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Don't Stop at Data: Moving Beyond “Grunt Labor for the Masses” as Citizen Science
If we want “data for the people, by the people,” then we need to step outside of our current comfort zone and invite “the people” into the research process more than ever before. Basic data collection and contribution from “the people” is only a starting place. We need the citizens of “citizen science” to become full, real, valuable partners in every phase of the research. No artificial barriers should exist that limit “citizen” involvement to merely “worker bee” style grunt labor. We need to open the doors to getting “the people” directly involved in working with, analyzing, and even inspiring or guiding research efforts. Maintaining greater transparency throughout the research process will allow bias to be recognized for what it is and enable peer review to be a viable possibility in every step in the process of research. If we can facilitate that, inviting the “citizenry” deeper into the trenches of research will offer new perspective and hope instead of fear and trepidation.
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