Holzbuchstaben © Pixabay

A for Alliance for Responsible Science, O for Open Access or V for Volunteered Computing - this glossary provides an overview of relevant terms related to Citizen Science.

This glossary provides an overview of relevant terms related to Citizen Science. The list does not claim to be complete and is constantly being expanded. We are also happy to receive further suggestions. Please send them to

Alliance for Responsible Science

The Alliance for Responsible Science brings together institutions from science, research, education and practice that have committed themselves to pursue the goals set out in the Memorandum.


Biohacking is a certain form of do-it-yourself science that has nothing to do with hacking computers. Biohackers are people with a keen interest in biology and biological processes, who experiment and research with scientific methods outside of research institutions. Functional laboratories are set up in their own homes or in so-called hackerspaces in order to deal with biotechnology and thus to demonstrate new perspectives and possible uses. There is a large global network of biohackers who also meet and exchange ideas in small local groups. The largest platforms are and

However, biohacking is not undisputed. Especially experiments with experimental substances on and with the own body or the genetic modification of e.g. pathogenic bacteria are critically seen.

Citizen Science

Until today there is no standard definition of citizen science. According to the "Green Paper. Citizen Science Strategy 2020 for Germany" (GEWISS, 2016), Citizen Science is defined as follows: "Citizen Science describes the participation of persons in scientific processes who are not institutionally bound in this scientific field. Participation can range from the short-term collection of data to intensive use of leisure time to delve into a research topic together with scientists and/or other volunteers. Although many volunteer researchers have an academic education, this is not a prerequisite for participation in research projects. What is important, however, is the adherence to scientific standards, which includes above all transparency with regard to the methodology of data collection and the public discussion of the results".

Citizen Science Award

The Citizen Science Award is a research competition that invites citizens of all ages to participate in research on selected citizen science projects each year beginning April 1. Every autumn, researchers can apply with their citizen science projects for the competition in the following year.


Co-creation or co-design refers to the joint development and implementation of research projects by researchers and citizens. Beginning with the research question, the choice of methodology, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, every step of the research process is worked out collaboratively.


With the help of crowdfunding, volunteers can make a financial contribution to support scientific projects in their development or implementation. This type of funding is also used in other areas such as music, film, literature or IT. A successful platform on which research projects can be submitted is e.g. Startnext.


Crowdsourcing is a method of outsourcing internal subtasks or problems to interested parties. The aim is to use the creativity/knowledge of the crowd or the "wisdom of the many" to find quick and better solutions. Crowdsourcing can be used in Citizen Science and Open Innovation. An example of a platform that invites the Internet community to submit solutions is Innocentive.

Community Science

Community Science refers to research projects that are initiated by citizens: The reason behind it might be to check the water or air quality of the residential environment using scientific methods. In London, for example, locals launched the already completed Royal Dock Noise Mapping project to measure noise levels in their residential environment. The residents were concerned about the increasing air traffic and noise due to the proximity of the airport and asked researchers for help.


Do-it-yourself science (DIY science) refers to various grassroots activities embedded in the bottom-up movement. These are projects that apply scientific methods outside traditional research institutions or universities and are driven by associations, civil society organizations or individuals. In this context, biohacking or DIY-bio is often mentioned. Examples of such grassroots activities are the Manchester Digital Laboratory, Waag or the Open bioLab Graz Austria (OLGA). An interesting interview with the biologist, science hacker and community manager Lucy Patterson gives more insight into this movement.

OANA – Open Science Network Austria

OANA is a think tank on Open Science, with an open structure and no legal form. Its goals are the exchange of ideas, coordination and networking of initiatives and the development of recommendations on Open Science.

Open Innovation

Open Innovation - the opening of rigid processes to external input - stands for innovation and knowledge gain. In contrast to Citizen Science, however, Open Innovation focuses on processes rather than citizens. The term originally comes from the corporate sector and was spread particularly by Henry Chesbrough.

Open Innovation Strategy

After a one-year process involving the population and various stakeholders, an Open Innovation Strategy for Austria was presented in summer 2016. It sets out a vision for 2025 and identifies three central fields of action and 14 concrete measures, such as the establishment of open innovation and experimentation spaces or the establishment of incentive mechanisms for research partnerships with unusual actors in scientific research funding to strengthen Open Innovation.

Open Access

Open Access means free, unpaid access to digital scientific content and information on the Internet, but also free access to scientific literature and data.

Open Data

According to the Open data handbook, open data is "[...] data that can be freely used, reused and shared by anyone - the only restriction concerns the obligation to cite the originator".

Open Science

Open Science is often defined as an umbrella term that encompasses various concepts aimed at removing barriers to the sharing of any kind of output, resources, methods or tools at any stage of the research process. Open Access to publications, Open Research Data, Open Source Software, Open Collaboration, Open Peer Review, Open Notebooks, Open Education Resources, Open Monographs, Citizen Science or Research Crowdfunding thus fall within Open Science. (Gema Bueno de la Fuente, n.d.).

Responsible Science

Responsible Science, also referred to as "Responsible Research and Innovation" (RRI) in the EU context, actively involves civil society in research and innovation processes in order to meet current challenges more effectively and in line with the values, expectations and needs of society. Austria has also included Responsible Science as an important element in the Action Plan for a Competitive Research Area (in German: Aktionsplan für einen wettbewerbsfähigen Forschungsraum) published in 2015 by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF). One of the first steps derived from this was the founding of the Alliance for Responsible Science, which has already been joined by numerous institutions from science, research, education and practice.

Sparkling Science

Sparkling Science was an Austrian research funding program which supported almost 300 research projects and the involvement of pupils. Between 2007 and 2019, more than 101,000 children and teenagers worked side by side with about 4,300 researchers as well as students on current research questions. The successor program "Sparkling Science 2.0" has been funding citizen science projects since 2021 and runs until 2026.

Sparkling Science 2.0

Sparkling Science 2.0 - the successor program to Sparkling Science - is a research funding program of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) for Citizen Science. Under the first call for proposals, 34 Citizen Science projects have been funded with a budget of 11.5 million euros. The program runs from 2021 to 2026 and is coordinated by the OeAD Center for Citizen Science.


Storytelling is a narrative method that serves to tell concrete experiences in the form of stories with characters and a clear storyline. Storytelling is particularly suitable for a heterogeneous audience or community, for example to convey the topic of Citizen Science in a comprehensible and comprehensible way.

Volunteered Computing

In Volunteered Computing, individuals make free processing power of their computers, laptops or smartphones available to research. With the help of special software (e.g. Boinc), this processing power can be used by scientific projects that have a large computing requirement.

Young Science

With its Young Science initiatives, the OeAD offers opportunities for schools and non-schools to get in touch with research institutions and to collaborate. It provides information about research-education collaborations, events and networking opportunities and promotes cooperation between science, school and society through a range of initiatives and projects.

Zentrum für Citizen Science

The OeaD Center for Citizen Science established by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research acts as an information and service point for researchers, citizens and experts from various disciplines and cross-links the interested community within Austria and beyond.