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Reports

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.

How to automate the extraction and analysis of information for educational purposes

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

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. 

Research Areas in Citizen Science: One analysis of the CS Track database

Research Areas in Citizen Science: One analysis of the CS Track database

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.

CS Track publishes paper about developing a novel framework for investigating Citizen Science

CS Track publishes paper about developing a novel framework for investigating Citizen Science

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.

Learning from others – marketing the science and engaging the citizens

Learning from others – marketing the science and engaging the citizens

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.

More information on replicable models – just one of the priorities for CS Track stakeholders

More information on replicable models – just one of the priorities for CS Track stakeholders

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.

Biodiversity citizen science projects: What are the benefits for the participants?

Biodiversity citizen science projects: What are the benefits for the participants?

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. 

What are the boundaries of citizen science? Learning from a vignette study

What are the boundaries of citizen science? Learning from a vignette study

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

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?

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.

Increased knowledge generates more positive attitudes to science by citizen science participation

Increased knowledge generates more positive attitudes to science by citizen science participation

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.

Who takes part in Citizen Science projects & why?

Who takes part in Citizen Science projects & why?

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.

Characteristics and nature of Citizen Science in Europe today

Characteristics and nature of Citizen Science in Europe today

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.

Characterising engagement in citizen science

Characterising engagement in citizen science

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.

Economic considerations in Citizen Science

Economic considerations in Citizen Science

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).

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