vega S, Morales-García SB, et al. An Explanatory Model of Work-family Conflict and Resilience as Predictors of Job Satisfaction in Nurses: The Mediating Role of Work Engagement and Communication Skills. J Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2023;14:215013192311513.

Dilas D, Flores R, Morales-García WC, Calizaya-Milla YE, Morales-García M, Sairitupa-Sanchez L, et al. Social Support, Quality of Care, and Patient Adherence to Tuberculosis Treatment in Peru: The Mediating Role of Nurse Health Education. Patient Preference and Adherence. 2023;Volume 17:175–86.

Fernández‐Llamazares Á, Cabeza M. Rediscovering the Potential of Indigenous Storytelling for Conservation Practice. CONSERVATION LETTERS. 2018;11(3):e12398.

Follett R, Strezov V. An Analysis of Citizen Science Based Research: Usage and Publication Patterns. Goffredo S, editor. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(11):e0143687.




How to Cite

Mantari Mincami LD, Giron HR, Sanabria EMQ, Lago LAP, Vittes JFV y R, Artica JV, Ricapa LFV. Development of Standards for Metadata Documentation in Citizen Science Projects. EAI Endorsed Scal Inf Syst [Internet]. 2024 Apr. 24 [cited 2024 May 18];. Available from:



Research articles