STARDIT Beta Version co-creation process

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Description: A STARDIT report to describe the co-creation process for the Beta version of STARDIT (version 0.2). The objective of STARDIT is to address current limitations and inconsistencies in sharing data about initiatives. The STARDIT system features standardised data reporting about initiatives, including who has been involved, what tasks they did, and any impacts observed. STARDIT is designed to support a culture of partnership across disciplines and is, wherever possible, aligned and interoperable with existing reporting models and frameworks such as those used in health, environment, manufacturing , publishing, government policy, education, arts and international development (see Table 1). In addition, the STARDIT Preference Mapping (STARDIT-PM) tool provides a standardised way to report information about different stakeholders’ preferences, including preferences for power-sharing and methods of involving people during an initiative. The working Beta Version of STARDIT uses Wikidata (collaboratively edited structured data) to enable definitions to be co-created by contributors anywhere in the world, and therefore works across human languages, with interoperability with other platforms planned for future versions.

State completed
Start 2019-01-02
End 2021-10-12
Form updated 2022-08-10

Report authors
Jack Nunn (link)
Main author
Other IDs
{{{id_typ}}}: 10.31219/
DOI: 10.31219/
DOI: 10.1186/s40900-022-00363-9
Wikidata item: Q113098498
Create a working Beta version of STARDIT
Create a peer-reviewed article to describe STARDIT and the co-creation process
open data


group of individuals
Stage: After Beta version publicly released
Named authors (23) (link)

Task: Contributed to manuscript, checked versions and gave feedback
Method: Participatory action research: STARDIT development is guided by participatory action research (PAR) paradigms, which guides initiatives by aiming to involve all stakeholders in every aspect of the development and evaluation of an initiative1,2. Participatory research is a form of collective, self-reflective enquiry undertaken by people in order to understand their situation from different perspectives3. Development has also been influenced by existing work in health research, including the multidisciplinary area of public health, which incorporates social, environmental and economic research. In a health context, participatory research attempts to reduce health inequalities by supporting people to be involved in addressing health issues that are important to them, data collection, reflection and ultimately in action to improve their own health4. At the core of participatory research is ‘critical reflexivity’. The process asks people involved to reflect on the causes of problems, possible solutions, take any actions required which might improve the current situation, and evaluate the actions2. Rights-based paradigm: The United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration Human Rights states everyone should be able to ‘receive and impart information and ideas’5. The UN also states that democracy, development and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing’6. To uphold human rights and ‘environmental rights’7, and for ‘the maintenance of peace’, people require ‘media freedom’ in order to ‘seek, receive and impart information’6, free of unaccountable censorship. STARDIT has been created in order to help anyone uphold these universal rights, by providing a way to share open access information in a structured way with a transparent process for quality checking. Cultural neutrality: Values, assumptions, ways of thinking and knowing are not shared universally. The participatory process used for developing STARDIT required and will continue to require that it attempts to map cultural variations, in an attempt to avoid unconsciously reinforcing particular (often ‘dominant’)8 values. Transparent acknowledgement of differing values and perspectives is critically important, in particular when mapping if different stakeholders’ values are complimentary or opposing. A participatory process requires mapping all of these perspectives and, where possible, involving people in labelling different perspectives and values. For example, STARDIT has already been used to map the varying perspectives of multiple stakeholders when planning a multi-generational cohort study9. Many problems facing humans are shared by non-human life forms and ecosystems, including rapid climate change, air pollution and sea-level rise. If initiatives are to operate in inclusive, culturally-neutral ways, reconsideration of the language used to describe relationships between humans, non-human life and the environment is essential.10 Environmental and social sciences are challenging and redefining colonial-era concepts of what can be ‘owned’ as property or who ‘owns’ 10,11. As a result, ecosystems such as rivers and non-human animals, are being assigned ‘personhood’12–14. For example, a public consultation by a ‘dominant’ group might ask, ‘who owns the rights to the water in a river system?’8 This question imposes the dominant group’s values on people who may not share the same concept of ‘ownership’. In this way, Western European legal and economic traditions are frequently incompatible with those of some Indigenous peoples’.10,15,16 The participatory process used for developing STARDIT has attempted to be transparent about how different stakeholders have been involved in shaping it in order to improve how the system can be used to map values and provide more culturally neutral guidance for planning and evaluating involvement in initiatives. However, it is acknowledged that it will be a challenging process to ‘de-colonialise’ and ‘de-anthropocise’ language and action17,18, as this may be perceived as a challenge to some people’s cultural attitudes which may not align with the United Nation’s universally enshrined principles of democracy, human rights and environmental rights. In addition, ongoing co-design will be required to ensure STARDIT is as accessible and inclusive as possible.
Compensation: volunteer
Competing interests: Jack Nunn (lead author) who led the co-design process is the volunteer Director for the charity Science for All ( All authors may benefit financially from being involved in this project, as their familiarity with the project may mean individuals and organisations wish to remunerate them for their time and expertise in relation to applying and using the STARDIT tools. Some authors may receive funding to their employing organisations for being a co-author. All authors may benefit reputationally from being involved in this project, although this is a prospective outcome and the opposite may happen (!)
Impact: STARDIT used by a number of organisations

Science for All (link)

Task: Hosted online discussion and decision making
group of individuals

Members of the public and other contributors (not authors) (150)

Task: Giving informal feedback, commenting and providing feedback
Method: faciliated discussion, presentations, question and answer sessions, facilitated online discussions
Communication: meetings, in person events, webinars, online discussions
Barriers: People were not paid for their time while being involved (except for one developer), discussions and documentation were in English language only
Compensation: volunteer
Impact: Multiple changes were made as a result of involving people, including changing the name and the logo, multiple changes to the article text (Alpha and Beta) and the STARDIT reporting tool.

Jack S Nunn (link)

ID: 0000-0003-0316-3254
Compensation: volunteer
Competing interests: Jack Nunn is the Director of Science for All (a voluntary unpaid position), a PhD candidate at the University of La Trobe (where he received a scholarship from 2016-2020) and STARDIT reports and the STARDIT Beta version article will feature as elements in Jack’s PhD thesis (in-progress). Jack is a member of the Cochrane Council (a voluntary unpaid position), the Strategy Liaison for the Wiki Journals (a voluntary unpaid position), a member of the Australian Federal Departments of Health's Medical Services Advisory Committee Evaluation Sub-committee (where he is paid for attending meetings and associated work). Jack is on the Editorial Board for the Wiki Journal of Science, the Wiki Journal of Humanities and ‘Research Involvement and Engagement’. A discount of the ‘Article Processing Fee’ is offered to ‘Research Involvement and Engagement’ Editorial Board members, and this was utilised to be able to afford publishing in this journal, as there was no project budget for publication. Science for All occasionally pays Jack Nunn to work on other projects (overseen by the Science for All Steering Committee and reported transparently), as described in the ‘Ways of Working’ document, but has not paid Jack to work on STARDIT.

Compensation: volunteer

Thomas Shafee

ID: 0000-0002-2298-7593
Task: built a working Beta of the STARDIT form
Compensation: paid
Competing interests: Thomas Shafee is the Editor-in-Chief of the Wiki Journals (a voluntary unpaid position). In order to be inclusive (and not exploitative), Science for All paid Thomas Shafee to build a working Beta of the STARDIT form (after a public tender and transparent selection process).


500 hours

An estimate of the volunteer hours to complete the project up to publication of the Beta version by Jack Nunn


300 hours

An estimate of the volunteer hours to complete the project up to publication of the Beta version by other volunteers
other resources


pro bono time cost

$66,800 AUD

Outputs and impacts


Pre-review article (link)

Impact: Cited in a number of other publications

Reports created by Australian Genomics working group 'Involve Australia' (link)

Impact: Used by Australian Genomics working group 'Involve Australia'

Prospective STARDIT report for planned activity by Australian Genomics working group

Public STARDIT Beta version shared for feedback (link)

Impact: Multiple people provided feedback, cited by other peer-reviewed articles

Public STARDIT Alpha version shared for feedback (link)

Impact: Multiple people provided feedback, cited by other peer-reviewed articles
dataset (open)

STARDIT data (link)

Findability: Social media, newsletters, podcasts, webinars, videos. Publicly accessible reports and websites.
Accessibility: Research Involvement and Engagement journal servers, Wikimedia servers, Internet Archive
Accessibility (URL):
Interoperability (format): Wikidata, structured data used to describe the project
Interoperability (methods): Thematic analysis and other methods of analysis
Interoperability (links):
Reusability (license): Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Reusability (attribution): Science for All. Science for All is a charity registered in Australia (ABN: 37636063351 ACN: 636063351).
Impact: Others can learn how to contribute to STARDIT data and the STARDIT project

STARDIT data is currently curated by the Wiki Journal of Science Editorial Board.

Peer-reviewed article (link)

Impact: Published in the public domain
dataset (open indigenous data)

data about involvement of Indigenous peoples

Collective benefit: Indigenous peoples have been involved at every stage of STARDIT development and trained to create STARDIT reports in order to provide equitable access to data reporting tools
Authority to control: Indigenous people involved with this project had control over what was disclosed about their identity and their involvement
Responsibility: Indigenous people involved with this project had control over what was disclosed about their identity and their involvement
Ethics: Indigenous people involved with this project had control over what was disclosed about their identity and their involvement
Impact: Perspectives of indigenous people informed co-design process of STARDIT

Improved plan for accessibly learning and development
learning item

Information about using STARDIT, a tool which has applications across multiple disciplines. (link)

Learning: Learning from the STARDIT Beta will be applied to the development of Version One.
Translation: A new data standard which is interoperable with others has been created. A working Beta version has been built. STARDIT reports have been submitted and exist for a number of peer-reviewed articles. STARDIT is being adopted by other organisations to use.
learning item

effective leadership facilitates co-design process

Impact: effective co-design process

Include any information about theoretical or conceptual models or relevant ‘values’ of people involved with this initiative, including any rationale for why certain methods were chosen:

What are the values of STARDIT? As STARDIT is a new initiative, we have adopted the values of Science for All, the organisation which is hosting the participatory action research process. Summary of values 1. We are not-for-profit – our motivation is not profit but working for all life on earth 2. We value the freedom to ask any question, using the scientific method wherever possible 3. We support the principles of democracy, the ‘rule of law’ and evidence-informed policy wherever we can 4. We are transparent and accountable 5. We include as many people as we can, as best we can in every aspect of our work 6. We know that science means knowledge, and knowledge takes many forms STARDIT values: 1. We are not-for-profit – working for all life on earth ● We value outcomes that everyone is involved in creating – including ones which could be measured in biodiversity, happiness indexes and often – are currently immeasurable. ● We recognise the need to be inclusive, and therefore, to pay people for their time, skills and expertise. When we work in economic structures, we do so only to support our values, not to make profit at the expense of others. ● We do not seek to impose our values (or other values such as economic outcome measures) on any life on earth. ● We value human rights, but also note that ‘rights’ don’t start and end with humans – we seek to explore what ‘working for all life on earth’ means in any way possible. 2. We value the freedom to ask any question, using the scientific method wherever possible ● Asking a question can be the most simple, most profound or the most complex thing we can do as a species. Questions like ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ are powerful. ● The freedom to ask the questions is essential, and we hope to support people everywhere to ask any question they feel is important. ● Some questions can be answered using the ‘scientific method’ – which essentially seeks to build our knowledge by asking questions, making observations about the available reality and using this to make predictions. If the predictions can be tested – or are repeatable – others can verify results. We value this method of asking questions, ‘peer review’, sharing open data and results – new knowledge, for free, for everyone. ● We recognise the limits of the scientific method and that some things can never be ‘known’ or ‘peer reviewed’. 3. We support the principles of democracy, the ‘rule of law’ and evidence-informed policy wherever we can ● We support the United Nation’s statement on democracy, including that ‘democracy is a universal value’ and that the principles of ‘democracy, development and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing’ . ● We also accept that there is no single model of democracy and that democracy does not belong to any country or region. To uphold human rights and for ‘the maintenance of peace’, we agree that people require ‘media freedom’ in order to ‘seek, receive and impart information’9 ● We support decisions and policies which are informed by evidence, preferably created from open data, shared freely and peer-reviewed by those who are collectively defined as experts. We do not support decisions or policy which appears to be informed by real or perceived conflicting or competing interests. We do not align with any political ‘parties’ or ideologies, and will only work with elected representatives to help uphold the values articulated in this document. ● We recognise ‘law’ and ‘lore’ as forms of knowledge which must evolve and interact with reality and language. We support universal access to this kind of knowledge. We believe the purpose and enforcement of these laws must be collectively decided in the interests of all life on earth. We support the principle of the rule of law, which implies that every person is subject to the law, including people who are lawmakers, law enforcement officials, elected representatives and judges. However, we recognise that that are often multiple, sometimes competing or conflicting systems of ‘law’ and ‘lore’, and concepts of ‘property’. We will always be guided transparently and collectively when navigating any conflicts or competing interests. 4. We are transparent and accountable ● We support transparent decision making, reporting and evaluation. ● We aspire to be as transparent as possible. We will always publicly disclose any funding or ‘in kind’ donations. Partnership with organisations will always align with these values. ● We recognise that real or perceived conflicting or competing interests can damage trust, and we will do everything we can to avoid any doubt in regards to the motives of our actions being anything other than aligned with our values. ● We accept that some things may have to be confidential (for example, storing confidential personal information to align with privacy laws) and we will always work transparently, inviting everyone to be involved in helping us get the balance right between privacy and transparency as the world evolves with new technologies. ● We expect and encourage others to hold us to account, to make sure we do what we say we do, and act as we say we do. Transparency is the best tool to enable this. ● We will always try to understand the effect or impact of our actions – and work openly with anyone who can help us improve how we are measuring this. This will help ensure we are doing things the best way we can. 5. We include everyone we can as best we can in every aspect of our work ● ‘Organisations’ are people working together towards a shared goal or purpose – and everyone is welcome to get involved. ● We will be transparent about who is involved, how we are supporting people to stay involved, how we are working to involve new people and will always welcome ideas about how we can improve this. ● Ensuring we are inclusive and do not knowingly ‘exclude’ anyone is central to our way of working 6. We know that science means knowledge, and knowledge takes many forms ● We recognise that knowledge takes many forms – this includes people who are subject area experts, people with personal experience, people with traditional, indigenous or local knowledge, artists – and those with big dreams and big ideas ● Linguistic labels like ‘knowledge’, ‘skills’, ‘expert’, ‘artist’, ‘patient’ and ‘citizen’ can be both helpful and unhelpful. Wherever possible we will include people in helping us define what we mean when we use these words. ● Some things are knowable, some things are not – we work to explore the limits of what knowledge means – with everyone, for all life on earth. Additional values and paradigms: In addition to Science for All’s values, the following values are specific to the STARDIT initiative: • STARDIT is system and language agnostic, it should always be designed to work across and with as many systems as possible, in as many countries and languages as possible • STARDIT designs and code should always be open access and relevant licenses should always be those which allow others to build on and improve the project, while maintain central control over quality • STARDIT development will be guided by the participatory action research (PAR) paradigm10. PAR is an umbrella term which describes a number of related approaches, including 11(p1), community-based participatory research, participatory action research (including critical participatory action research), participatory health research, community-partnered participatory research, cooperative inquiry. It may also include other forms of action research embracing a participatory philosophy which may include ‘co-design’ of research and other kinds of research which might include forms of ‘public involvement’ (or sometimes ‘engagement’). • STARDIT will be guided by the United Nations rights-based paradigm, including human rights, environmental rights and other emerging rights Immutable values While these values will evolve, we will keep an immutable record of our values. They will always be shared via a publicly accessible URL and regularly archived on the ‘Internet Archive’ for future reference12. Our values will be reviewed annually – with a process for involving the public, with final approval going to a vote in the Steering Committee. This review process may change over time but will always require and invite specialist, expert and public scrutiny, according to the transparent governance principles described in the manual. STARDIT must be implemented in a way which encourages those involved to acknowledge cultural values and assumptions in a transparent way. For example, some people can be labelled as having human-centred (anthropocentric) values, which values natural resources in relation to benefits they can provide for humans. In contrast, some people who think the value of nature should be measured using non-human outcomes can be labelled ecocentric13. A participatory process requires mapping all of these perspectives and, where possible, labelling them.