eBird: Curating Citizen Science Data for Use by Diverse Communities

  • Carl Lagoze


In this paper we describe eBird, a highly successful citizen science project. With over 150,000 participants worldwide and an accumulation of over 140,000,000 bird observations globally in the last decade, eBird has evolved into a major tool for scientific investigations in diverse fields such as ornithology, computer science, statistics, ecology and climate change. eBird’s impact in scientific research is grounded in careful data curation practices that pay attention to all stages of the data lifecycle, and attend to the needs of stakeholders engaged in that data lifecycle. We describe the important aspects of eBird, paying particular attention to the mechanisms to improve data quality; describe the data products that are available to the global community; investigate some aspects of the downloading community; and demonstrate significant results that derive from the use of openly-available eBird data.

Research Papers