Submissions:2024/Challenges in Citizen Science Data Platforms for Andean Potato Agrobiodiversity Conservation

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2024.


Challenges in Citizen Science Data Platforms for Andean Potato Agrobiodiversity Conservation

Type of session:

Lecture (15-30 min)

Session theme(s):

Community Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Governance & Strategy, Open Data


In recent years, biodiversity monitoring has become a citizen-driven activity. Platforms such as iNaturalist and eBird have incorporated citizens' observations into conservation science. Similarly, WikiPapa and VarScout are two agrobiodiversity monitoring platforms that engage potato farmers, students, extension workers, and researchers in conserving Andean potato varieties in Peru. WikiPapa is a curated website hosting records of local potato varieties, including agronomic, geographical, and gastronomic traits. VarScout allows users to collect data on local names, color, frost resistance, and yield directly from farms. This data is curated and uploaded to WikiPapa, forming an online agrobiodiversity monitoring system supported by the International Potato Center (CIP) and local actors. Recently, developers have considered adding e-commerce features to promote Andean potato consumption.

Citizen science platforms aim to reduce knowledge and societal gaps between experts and non-experts, incorporating Open Science (OS) principles like FAIR and CARE. These principles ensure data is findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable, while respecting indigenous knowledge. However, fostering openness may not always be fair to those contributing data. Concerns about the platformization of science and the privatization of common resources raise questions about these platforms' future. This research, through interviews, workshops, and ethnographic data, examines how economic interests are integrated into the WikiPapa data chain and explores the fairness of implementing OS principles in agrobiodiversity conservation.

Author name(s):

Sebastian Zarate

Wikimedia username(s):


E-mail address:

Affiliated organization(s):

North Carolina State University

Able to attend without scholarship?


Estimated length of session

20-30 min

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

Previously presented?

Yes, Boston, April 2024

Special requests:

I will like to present virtually using zoom.