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Citizen Science Apps: Harnessing the Power of the People for Scientific Discovery

Article by GVI


Posted: March 9, 2023

Have you ever wondered how you can contribute to scientific research without being a scientist? The answer lies in Citizen Science, a movement where ordinary people can participate in scientific research by collecting and analysing data. With the rise of technology, Citizen Science Apps have become an increasingly popular way for people to get involved in scientific research. In this article, we’ll explore what Citizen Science Apps are, how they work, and the most popular apps in different fields of study.

What are Citizen Science Apps?

Citizen Science Apps are mobile applications that allow people to collect and analyse scientific data using their smartphones. These apps make it easy for people to participate in scientific research from anywhere, at any time. Citizen Science Apps are designed to be user-friendly, allowing people with no scientific background to contribute to research projects. The data collected through these apps is then analysed by researchers to gain insights into various phenomena.

How do Citizen Science Apps work?

Citizen Science Apps work by connecting people with ongoing scientific research projects, often in wildlife conservation. These apps provide users with instructions on how to collect data, which can range from taking photos of plants to recording bird sounds. Once the data is collected, users can upload it to the app, where it is stored in a database. Researchers then use this data to analyse and interpret the phenomena being studied. By using these apps, researchers can collect data from a large number of people across different regions and time periods.

Advantages of Citizen Science Apps over traditional methods

Citizen Science Apps have several advantages over traditional methods of scientific data collection. Firstly, they allow researchers to collect data from a large number of people over a short period of time. This is particularly useful for research projects that require data from multiple locations or time periods. Secondly, Citizen Science Apps are cost-effective as they do not require researchers to physically travel to different locations to collect data. Lastly, Citizen Science Apps make it easy for people to participate in scientific research, thus increasing public engagement with science.

Most Popular Citizen Science Apps

There are numerous Citizen Science Apps available in different fields of study. Here are some of the most popular Citizen Science Apps that you can use to get involved in scientific research:


iNaturalist is a Citizen Science App that allows users to record and share observations of plants and animals. Users can take photos of plants or animals and upload them to the app, where they are identified by the app’s artificial intelligence. iNaturalist is used by researchers to monitor biodiversity and track the spread of invasive species.


eBird is a Citizen Science App that allows users to record bird sightings. Users can record the number and species of birds they see, and the location where the birds were sighted. eBird is used by researchers to monitor bird populations and track the effects of climate change on bird migration patterns.


Zooniverse is a Citizen Science App that allows users to contribute to a variety of research projects. Users can choose from a wide range of projects, from classifying galaxy images to analysing animal behaviour. Zooniverse is used by researchers in various fields to gather data and make new discoveries.

Project Noah

Project Noah is a Citizen Science App that allows users to share photos of wildlife and plants. Users can tag their photos with information on the location, species, and behaviour of the subject. Project Noah is used by researchers to monitor wildlife populations and track changes in their behaviour.

GLOBE Observer

GLOBE Observer is a Citizen Science App that allows users to record environmental data. Users can record information on clouds, trees, and land cover, and share it with researchers. GLOBE Observer is used by scientists to track changes in the environment, including changes in the Earth’s atmosphere and land cover.

Impact of Citizen Science Apps

Citizen Science Apps have had a significant impact on the scientific community. By making it easy for people to contribute to scientific research, these apps have enabled researchers to collect data on a larger scale than ever before. This has led to new discoveries and breakthroughs in various fields of study.

One example of a successful Citizen Science project facilitated by an app is the discovery of a new species of dragonfly in Australia. The discovery was made by a group of Citizen Scientists using the iNaturalist app. The data collected by the app helped researchers identify the new species and understand its habitat and behaviour.

Future potential of Citizen Science Apps

The future potential of Citizen Science Apps is immense. As technology continues to advance, these apps will become even more sophisticated, allowing people to contribute to research projects in new and innovative ways. Citizen Science Apps also have the potential to increase public engagement with science and help people develop a better understanding of the scientific process.

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