News from a couple of months ago, but still interesting for those interested in citizen science and the link with open science: On May 20 and 21 the National Open Access Desk (NOADs) of Latvia participated in the HELSUS Knowledge Festival in Jelgava with an information panel about the citizen science movement. The HELSUS Knowledge Festival is devoted to human self-education in various fields.
NOADs is a support point in Latvia in connection with issues related to providing open access to research results and has been created due to the participation of the University of Latvia in the European Commission’s OpenAIRE project. Since 2009 various activities have been organised and this year one of them was participation in the HELSUS festival to promote public awareness and willingness to join the citizen science movement. Citizen science is one of the open science concepts and is based on the practice of public participation in scientific research. The community can take part in the research process in various ways: as observers of phenomena, as data providers, data controllers and analysts, and as research project sponsors. Depending on their personal interests, time and technological capabilities, citizens can choose how to participate in the research: to observe birds, to identify galaxies, to fold protein structures in a virtual environment, to sum up conclusions and results etc. The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) working group “Sharing best practice and building capacity in citizen science” has elaborated 10 principles of citizen science and the Latvian version of principles has been developed by the Institute for Environmental Solutions. The principles of citizen science were also reflected on the poster created by NOADs especially for the HELSUS festival. Not only did the poster attract the attention of festival visitors to the NOADs stand and Citizen science, but also to the consultations. The visitors took part in the cognitive game “I want to explore!”, produced by consultants. In the course of the game the participants got acquainted with the research process and discovered in which stages each citizen can collaborate in scientific research.