Table 1. A taxonomy of citizen sensors (taken from Coleman et al. 2009, 2010).

Category Characteristics
Neophyte Someone with no formal background in a subject but possessing the interest, time, and willingness to offer an opinion on that subject
Interested amateur Someone who has "discovered" interest in a subject, begun reading the background literature, consulted with other colleagues and experts about specific issues, is experimenting with its application, and is gaining experience in appreciating the subject
Expert amateur Someone who may know a great deal about a subject, practices it passionately on occasion, but still does not rely on it for a living
Expert professional Someone who has studied and practices a subject, relies on that knowledge for a living, and may be sued if his/her products, opinions, and/or recommendations are proven inadequate, incorrect, or libelous
Expert authority Someone who has widely studied and long practiced a subject to the point that he/she is recognized to possess an established record of providing high-quality products and services and/or well-informed opinions, and stands to lose that reputation and perhaps his/her livelihood if that credibility is lost even temporarily