Main aim of the study This work presents opportunities, achievements, and future challenges in using computational analytics to better understand the connection between CS and the SDGs. The work in its status does not fully cover SDGs in CS, but it evaluates and shows...
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An explorative study on the effects of the recent pandemic on online Citizen Science: lessons learnt for improving project management and implementation
The study aimed at assessing the pandemic’s impact on online CS participation and capturing CS project coordinators’ experience of the pandemic and their actions in managing the pandemic’s effects.
Collect data on some project characteristics which cannot be answered by visiting project websites.
Is it a match? Motivations on citizen science volunteers and recruitment arguments in project descriptions
This study aims at understanding how the alignment between the motivational factors of CS participants and the recruitment speech used in the projects’ description is, by performing quantitative triangulation of data collected through a survey about 12 motivational factors for participating in a CS project, and the manual analysis of the projects’ descriptions available in Zooniverse website.
The study aim is to investigate how a combination of methods (such as data analysis, computational or quantitative methods) could be applied to gather CS projects information to support teacher’s practice and inspire them.
In this case study we intended to reflect on how the online data about CS is shared and communicated in the websites, how could this data be extracted massively and stored in a central database to, later be analysed with different purposes. One of its, studied in this article, is the usage of all the information in educational contexts.
Citizen science project descriptions as science communication texts – the good, the bad, and the ugly
Project descriptions are a central element of a Citizen Science project’s online presence and thus play a key role in recruiting volunteers. Very often, they are the first point of contact between a project and prospective participants. As such, they need to be reader-friendly and accessible, spark interest, contain all the necessary practical information, and motivate readers to join by explaining convincingly how they will benefit from participating in the project. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the project descriptions stored in the CS Track database meet these criteria.
One of the main objectives of CS Track project has been to realise an explorative study of CS projects in Europe, with the aim to categorize, cluster and build a database of CS projects that would allow an analysis of them. This has allowed: (1) to compile of a database of CS projects (and their corresponding CS activities) in the European Union and Associated Countries; (2) to document of a collection of these projects to explore their availability of data for further analysis following the knowledge gaps identified by the literature review.
A CS Track team of researchers including Reuma De-Groot, Yaela N Golumbic, Fernando Martínez Martínez and H. Ulrich Hoppe recently published a paper entitled “Developing a framework for investigating Citizen Science through a combination of web analytics and social science methods – the CS Track perspective”. This article presents the project’s framework that aims to complement existing methods for evaluating CS, address gaps in current observations of the citizen science landscape and integrate findings from multiple studies and methodologies.
3 keynotes, 35 sessions, 101 posters and more than 400 participants – in early October citizen science experts from all over the world gathered in Berlin to attend the biennial ECSA conference, Europe’s largest citizen science event.
Over the past 18 months, several research groups within the CS Track consortium have analysed project descriptions stored in the CS Track database from different perspectives (focusing for instance on research area, correlation with the SDG framework, educational aspects etc.).
Mapping and analysing institutional Citizen Science adoption – are there any guidelines that can be provided to Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) regarding the transformation to support Citizen Science? What are the most desirable pathways to accomplish a sustainable institutional integration of citizen science in RPOs?
The CS Track research team, led by partners Christine Urban and Michael Strähle from the Wissenschaftsladen Wien – Science Shop Vienna, has published a report called Conceptual Framework for Analytics Tools.
The CS Track team has released a new report entitled Models to identify background factors associated with the CS activity. It introduces how the CS Track team created 6 models with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of how different factors (e.g. gender, age, roles in CS) are associated with different forms of participation in CS activities.
Marketing and motivation studies highlighted the importance of knowing more about participants. Framing and user experience experts showed how to convert knowledge into tailored approaches that enhance engagement and retention. Other fields, including the world of commerce, have potential lessons for citizen science practitioners, especially those involved in top-down, mass participatory projects that require high levels of engagement.
In order to better tailor our work to the needs of our different stakeholders, the CS Track team led a series of focus group discussions in September. These focus groups directly involved over 30 people coming from different stakeholder communities including policy-makers and officers, platform and support agency representatives, people interested in CS from an educational perspective and CS project leaders, participants and researchers.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed an opportunity to improve the outcomes of citizen science in response to emerging challenges.
Citizen science has, at least in Europe, turned into an umbrella term for a lot of very different practices.
The term ‘Citizen Science’ has had a remarkable career in terms of scientific publications and funding schemes. Citizen science policies are either already developed or under development in many parts of the world.
How has the citizen science community responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? A content analysis-based study examining projects’ characteristics and activities.
Citizen Science in Schools: Predictors and Outcomes of Participating in Voluntary Political Research
Citizen science research has become a popular approach in youth education. Findings suggest that females are more motivated to learn from the project. Participation in the project slightly increased science interest, but not science efficacy. However, it did increase both political interest and efficacy.
How social network analysis reveals significant variables in Citizen Science projects: the Chimp & See case
Chimp & See is one of the projects of the Zooniverse platform, which is one of the largest citizen science web portals, was initiated in 2015 by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. The aim of the project is to learn more about the culture, population size and demography of chimpanzees in specific regions of Africa.
Biodiversity citizen science projects investigate, for example, which species of plants or animals exist in an area and how many individuals of each species live in that area. Such projects involve citizen scientists in identifying and monitoring biological diversity and collecting biodiversity data. With the help of citizen scientists, researchers can collect large amounts of such data that they would not be able to collect on their own. We wanted to know how citizen scientists benefit from their participation in biodiversity citizen science projects.
Citizen science has expanded rapidly over the past decade. As a result defining citizen science and its boundaries remains a challenge, and this is reflected in the literature—for example in the proliferation of typologies and definitions. There is a need for identifying areas of agreement and disagreement within the citizen science practitioners community on what should be considered citizen science.
How do citizen science activities develop and work? Computational analysis techniques can help us find out
A cornerstone of the CS Track project’s approach to investigating how citizen science (CS) activities develop and work is the use of computational analysis techniques applied to digital sources and traces to characterise and analyse these activities in terms of interactions within certain projects, the interplay with “official” science and their interaction with society.
The Formosa Case: A Step Forward on the Acceptance of Citizen-Collected Evidence in Environmental Litigation?
Through a case law analysis of the Formosa ruling, we explore how citizen-collected evidence influenced the judge’s ruling. Although the case has unique features, we identify lessons learned for other citizen-run monitoring initiatives, to strengthen their voice within environmental litigation. We close by suggesting future research avenues, especially in Europe, where the discussion is still in its infancy.
Can knowledge foster positive attitudes toward science in CS projects? Research on the public understanding of science has found that the relationship between attitudes toward science and general knowledge of scientific content is only small. We investigated whether this relationship and its direction is stronger in CS projects because these projects address specific knowledge such as wildlife ecology. Our findings indicated that citizens’ knowledge about wildlife improved their attitudes toward science later on.
Recent research suggests that citizen science projects see both valuable opportunities as well as deep-rooted barriers in linking their data to the SDGs.
Identifying who takes part in citizen science projects and understanding what motivates them are key aspects in building our understanding of citizen science. These aspects are at the heart of a recent White Paper published by the CS Track project which highlights interest in the theme, contributing to scientific research and opportunities to learn as key factors when it comes to motivation.
Citizen Science is changing and evolving as highlighted in the recent CS Track White Paper on Themes, Objectives and Participants. This white paper draws on the initial results of a large scale CS Track survey carried out in early 2021 which highlights an increasing use of technology, diversification in terms of themes and a re-assessment of the value that citizen science can bring to the individual as well as society as a whole.
A study conducted in Norwegian high schools revealed that citizen science activities have positive impacts on learning, pro-environmental and pro-science attitudes, interest in scientific and environmental-related topics.
The recent JRC report on Citizen Science Strategies and Initiatives in Europe highlights the different ways in which Citizen Science is supported and understood in Europe. The results of its survey show how Citizen Science is evolving and where the main barriers to its successful implementation lie.
Understanding what motivates people to take part in Citizen Science activities is important. While the reasons people give for getting involved vary greatly, research is starting to show interesting connections between the different drivers and demographics.
Engaging a wide range of participants over time, is key to the successful operation of citizen science projects. But how can projects accomplish this? The short and perhaps simplistic answer is “know your audience” – The whole range of potential audiences your project may have.
Examining the role of economic considerations in Citizen Science projects may yield some surprising conclusions, for example that those considerations may not be deemed by those involved in a project as important as could be expected. Greater attention seems to be paid to non-economic factors (e.g., educational gains).
Assessments of impact in citizen science projects are rarely linked to specific indicators like impact on policies. MICS have created an impact assessment framework which is being used to underpin a software development involving both handcrafting and machine learning
Research into Citizen Science projects in the field of environmental epidemiology highlights the need for more effort in sharing information about collaborative processes
Citizen Science is an emerging field of study that expands from the social sciences, through policies and the learning sciences. Partners in our consortium have different views about this interdisciplinary field. Several aspects of these views are summarised here.
Citizen Science incorporates the general public into scientific research and therefore we might expect it not to have a presence in academic publications. This report analyzes the evolution of scientific publications in Citizen Science.