The Science Shop Toolbox helps Science Shops provide independent, participatory research support in response to concerns experienced by civil society. The toolbox provides information on how to build strong and meaningful partnerships between community-based and university-based researchers. It offers a set of documents and a database that bring together relevant information on Science Shop procedures, processes and guidelines. The toolbox can empower new Science Shops in developing professional standards and enable existing Science Shops in refining and improving their practices through updated professional know-how. It also facilitates the exchange of good practices across different countries, incorporating the experiences and needs of new and potential European partners.
The toolbox offers a database of downloadable documents with hyperlinks to other documents in the database. These offer relevant documentation on Science Shop procedures, processes and guidelines, grouped in the following categories:
A. community-based research methods
B. Science Shop administration
C. public awareness
D. preparing a Science Shop project
E. carrying out a Science Shop project
F. writing/publication of a Science Shop project.
The tools and documents under A and C can also be useful for researchers and educators, while those under B, D, E and F are specifically for science centres. Because Science Shops do not have one typical structure, specific needs will vary depending on local situations (e.g., sources of funding, time horizons).
Currently, some of the toolbox links are not functional, and the listed tools are not summarized. As part of the relaunch of the Living Knowledge website, the toolbox may be revised. Some of the tools in the database can be used to facilitate RRI, whereas others, such as Science Shop administration tools, may have little to no direct influence on RRI.