On the field with social science and humanities participatory research

Some examples of community engagement from the COESO project





citizen science, Social Sciences and Humanities, engagement strategies, community engagement


Citizen science is a well-established domain in many scientific disciplines. Far less is known about the practices of citizen science in the social sciences and humanities. The COESO project is fostering and highlighting citizen science practices in the social sciences and humanities. Ten European-based case studies – ”pilots” – reporting on specific challenges have fed the COESO project: five of them began at the beginning of the project in January 2021, while the other five were chosen through an Open Call process in early 2022. Each pilot presents a distinct type and model of collaboration between different kinds of stakeholders, addressing specific societal issues. This diversity has contributed to generating knowledge on challenges and innovative knowledge sharing practices found within participatory practices in the social sciences and humanities research fields. The project promotes developing synergies between practices found within various social sciences and humanities disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, political science, and the arts, with practices employed by non-academic professionals working on societal issues. The 10 pilots provide a platform for collaboration between researchers, practitioners, and citizens, allowing for the co-creation of new knowledge and innovative solutions to pressing societal challenges. 

The aim of this poster is to show the different engagement strategies co-developed with researchers and community members to involve active citizen participation in the research, as well as the actions and creative outputs carried out to raise awareness of the projects and maintain the interest of participants. From initial stakeholder mapping, information management, data collection and storage to communication and dissemination of results, each pilot has deployed a unique engagement strategy, making COESO an excellent repository of information on the different ways of fostering community engagement with citizen science through social science and humanities initiatives. By showcasing the diversity and potential of these pilots, this poster invites further exploration and collaboration in the exciting and evolving domain of citizen science in the SSH.


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Author Biographies

Kelly Achenbach, Max Weber Stiftung - Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland

Kelly Achenbach is the Communication Officer for the COESO project. She holds a degree in Communication Studies and applied the knowledge to her previous work advocating for the educational needs of at-risk populations, mostly in California, within non-profit organisations as well as educational institutions. After moving to Germany in 2016, she studied in the master’s program for Applied Linguistics at Bonn University, leading her to learn about the OPERAS infrastructure and eventually take on a supportive communications role before moving into her current position within COESO.

Alessia Smaniotto, OPERAS, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences

Alessia develops citizen science projects and services for the OPERAS community. Trained in philosophy, journalism and sociology, former journalist, she holds a PhD in Philosophy from the French École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Her doctoral research focused on journalism as a form of knowledge. Her current work focuses on participatory practices within the SSH disciplines. She coordinated the PLACES project, granted by the French Ministry of Culture, focused on the collaboration between researchers and journalists, and she is coordinating the COESO project, funded by the European Commission, to further upgrade the OPERAS Research for Society Service.




How to Cite

Achenbach, K., & Smaniotto, A. (2023). On the field with social science and humanities participatory research: Some examples of community engagement from the COESO project. Septentrio Conference Series, (1). https://doi.org/10.7557/5.7166