What are the predominant research areas in citizen science projects?

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Frameworks & Definitions, Graphical article, Internal Content, Relationship with Formal Science

  Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Biodiversity & Conservation” is the predominant research area on Zooniverse

“Remote Sensing” plays a crucial role for research in distributed CS projects

Recent studies and experience indicate that environmental sciences are a predominant research topic in the citizen science landscape. However, many of these analyses associate each single project only with one main research area. This neglects the multi-disciplinary nature of many projects, which is also reflected in the diversity of participant backgrounds, project consortia and the practical orientation of projects. Catlin-Groves (2012) points out a paradigm shift that results in “a new synthesis of disciplinary areas”. To address this issue, we follow an analytical approach to assess research areas based on public project descriptions of 218 Zooniverse projects. In contrast to counting only the primary field of research, this approach respects this multi-disciplinary nature of citizen science and aggregates multiple research areas, which draws a different picture of the citizen science landscape.

How to interpret this data 

We analysed 218 project descriptions using text-analytics based on explicit semantic analysis (ESA). In contrast to prior research, we can assign multiple research areas to each project. The research areas are mapped using the web of science taxonomy, which consists of categories with several research areas in each category.  Figure 1 shows the distribution of the top 20 research areas across all projects. Apart from “Biodiversity & Conservation”, “Remote Sensing” is a frequent area, which is plausible because many environmental projects also advance research and development in this area. Figure 2 presents the distribution over the five research categories. 

References

Catlin-Groves, C. L. (2012). The citizen science landscape: from volunteers to citizen sensors and beyond. International Journal of Zoology, 2012.

Read more like this article

Help us disseminate our research results

Be the first to receive updates about CS Track project results, opinion pieces and News&Events related to Citizen Science.

Email Address
info@cstrack.eu
Twitter Account

Subscribe to our newsletter

Why we ask for profiles?

We ask for your profile for research purposes only. Filling in your profile does not imply to filtering the content you will receive.

I do not know which is my profile
  1. Policy-maker: Regional, national or international policy-maker or influencer.
  2. Academic: Academic engaged in research related to Citizen Science.
  3. Citizen Scientist: Citizen Scientist involved in or managing/planning one or more Citizen Science project.
  4. Organisational representative: member of a civil society organisation or NGO supporting Citizen Science (including science centres and musea, CS clubs and platforms etc.).
  5. Company representative: company employee supporting and/or funding Citizen Science projects or activities.
  6. Educator: Educator interested in supporting and promoting Citizen Science in an educational setting.
  7. Other.
Did you know we have a newsletter?

Did you know we have a newsletter?

Do not miss anything!!

You have Successfully Subscribed!