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A sociotechnical system approach to virtual citizen science: an application of BS ISO 27500:2016

Houghton, Robert; Sprinks, James; Wardlaw, Jessica; Bamford, Steven; Marsh, Stuart


James Sprinks

Jessica Wardlaw

Professor of Geospatial Engineering


We discuss the potential application to virtual citizen science of a recent standard (BS ISO 27500:2016 “The human-centred organisation”) which encourages the adoption of a sociotechnical systems perspective across a wide range of businesses, organizations and ventures. Key tenets of the standard concern taking a total systems approach, capitalizing on individual differences as a strength, making usability and accessibility strategic objectives, valuing personnel and paying attention to ethical and values-led elements of the project in terms of being open and trustworthy, social responsibility and health and wellbeing. Drawing upon our experience of projects in our laboratory and the wider literature, we outline the principles identified in the standard and offer citizen science themed interpretations and examples of possible responses.


Houghton, R., Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J., Bamford, S., & Marsh, S. (2019). A sociotechnical system approach to virtual citizen science: an application of BS ISO 27500:2016. JCOM: Journal of Science Communication, 18(01),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 17, 2019
Publication Date Jan 17, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 22, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 25, 2019
Journal Journal of Science Communication
Print ISSN 1824-2049
Electronic ISSN 1824-2049
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 01
Keywords Communication
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