Citizen Science: Finnish Meteorological Institute policy

This policy applies to all publicly funded research projects that engage Citizen Scientists.


  • Citizen Science is defined as a form of open collaboration in which non-aca- demic individuals participate voluntarily in the scientific process in various ways.

  • Citizen Science Projects are science projects that rely on volunteers.

  • Citizen scientists are ordinary persons who are typically not professional scientists, but rather curious or concerned people who collaborate with pro- fessional scientists in ways that advance scientific research on topics they care about.

Form of policy

FMI values, promotes, and supports opportunities for the public to engage with the institute’s mission and address societal challenges through science, technology, and innovation. As such, the research projects that include a community science approach will be designed with scientific quality and data credibility as core considerations.

FMI will contribute to building a scientifically literate population by:

  • Providing opportunities for the citizen scientists in Finland and beyond,

  • Encouraging the engagement of volunteers who can benefit FMI with their expertise, and

  • Promoting existing communities of citizen scientists or other enthusiasts for a variety of projects.

FMI follows the national and European recommendations for Citizen Science projects.

FMI’s Commitment

Within a Citizen Science project, FMI will:

  • Provide citizen scientists with all the software and technological tools re- quired to successfully conduct/carry their work,

  • Provide targeted training, documentation and information related to the ac- tivities in the research project to citizen scientists,

  • Provide clear and concise information about the project, obtaining written consent, and ensuring that volunteers understand their rights,

  • Protect the safety and welfare of participants in citizen science projects, as well as the confidentiality of participant information,

  • Provide the management of the data collected through citizen science projects. The data should be stored securely in a repository that is accessible to the research team and any collaborators involved in the project,

  • Ensure the sharing of data according to FAIR principles.

  • Ensure transparency about the use of data created by citizen scientists, in- tended scientific outcomes and progress,

  • Inform the volunteers about the results when the project is completed,

  • Provide opportunities for the citizen scientists to be retained as part of the larger FMI citizen science community, and

  • Acknowledge the citizen scientists as a collective in publications or include them as named co-authors on these publications when their contributions are significant.

Citizen scientists´ responsibilities and rights

The citizen scientists participating in an FMI research project will:

  • Follow the same guidelines on responsible conduct of research as provided by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity. The Principal Investiga- tor (PI) of the project will inform the citizen scientists of these guidelines.

  • Retain the ownership of the data they are gathering. However, the citizen sci- entists will grant FMI and its collaborators broad, perpetual, royalty free, non- exclusive permission to use their contributions, such as to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to their contribu- tion worldwide.

  • Avoid contributing data to FMI that they do not own (eg. do not copy informa- tion from published journal articles). Will warrant that their contribution con- tains only data that they have the right to make available, without infringing on any third-party rights.

  • Sign a written consent form/user agreement, acknowledging the rights and obligations of both parties (this also includes the TERMS of USE in case only a software/app will be used).

FMI is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for Citizen Sci- ence participants, and encourages the active participation of all individuals, re- gardless of their race, gender, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability status.