Video tool

Type of tool: Artefact

Phase: Deployment


Onboard citizens to data collection

People involved:



3 weeks


Ideas for Change

The Challenge

Properly onboard participants for data collection is a crucial step of any citizen science study. A failure in doing so, might result in errors and low quality of data collected, as well as the frustration of participants who might decide to drop off the study. 

How can we foster citizens’ participation in data collection?

The Tool

The Health Data Collection Kit is a small box that contains all the information and tools needed to onboard participants in the data collection. The content of the kit will depend on the topics of your study. A citizen who wants to engage in your study, should be able to understand the data collection aims and protocol and start collecting data as soon as he receives the kit. Moreover the mere act of receiving a catching box can attract people’s attention and encourage them to take part in the data collection.

Download the toolbox

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

The instructions booklet (PDF) The instructions booklet (editable)

Discover the tool in action!

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

CitieS-Health Data Collection Kit

CitieS-Health Barcelona Pilot


The CitieS-Health Barcelona pilot distributed over 300 data collection kits, which were designed to allow participants to collect their own exposure to air pollution (via a diffusion tube and GPS data) and mental health parameters (via daily survey on an app).


To provide citizens all the information and tools needed to start collecting data
To encourage citizens to participate in data collection by giving them a catchy artefact

Assemble the kit The contents of the kit will depend on your own experiment. Our kit contained: 1) an instruction booklet with all the steps the participant must follow to start collecting data, including the instruction to install and use the data collection app; 2) a diffusion tube to capture NO2, 3) a door hanger to remind participants to bring the diffusion tube when leaving home, 4) a sachet with seeds of aromatic plants with a thank you note.
Test the kit Before distributing the kit widely, you want to ensure its contents are usable and clear. We recruited 4 motivated citizens and asked them to test the kit by following the instructions in the kit. We interviewed them to identify weak points and possible design improvements and then iterated the design of the kit accordingly.
Prepare the booking system Citizens who wanted to participate in the data collection could book a kit through the project webpage and receive it comfortably at home.
Deliver the kit at home The delivery of the kit to participants’ homes was done through bike messengers in order to reduce pollution from transport.
Distribute the kit through pop-up events In order to increase awareness, we organized a pop-up event on the street to distribute the kit to passersby and solve any doubts in relation to the use of the kit.