Participatory design of citizen science experiments



Citizen science, cocreation, codesign, knowledge, toolkit, interdisciplinarity, participation, open science


This article describes and analyzes the collaborative design of a citizen science research project through cocreation. Three groups of secondary school students and a team of scientists conceived three experiments on human behavior and social capital in urban and public spaces. The study goal is to address how interdisciplinary work and attention to social concerns and needs, as well as the collective construction of research questions, can be integrated into scientific research. The 95 students participating in the project answered a survey to evaluate their perception about the dynamics and tools used in the cocreation process of each experiment, and the five scientists responded to a semistructured interview. The results from the survey and interviews demonstrate how citizen science can achieve a “cocreated” modality beyond the usual “contributory” paradigm, which usually only involves the public or amateurs in data collection stages. This type of more collaborative science was made possible by the adaptation of materials and facilitation mechanisms, as well as the promotion of key aspects in research such as trust, creativity and transparency. The results also point to the possibility of adopting similar codesign strategies in other contexts of scientific collaboration and collaborative knowledge generation.



How to Cite

Senabre, E., Ferran-Ferrer, N., & Perelló, J. (2018). Participatory design of citizen science experiments. Comunicar, 26(54), 29–38. Retrieved from