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Citizen science (CS) (also known as crowd science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring or networked science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists. Citizen science is sometimes described as "public participation in scientific research", participatory monitoring and participatory action research. The term CS has multiple origins as well as differing concepts. It was first defined independently in the mid-1990s by Rick Bonney in the U.S.A. and Alan Irwin in the U.K. Alan Irwin defines CS when referring to: "His developing concepts of scientific citizenship which foregrounds the necessity of opening up science and science policy processes to the public". Rick Bonney defines CS when referring to: "Public-participation engagement and science communication projects". The terms citizen science and citizen scientists entered the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in June 2014. Citizen Science is defined as: "scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions". Citizen Scientist is defined twice as: (a) "a scientist whose work is characterized by a sense of responsibility to serve the best interests of the wider community (now rare)" or (b) "a member of the general public who engages in scientific work, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions; an amateur scientist." A first use of the term 'citizen scientist' can be found in the magazine New Scientist in an article about Ufology from October 1979.

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