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Apr 19, 2021 Article
Affordances and tensions in recording bird observations: how coordinators and volunteers perceive and experience citizen science in birding

by Helen Verploegen, Wessel Ganzevoort and Riyan van den Born

Digital citizen science projects differ greatly in their goals and design. Tensions arise when coordinators' design choices and conceptions of citizen science conflict with users' motivations and expectations. In this paper, we use a combination of qualitative methods to gain new insights into the ways citizen science is understood and implemented digitally. This includes a study into the affordances of two citizen science portals for bird observations, and qualitative interviews with users and coordinators of the portals. This reveals tensions related to data sharing, community hierarchies, and communicated expectations. Awareness of these tensions can benefit the future design of online citizen science projects.

Volume 20 • Issue 02 • 2021