Video tool

Type of tool: Research

Phase: Co-design


Make information sheets accessible to participants

People involved:



3 months



The Challenge

The information sheet is a very important document that informs participants about all the aspects of a research study. In a citizen science project, participants are involved not only in the collection of data but also in the definition of the study itself. Thus, the information sheet should also explain the type of collaboration established between researchers and citizens. 

However, often, information sheets are long and boring text-based documents. This format does not encourage participants to read it.  

How could you make information sheets more attractive for research participants?

The Tool

This tool is a standardized information sheet that you can use to inform your participants about the citizen science study and their rights to participate in it. The information is divided into six blocks to facilitate reading and understanding. A set of illustrations accompany each block to make the contents more attractive and user-friendly. The tool includes two templates that you can adapt to your convenience: a long information sheet and a one-pager information sheet.

Download the toolbox

We share with you some resources that can be useful to carry out this activity.

One-pager information sheet template (SPA/EN) Full information sheet template (EN) Full information sheet template (SPA)

Discover the tool in action!

Read the case study and understand how this tool has been used in a real citizen science project.

Citizen science information sheet for environmental pollution and mental health

CitieS-Health Barcelona Pilot


The CitieS-Health Barcelona pilot developed a template for an information sheet that is more user-friendly compared to the traditional paper one and facilitates comprehension of the different aspects of the study, including its citizen science component.


-To inform research participants about all aspects of the research study (e.g. scope, data use, participants' rights, risks, benefits, funding, etc.)
-To facilitate comprehension of the information provided by curating its presentation.

Identify blocks of information All the information was clustered into six blocks: “How it all began”: presents the research question and the collaborative process with citizens that led to it, why this question is relevant to the research community, and who finances the project. “About the study”: presents the key aspects of the research protocol, how data will be collected, and the different ways in which people can participate. “About my participation”: presents risks and benefits for participation, exclusion and inclusion criteria, duration and possibility of withdrawal from the study. “About the results”: what are the expected results, what kind of results are returned to citizens, and who can access the publications resulting from this study. “Let’s talk about data”: what data are collected, why are they collected, how data are treated, where are they stored, and what happens to the data when the study ends. “I want to participate”: how to get in contact with researchers, how to participate.
Create a cover page for each block Each block comprises a cover page that summarizes the main contents of the block. In this way, a user could get a rapid overview of the main contents by looking only at the six cover pages.
Design both a short and an extended version of the information sheet Having a short version of the information sheet might ensure that participants read the important information but are also encouraged to read all the details by accessing the extended version. The short version presents all the information on one single page and can be exposed on the project webpage. The long version, instead can be downloaded as an interactive PDF.
Improve the attractiveness of the information sheet The language used is important to ensure both understanding and attractiveness. We used simple words and attractive titles for each information block. We also included illustrations for each of the blocks to attract attention.
Test and validate the information sheet The information sheet was tested with a small group of research participants during the Beta pilot in order to validate its comprehension. Also, the information sheet was submitted to the ethics committee to obtain ethical clearance. Here the final version: