Available Until 12/31/2028

NLM Resources for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing*

Citizen science is happening all around you! Citizen scientists in your community are participating in bird and butterfly counts, contributing to Alzheimer’s research, monitoring air quality, and collecting genetic information--all furthering and advancing our greater scientific knowledge. Citizen science is an amazing way to participate in research efforts, and it can often be done from a mobile device, from one’s home, or from a library. Libraries are ideal partners for citizen scientists! In this class, participants can expect to learn how to support citizen science in their communities and ways that libraries can easily participate. Participants will learn about citizen science library program models, free National Library of Medicine resources to incorporate into citizen science library programs, and sources of funding to explore for buying testing kits or supporting community research efforts. Citizen science library programs are perfect for all ages, and all types of libraries. Nor prior scientific knowledge is required, simply a willingness to participate!

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the different aspects of citizen science.
  • Share specific examples of health‐related citizen science projects
  • Discuss some of the challenges with citizen science
  • Explain ways librarians & libraries can get involved with citizen science
  • Identify citizen science resources and funding opportunities

Agenda (1.5 hour course)



2 minutes


  • What is citizen science?
  • Who can participate?
  • What disciplines embrace citizen science?

2 minutes

Course Objectives

  • Describe citizen science and crowdsourcing
  • Share specific examples of health-related citizen science projects
  • Explain ways librarians and libraries can get involved in citizen science
  • Identify citizen science resources and funding opportunities
  • Discuss some of the challenges with citizen science

5 minutes

Introduction to NNLM

  • History and Mission
  • Funding and Training
  • Membership

30 minutes

Background of Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing (CCS)

  • What is CCS?
  • A brief history of CCS
  • Examples of CCS projects
  • Types of CCS projects

10 minutes

Bringing Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing to Your Library

20 minutes

NNLM and Citizen Science

  • Kids Environment Kids Health
  • Medline Plus
  • Open-I
  • ChemID Plus
  • NLM Digital Collections
  • NNLM + ScStarter

10 minutes

NNLM and Crowdsourcing

  • #CiteNLM at your library
  • Organizing your own edit-a-thon

10 minutes

Additional Resources and Funding Opportunities

MLA CE Credit: 1, 1.5