Reviewing existing initiatives and projects about citizen participation in cultural heritage


CitizenHeritage, funded within the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, is a project about the involvement of citizens in cultural heritage as a booster for sustainable university research and higher education.

The starting point for the project’s activities and reflection is a substantial, evidence-based review of practices of Higher Education engagement in citizen-enhanced open science in the area of cultural heritage. The research for past and existing initiatives involving citizens with cultural heritage will define best practices regarding Higher Education Institutions organisation, open practice, sustainability, and civic engagement. And it will identify any untapped potential where the Universities can play a more active role thus to connect civic engagement with the open science virtuous circle, in the cultural heritage sector.

In other words, CitizenHeritage is currently exploring the role of Higher Education Institutions as incubators of the next generation open science citizens (in terms of staff and student skills, curricula and interdisciplinarity) and as institutions situated in a broader social context where citizens advocate a more important role in decision taking in modern societies (active citizenship, civic engagement, bottom-up public intervention). Although open and citizen science offers opportunities to Universities to break up with a more traditional image of knowledge creation behind walled gardens and to genuinely connect to social groups, there is still unused potential in their involvement in citizen-enhanced open science and also in connecting the user engagement generated through civic participation with the open science cycle.

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