- Dec 2019
Four databases of citizen science and crowdsourcing projects — SciStarter, the Citizen Science Association (CSA), CitSci.org, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (the Wilson Center Commons Lab) — are working on a common project metadata schema to support data sharing with the goal of maintaining accurate and up to date information about citizen science projects. The federal government is joining this conversation with a cross-agency effort to promote citizen science and crowdsourcing as a tool to advance agency missions. Specifically, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Community of Practice for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing (FCPCCS),is compiling an Open Innovation Toolkit containing resources for federal employees hoping to implement citizen science and crowdsourcing projects. Navigation through this toolkit will be facilitated in part through a system of metadata tags. In addition, the Open Innovation Toolkit will link to the Wilson Center’s database of federal citizen science and crowdsourcing projects.These groups became aware of their complementary efforts and the shared challenge of developing project metadata tags, which gave rise to the need of a workshop.
Sense Collective's Climate Tagger API and Pool Party Semantic Web plug-in are perfectly suited to support The Wilson Center's metadata schema project. Creating a common metadata schema that is used across multiple organizations working within the same domain, with similar (and overlapping) data and data types, is an essential step towards realizing collective intelligence. There is significant redundancy that consumes limited resources as organizations often perform the same type of data structuring. Interoperability issues between organizations, their metadata semantics and serialization methods, prevent cumulative progress as a community. Sense Collective's MetaGrant program is working to provide a shared infastructure for NGO's and social impact investment funds and social impact bond programs to help rapidly improve the problems that are being solved by this awesome project of The Wilson Center. Now let's extend the coordinated metadata semantics to 1000 more organizations and incentivize the citizen science volunteers who make this possible, with a closer connection to the local benefits they produce through their efforts. With integration into Social impact Bond programs and public/private partnerships, we are able to incentivize collective action in ways that match the scope and scale of the problems we face.