The Knowledge Powerhouse for Citizen Science on Law and Ethics

The Knowledge Powerhouse for Citizen Science on Law and Ethics is part of a task dissemination from SOCIO-BEE and aims to communicate the project’s work as well as existing resources in relation to law and ethics and subsequent lessons learnt to the general public, encouraging the uptake of citizen science, by creating a publicly available knowledge hub hosted on the project’s website.


The Knowledge Powerhouse is made up of a wide variety of resources, ranging from guidelines to blog posts, policy documents, academic works etc. They are arranged by different thematic categories.

In this way, we can summarise, compact and expand the existing knowledge base intended for diverse audiences.



Academic resources
Blog posts and other commentaries
Principles and Codes


Academic resources


EU case law


Academic resources, blog posts and other commentaries

EU projects and documents


Academic resources, blog posts and commentaries, principles and codes of ethics, tools and use of innovative technologies

Academic resources


Ficorilli, A., Maccani, G., Balestrini, M., Biggeri, A., De Marchi, B., Froeling, F., Gignac, F., Grazuleviciene, R., Hoek, G., Kanduč, T., Kocman, D., Righi, V., & Basagana, X. (2021). Investigating the process of ethical approval in citizen science research: The case of Public Health. Journal of Science Communication, 20, A04.

Goodwin, J., & Roberts, L. (2019). Citizen Science Ethics: It’s a Community Thing. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, 9(1), 35–40. Retrieved from

Groot, B., & Abma, T. (2022). Ethics framework for citizen science and public and patient participation in research. BMC Medical Ethics, 23(1), 23.

Ficorilli, A. (2020, September 14). Ethical Aspects of Citizen Science Projects at ECSA 2020 Conference. Cities Health. Retrieved from

Kasperowski, D., Hagen, N., & Rohden, F. (2022). Ethical boundary work in citizen science: Themes of insufficiency. Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies.

Oberle, K. M., Page, S. A., Stanley, F. K., & Goodarzi, A. A. (2019). A reflection on research ethics and citizen science. Research Ethics, 15(3–4), 1–10.

Patrick-Lake, B., & Goldsack, J. C. (2019). Mind the Gap: The Ethics Void Created by the Rise of Citizen Science in Health and Biomedical Research. The American Journal of Bioethics, 19(8), 1–2.

Rasmussen, L. M. (2019). Confronting Research Misconduct in Citizen Science. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 10.

Rasmussen, L. M., & Cooper, C. (2019). Citizen Science Ethics. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 5.

Reiheld, A., & Gay, P. L. (2019). Coercion, Consent, and Participation in Citizen Science (arXiv:1907.13061). arXiv.

Resnik, D. B. (2019). Citizen Scientists as Human Subjects: Ethical Issues. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 11.

Resnik, D. B., Elliott, K. C., & Miller, A. K. (2015). A framework for addressing ethical issues in citizen science. Environmental Science & Policy, 54, 475–481. Retrieved from

Riesch, H., & Potter, C. (2014). Citizen science as seen by scientists: Methodological, epistemological and ethical dimensions. Retrieved from

Tauginienė, L., Hummer, P., Albert, A., Cigarini, A., & Vohland, K. (2021). Ethical Challenges and Dynamic Informed Consent. In K. Vohland, A. Land-Zandstra, L. Ceccaroni, R. Lemmens, J. Perelló, M. Retrieved from

Additional resources

Banks, S., & Brydon-Miller, M. (2018). Ethics in participatory research. In S. Banks & M. Brydon-Miller (Eds.), Banks,  S. & Brydon-Miller,  M. (Eds.). (2018). Ethics in participatory research for health and social well-being: Cases and commentaries. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 1-30 (pp. 1–30). Routledge.

Bietz, M., Patrick, K., & Bloss, C. (2019). Data Donation as a Model for Citizen Science Health Research. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 6.

Bowser, A., Shilton, K., Preece, J., & Warrick, E. (2017). Accounting for Privacy in Citizen Science: Ethical Research in a Context of Openness. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 2124–2136.

Brown, P., Morello-Frosch, R., Brody, J. G., Altman, R. G., Rudel, R. A., Senier, L., Pérez, C., & Simpson, R. (2010). Institutional review board challenges related to community-based participatory research on human exposure to environmental toxins: A case study. Environmental Health, 9(1), 39.

Eleta, I., Clavell, G. G., Righi, V., & Balestrini, M. (2019). The Promise of Participation and Decision-Making Power in Citizen Science. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 8.

Flicker, S., Travers, R., Guta, A., McDonald, S., & Meagher, A. (2007). Ethical Dilemmas in Community-Based Participatory Research: Recommendations for Institutional Review Boards. Journal of Urban Health, 84(4), 478–493.

Guerrini, C. J., Crossnohere, N. L., Rasmussen, L., & Bridges, J. F. P. (2021). A best–worst scaling experiment to prioritize concern about ethical issues in citizen science reveals heterogeneity on people-level v. Data-level issues. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 19119.

Hansen, J. S., Gadegaard, S., Hansen, K. K., Larsen, A. V., Møller, S., Thomsen, G. S., & Holmstrand, K. F. (2021). Research Data Management Challenges in Citizen Science Projects and Recommendations for Library Support Services. A Scoping Review and Case Study. Data Science Journal, 20(1), 25.

Lynn, S. J., Kaplan, N., Newman, S., Scarpino, R., & Newman, G. (2019). Designing a Platform for Ethical Citizen Science: A Case Study of Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 14.

Majumder, M. A., & McGuire, A. L. (2020). Data Sharing in the Context of Health-Related Citizen Science. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 48(S1), 167–177. Retrieved from

Roy, S., & Edwards, M. (2019). Citizen Science During the Flint, Michigan Federal Water Emergency: Ethical Dilemmas and Lessons Learned. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 12.

Scheibner, J., Jobin, A., & Vayena, E. (2021). Ethical Issues with Using Internet of Things Devices in Citizen Science Research: A Scoping Review. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 9, 629649. 

Sorensen, A. E., Jordan, R. C., LaDeau, S. L., Biehler, D., Wilson, S., Pitas, J.-H., & Leisnham, P. T. (2019). Reflecting on Efforts to Design an Inclusive Citizen Science Project in West Baltimore. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 13.

Blog posts and other commentaries
Berti Suman, A., & Schade, S. (2022, February, 23). Our visual consent forms now out as Creative Commons. Retrieved from

Biggeri, A. (n.d.). Un’etica per ogni pratica scientifica, anche per quella dei cittadini. [An ethics for every scientific practice, even for that of citizens] Retrieved, from

Citizen Science Projects Surging, But Often Lack IRB Ethical Oversight (n.d.). Relias Media. Retrieved from

Didio, A. (n.d.). Assent from & Informative material for minors. Arise Initiative Retrieved from

CSA  WEBINAR Citizen Science Ethics 101 (2018, September, 18). Citizen Science Association. Retrieved from

CSA WEBINAR Situation Assessment and Stakeholder Analysis for Citizen Science (2018, November 30). Citizen Science Association. Retrieved from

Ficorilli, A. (n.d.). Quale etica per la citizen science? [What ethics for citizen science?] Retrieved from

Gilbert, S. (2019, October 21). Citizen Science: Potential Benefits and Ethical Challenges. The Hastings Center.

Herman, J. (2020, November 2). An Ethical Code for Citizen Science? Retrieved from

Rasmussen, L. (n.d.). Filling the ‘Ethics Gap’ in Citizen Science Research: A Workshop Report. 12.

Stone, J. (n.d.). Of Citizen Science, Ethics, and IRBs the view from Science Online. Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved from

Tribur, M. (2019, October 3). What Makes for Ethical Citizen Science Research? Eos.

Ficorilli, A. (2020, May 29). What ethics for citizen science? Cities Health. Retrieved from

Network of the National Library of Medicine [NNLM] (Director). (2021, May 14). Ethical Considerations In Citizen Science with Dr. Rasmussen.



Citizen’s Guide to Open Data

International Compilation of Human Research Standards

Ethics and privacy guidelines by SCIVIL (Knowledge center for citizen science in Flanders)

Citizen science at universities: Trends, guidelines and recommendations


European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. (2021). Data pseudonymisation: Advanced techniques and use cases : technical analysis of cybersecurity measures in data protection and privacy. Publications Office.

European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. (2022a). Data protection engineering: From theory to practice. Publications Office.

European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. (2022b). Deploying pseudonymisation techniques: The case of health sector. Publications Office.

Schade, S., & Tsinaraki, C. (2016, May 18). Survey report: Data management in Citizen Science projects. JRC Publications Repository.

European Network and Information Security Agency. (2019). Pseudonymisation techniques and best practices: Recommendations on shaping technology according to data protection and privacy provisions. Publications Office.

Basic Research Concepts (Office of Research Integrity, USA)

EU-Citizen.Science (2022, March 21). Basic regulations and ethics for citizen science. Retrieved from

Research ethics (ACTION Project)

PANELFIT. (n.d.) Main Tools and Actions.

Research Ethics Online Training (World Health Organisation)

Use of innovative technologies

Artificial Intelligence

European Commission (2019, April 8). Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI. Retrieved from

Ceccaroni, L., Bibby, J., Roger, E., Flemons, P., Michael, K., Fagan, L., & Oliver, J. L. (2019). Opportunities and Risks for Citizen Science in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), 29.


EASA (2022, September 28). Easy Access Rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Regulation (EU) 2019/947 and Regulation (EU) 2019/945)—Revision from September 2021—Available in online format. Retrieved from

EASA (2020, April 6). EASA publishes first rules for safe drone operations in Europe’s cities. Retrieved  from

EASA (2021, March 3). Drones Information Notices—Classes 0-6. Retrieved from

Drones (UAS). (n.d.). EASA. Retrieved from


European Commission (2018, February 26). Feedback from stakeholders on the Smart Wearables reflection and orientation paper. Retrieved from

ENISA (2019, November 19). Good Practices for Security of IoT – Secure Software Development Lifecycle. [Report/Study]. Retrieved from

ENISA (2020, November 9). Guidelines for Securing the Internet of Things. [Report/Study]. Retrieved from


General legal information, case studies, case law, citizen science and data practices

Academic resources


Champion, S. (n.d.). Internet of Things Devices, Citizen Science Research and the Right to Science: Ethical and Legal Issues. HIIG. Retrieved from

Citizen Science Association (n.d.). Research Articles & Case Studies.  Google Docs. Retrieved from

Misonne, D. (2021). The emergence of a right to clean air: Transforming European Union law through litigation and citizen science. Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law, 30(1), 34–45. Retrieved from

Pierce, R., & Evram, M. (2022). Getting it right: Implementing data protection in citizen science research. Insights, 35(0), 2.

Quinn, P. (2018). Is the GDPR and Its Right to Data Portability a Major Enabler of Citizen Science? Global Jurist, 18(2). Retrieved from

Scassa, T., & Chung H. (2015). Managing Intellectual Property Rights in Citizen Science: A Guide for Researchers and Citizen Scientists. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved from

Additional resources

Dove, E. S., & Chen, J. (2020). To What Extent Does the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Apply to Citizen Scientist-Led Health Research with Mobile Devices? The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 48(1_suppl), 187–195. Retrieved from

Quinn, P. (2021). Research under the GDPR – a level playing field for public and private sector research? Life Sciences, Society and Policy, 17(1), 4.




EU case law


information about artificial intelligence, drones, wearables…

Academic resources, blog posts and other commentaries
Berti Suman, A. (2018, December 14). Civic resistance to environmental failures from the South (of the North…): The AnalyzeBasilicata initiative – DATACTIVE. Retrieved from

Drones & Science Apps in citizen science

de Sherbinin, A., Bowser, A., Chuang, T.-R., Cooper, C., Danielsen, F., Edmunds, R., Elias, P., Faustman, E., Hultquist, C., Mondardini, R., Popescu, I., Shonowo, A., & Sivakumar, K. (2021). The Critical Importance of Citizen Science Data. Frontiers in Climate, 3, 650760.

Eitzel, M. V., Cappadonna, J. L., Santos-Lang, C., Duerr, R. E., Virapongse, A., West, S. E., Kyba, C. C. M., Bowser, A., Cooper, C. B., Sforzi, A., Metcalfe, A. N., Harris, E. S., Thiel, M., Haklay, M., Ponciano, L., Roche, J., Ceccaroni, L., Shilling, F. M., Dörler, D., … Jiang, Q. (2017). Citizen Science Terminology Matters: Exploring Key Terms. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 2(1), 1.

EU-Citizen.Science: Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from

García, F. S., Pelacho, M., Woods, T., Fraisl, D., See, L., Haklay, M. (Muki), & Arias, R. (2021). Finding What You Need: A Guide to Citizen Science Guidelines. The Science of Citizen Science, 419–437.

Hecker, S., Haklay, M., Bowser, A., Makuch, Z., Vogel, J., & Bonn, A. (Eds.). (2018). Citizen Science: Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy. UCL Press. Retrieved from

Vohland, K., Land-Zandstra, A., Ceccaroni, L., Lemmens, R., Perelló, J., Ponti, M., Samson, R., & Wagenknecht, K. (Eds.). (2021). The Science of Citizen Science. Springer International Publishing.

Working groups – European Citizen Science Association (ECSA). (n.d.). Retrieved from

EU projects and documents
European Commission (n.d.). Citizen science: Inspiring examples of societal engagement for Horizon Europe. Retrieved from

Cattaneo, B. (2019, April 30). Examining the use and practices of Citizen Science for EU policies [Text]. JRC Science Hub Communities – European Commission.

An inventory of citizen science activities for environmental policies. (European Commission)

European Commission. Joint Research Centre. (2016). Survey report: Data management in Citizen Science projects. Publications Office.

EU-Citizen.Science. (n.d.). Retrieved from

European Environment Agency (2020, March 12). Assessing air quality through citizen science. [Publication]. Retrieved  from

Fullerton, K. (2020, November 23). Best Practices in Citizen Science for Environmental Monitoring [Text]. JRC Science Hub Communities – European Commission.

PANELFIT GUIDELINES. (n.d.). Guidelines Panelfit. Retrieved from

Klimczuk, A., et al. (2021). ICTs, data and vulnerable people: A guide for citizens (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. 3939143).

Schade, S. (2019, December 3). Policy Perspectives on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing: A special issue of CS:TP [Text]. JRC Science Hub Communities – European Commission.

Sofsky, F., & Ciucci, M. (2022, February 22). Recent Studies on Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved from

Veeckman, C., Keersmaekers, F., Verbrugge, K., & Livémont, E. (2022). D3.3 Citizen Science Starters Kit (Online Citizen Science Training Materials).


The repository is continuously updated throughout the project phase. It consists of a variety of sources arranged by thematic category to facilitate consultation. We are, however, aware of their commonalities and overlaps. There will be a greater focus on sources more relevant to the European context because of our work in different member states, but we will also cite sources beyond the EU where relevant.

Although this repository focuses primarily on law and ethics within citizen science, it may also cover adjacent topics that may be useful within this framework. On top of this, there is a brief focus on certain innovative technologies such as drones, wearables and artificial intelligence as these are used within the SOCIO-BEE project.

The information in the Knowledge Powerhouse is non-exhaustive and we will continue to add resources that are relevant throughout the project. We are open to new items and suggestions on how to enrich the platform (see contact form below).

It is always possible that in the meantime, some sources may change domain or be taken offline. This will be checked every so often and in the run-up to the second release in month 33 of the project (July 2024).

The KPH is an initiative of the SOCIO-BEE consortium. It was developed and sustained by Luka van der Veer, researcher at the Health and Ageing Law Lab (HALL) and the Law, Science, Technology and Society research group (LSTS) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), in cooperation with the SOCIO-BEE website operators. The KPH is the outcome of work and research conducted for Work Package 6.

The views expressed in the third-party publications featured on the KPH are the sole responsibility of their authors.


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