As you’ll have noticed from our liveblogging of “#DITOsFinal”, the DITOs project is coming to an end. All projects like DITOs receive funding for a set time, often three years, after which the people and institutions involved go on to look for other projects.
However, as is often the case with citizen science, we’ve built up a great network and community with DITOs, including several social media accounts, and we don’t want that to be lost. And it happens that another, newer citizen science project, EU-Citizen.Science, is similar enough to DITOs that we are going to pass them on.
Who are EU-Citizen.Science?
EU-Citizen.Science are a new citizen science project led by Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin, with several similarities to DITOs. First of all, they are a large consortium of different partners across different countries, just like us, ready to share expertise with each other and all of Europe, and with the aim of mainstreaming citizen science, just like DITOs. Two of the partners are the same as two of DITOs’s partners – UCL and ECSA (the European Citizen Science Association), with additional support from RBINS, who hosted our DITOs Final event.
The idea behind EU-Citizen.Science is to create a space for citizen scientists to come together and share their expertise. They’ve noticed that there are many large, parallel citizen science projects running in Europe, but these projects don’t talk to each other enough, so EU-Citizen.Science wants to create a “learning platform” for citizen scientists, which will last for several years. This project is in its very early stages, and they’re still finding out what people would want from such a platform - though several workshops are already planned. You can look them up here, and read more about them at their communications partner, Ecsite. They tell us that you will soon hear more about the workshops from ECSA, and that you can e-mail EUCITSCI@mfn.berlin to find out more. Meanwhile, they are eager to start communicating with enthusiastic citizen scientists around Europe and beyond.
What’s going to happen?
We think many of the same people who enjoyed following our DITOs accounts would also enjoy social media by EU-Citizen.Science. So, rather than delete our accounts or do nothing further with them after DITOs ends, the following will happen:
The DITOs website – this website – is going to be replaced by what we call a "mothballed" version, which means a permanent archive that is not updated as it is now. The resources we've created, such as the Instructables and policy briefs, are also likely to be stored on such places as UCL Discovery, Zenodo, and of course ECSA, and we'll add links to them as soon as they are there. Any blogposts we've particularly valued will be republished; for example, Project of the Week will become a PDF booklet, and Muki has reblogged the DITOsFinal pages here. You are welcome to download anything you like from here in the meantime, and please contact us to tell us what you have liked best about this website and what you think we should keep.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you will see each make an announcement that that account will soon be changing its name and logo and, from June 2019, be run by EU-Cit.Sci. The Twitter account will be changing its name to @EUCitSciProject. For a month or two, we will leave “formerly Doing It Together Science” in the bio or account description so that nobody gets confused. The accounts will be run primarily by the EU-Cit.Sci partner Ecsite, which will manage communications (as UCL managed communications in DITOs, though all of us contributed, especially Waag), but you might see some of the same people still tweeting or posting pictures. However, we will completely understand if you choose to unfollow the account!
Ecsite will not inherit the DITOs mailing lists – these depend on us having your details, rather than you choosing to follow an account, and we would never pass on this information. However, if you are on any of our mailing lists, you may get a newsletter about what is happening, and an invitation to sign up to an EU-Citizen.Science mailing list if you want to. You would receive newsletters about fairly similar matters, perhaps sometimes from some of the former DITOs staff.
You can sign up to EU-Citizen.Science's mailing lists here.
We particularly recommend you sign up to ECSA's mailing list here, which will send you newsletters about projects and activities all over Europe.
The closure of DITOs
We’ve really enjoyed our three years working together running DITOs, and we thank everyone who's followed us and interacted with us on social media or elsewhere. We’ve learned a huge amount about the enormous variety of citizen science that people do or are interested in doing, and about the variety of approaches between different countries and different institutions. We’re very proud that we have made citizen science more available and accessible for more people across Europe. We’ve been very touched by some things people have told us about what they’ve learned from us and enjoyed their participation, and we think and hope we've learned from people who've told us where we, or citizen science in general, can improve.
Happily, EU-Citizen.Science will have a longer life, and the hope is that the training platform – whatever form it will take – will continue for at least five years after the closure of the project, managed by DITOs’s partner, ECSA.