A practical guide to leave the Ivory Tower behind: new PARTHENOS training resource dedicated to Citizen Science in the (Digital) Arts and Humanities
Digital and web technologies radically transform the ways in which we create and disseminate knowledge. But how do all these innovations enable the civil society to play a more active role and gain a greater say in scientific and research matters? How does a broader and more inclusive participation in scholarship allow us to rethink fundamental questions about the scope and power relations in both knowledge creation and the (re)presentation of our cultural heritage? Who is encouraged to advance our knowledge about the world and in what ways? Whose evidence is recognized as reliable, whose story is to be heard? How can we develop the broadest possible understanding of human culture and how can we make sure that scientific agendas are well aligned with grand societal challenges?
In this post, we have a look into the latest addition to the PARTHENOS Training Suite dedicated to “Citizen Science in the (Digital) Arts and Humanities”.
The training resource is the result of a collaborative effort between DARIAH-EU, Trinity College Dublin and the PARTHENOS Project. It reflects on the above questions in an arts and humanities context and also translates them into the practicalities of creating, launching and analyzing a Citizen Science project. Whether you are a citizen scholar with an interest in arts, languages, cultures or societies or a researcher who wants to learn more about how to get started with designing your citizen science project, this is a good place to start.
The module brings together original materials written around the theme of Citizen Science and existing training resources (videos, further readings etc.) from partner projects and Research Infrastructures with case studies from successful citizen science projects such as the Europeana 1914-1918 collection or the Explore-AT project, that reflects on many of the issues and benefits as well as the challenges in Citizen Science as a research practice. Browsing though the modules, you can learn about:
- Who is a Citizen Scientist?
- What can participation do for both parties and how to align incentives of both local communities and scholars in a Citizen Science projects?
- What are the best practices in managing a Citizen Science project from design and community building to sustaining and improving?
- How to deal with ethical and legal questions when conducting community-based research?
- What are the most suitable co-creating methods for your research question?
- How to engage, credit volunteers and acknowledge their work in meaningful ways?
- What software and data management tools are available for Citizen Science projects in the arts and humanities?
- What are the main forms of collaboration between the broader public and cultural heritage institutions and how galleries, museums, libraries, archives but also Research Infrastructures open up as maker spaces for participatory research?
- How Wikidata enables mass-scale data enrichment and how it helps connecting Citizen Scientists with heritage institutions?
…and many more topics from around collaborative knowledge creation in the arts and humanities.
Discussion on these topics are complemented by case studies and audio interviews with leading experts in the field from across Europe. These contributions yield valuable insights into the drives, potentials, tips and tricks of and lessons learned from conducting a Citizen Science project. In particular, the module includes a collection of video case studies that feature Prof. Melissa Terras (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Justin Tonra (NUI Galway) discussing various aspects of the Transcribe Bentham project.
A big thanks to all who contributed to the resource: to my co-authors: Dr. Jennifer Edmond and Eliza Papaki, to Vicky Garnett who coordinated and edited the work and conducted the expert interviews; the PARTHENOS team for their review and support and our invited experts, Prof. Melissa Terras and Dr. Justin Tonra for sharing their insights.
All materials on the site are flagged as available for reuse under a CC-BY license which means anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them.
As always, below in comments you are very welcome to tell us about your experiences with Citizen Science and participatory approaches in research. Do you know about successful Citizen Science projects from the arts and humanities? Do you have yourself any connection to participatory research? What are the possibilities to integrate participatory approaches in your work? What are the challenges because of which you do or not do participatory research? Let us know!