Digital citizen science for responding to covid-19 crisis: Experiences from Iran

Hossein Vahidi, Mohammad Taleai, Wanglin Yan, Rajib Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has so far been the most severe global public health emergency in this century. Generally, citizen science can provide a complement to authoritative scientific practices for responding to this highly complex biological threat and its adverse consequences. Several citizen science projects have been designed and operationalized for responding to COVID-19 in Iran since the infection began. However, these projects have mostly been overlooked in the existing literature on citizen science. This research sheds light on the most significant online citizen science projects to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in Iran. Furthermore, it highlights some of the opportunities and challenges associated with the strengths and weaknesses of these projects. Moreover, this study captures and discusses some considerable insights and lessons learned from the failures and successes of these projects and provides solutions to overcome some recognized challenges and weaknesses of these projects. The outcomes of this synthesis provide potentially helpful directions for current and future citizen science projects—particularly those aiming to respond to biological disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9666
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept


  • Citizen science
  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Digital contact tracing
  • Emergency management
  • Mobile health (mHealth)
  • Public health monitoring
  • Public health promotion
  • User-generated content (UGC)
  • Volunteered geographic information (VGI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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