I am posing a very specific query
What do we mean by Citizen Science ? - Legally speaking.
My use of the word citizen here is tempered by this thread
However to be specific
I notice that on Inaturalist a lot of work has gone to ensure that the original observers always get prominent reference (as prominent as is reasonable). Their names are mentioned, the CC license is mentioned etc whenever their observations are used in any form via Inaturalist tools.
I think inaturalist even takes it a step further (or not) as in this example of a “Butterfly Guide” where credit has even been given to the person "compiling other people’s observations complete CC license as well . Of course every single work is duly credited there.
(I said “or not” because am not sure I should get much credit for using a pre-existing tool that helps compile data. )
The reason for my query is that I have observed portals calling themselves “Citizen science” - when in fact their licensing is neither “open” nor is their source. The definition of citizen science means making it technically possible to accept contribution from others - no sharing of knowledge or interaction between people - exept maybe id’ing species posted there. (no comments / messaging section , no forum)
While they invite contributions from the “public” their licensing is like a typical Authorship reference with no specific mention of the contributor (yes each photograph in the set is tagged with species name, observers name, a date , a place and a © Copyright mark )
The © seemingly being a convenient “copyright mentioned don’t ask more about how it can or can’t be used” More likely a cave usor to avoid any responsibility.
For example if i visit a page for a particular species below is sample “licensing / reference i get prominently displayed”
Cite this page along with its URL as:
Anonymous. 2021. Some species. In Author 1, Author 2, and Author 3 (Chief Editors). Some taxa of India, Some Agency Name. http://someurl/some species
(Please forgive me that I have redacted the exact URL but am not sure any of the authors are on this forum hence not naming them or the actual site)
This particular page may have only a few pictures but in some cases the pictures run to 10’s or even 100’s for some genera
In every case the reference is the same Static one as shown above.
None of the “contributing Citizens” get appropriate credit and only the established “experts” have their name plastered enough times to indicate who are the real “citizens” so to speak.
So legally speaking how does one define citizen’s science