Science shops are outreach offices at research institutions where civil society organizations (CSOs) can commission research that is relevant to local problems. The name “science shop” is a literal translation of the Dutch word wetensc-hapswinkel. However, it is not a regular shop, and it is not concerned with natural sciences only, but also with social sciences and humanities (in Dutch, both are wetenschap). Sometimes other names are used, such as knowledge point, community knowledge exchange, community-based research center, community–university partnership, interchange, and so on.

The best definition of a science shop is the one provided on the Web site of the Living Knowledge international science shop network, which defines a science shop as an organization that “provides independent, participatory research support” to issues and concerns ...

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