Information Services

Library participatory research and citizen science support

Learn more about Participatory Research and Citizen Science and discover the resources that the library support service has on offer, including support for project leaders, participants, and students.

Everyday Heroes illustration by Amy Ross
Illustration produced for the Everyday Heroes participatory research project by Amy Ross. Find out more about the project below. This is part of a series of artworks was created as a result of a collaboration between Everyday Heroes young advisors, Scottish Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Barnardos, Claire Houghton (social policy lecturer at the University of Edinburgh), and Harvey Dingwall (artist and illustration lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art).

Library Participatory Research Services

Our services seek to support all forms of participatory research taking place across the University, which we recognise comes with its own set of unique challenges. Anyone with an institutional login can view our catalogue of services and resources on our SharePoint site. If you do not have a login, please feel free to contact us directly via email. 

For staff and research students at the University of Edinburgh:

Visit The Library Citizen Science and Participatory Research SharePoint [Staff and Students] 

For external enquiries:

Contact Us


In addition to our reoccurring Discovery Session and Showcase events, we also coordinate and host training workshops, networking activities and promotional events relating to participatory research. Sign up to the newsletter, subscribe to the events pages on SharePoint, or follow our Open Research Eventbrite profile to keep up to date.


Learn more about our Showcase Events

Learn more about the discovery sessions

Follow the Open Research Eventbrite Profile


What are participatory research and citizen science?

Citizen Science, Crowdsourcing, Community Research - these are familiar terms to many people. They are all used to describe ways for non-specialists to get involved in research. 'Participatory Research' is an umbrella term, encompassing all of these approaches and many more. This includes 'Public and Patient Involvement ' (often found in medicine), 'Participatory Action Research' (usually based in the social sciences and education), co-production (as seen in arts based work), and many, many more.

Citizen Science is one important way of undertaking participatory research. In the UK, we often (but not always) think of it as being restricted to just the sciences (typically those to do with biology, health, and ecology) but it is frequently used to mean the same thing as 'participatory research', especially in other European nations.

For participants, this kind of research is a unique opportunity to engage with research and to help advance discovery, to learn new skills and experiences, along with gaining many other benefits as part of the process. For researchers it is a chance to open the doors to their research and engage in a direct meaningful way with a non-specialist audience, and at the same time work with their participants to gain insight, understanding, and support that would otherwise be impossible.

Learn more about the various types of participatory research

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Learn about some projects at the University

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