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Filter by keyword: Citizen science

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Oct 11, 2021 Article
Participant motivation to engage in a citizen science campaign: the case of the TESS network

by Irene Celino, Gloria Re Calegari, Mario Scrocca, Jaime Zamorano and Esteban Gonzalez Guardia

Citizen science involves laymen in some steps of a scientific experiment: citizens are volunteers devoting their free time to citizen science projects. Therefore it is important to investigate the factors influencing their motivation and engagement. In this paper, we present our study to investigate the motivation factors of the TESS photometer network participants, an initiative to collect light pollution data. We present the results and insight of our investigation and the instrument we adopted, which can be useful for the broad citizen science community.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Citizen science and crowdsourcing in the field of marine scientific research — the MaDCrow project

by Paolo Diviacco, Antonio Nadali, Massimiliano Nolich, Andrea Molinaro, Massimiliano Iurcev, Rodrigo Carbajales, Alessandro Busato, Alessandro Pavan, Lorenzo Grio and Francesca Malfatti

Marine research is as important as very demanding since it requires expensive infrastructures and resources. Scientific institutions, on the contrary, have very limited funding so that the seas remain, still, mostly unexplored. Another serious concern is that society at large often resonates with fake news, while scientists sometimes tend to bias research with their backgrounds and paradigms. We think that all these issues can be addressed opening the process of knowledge building to the questions and needs of stakeholders and laypeople. The MaDCrow project proposed and tested several paths to attain these goals.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Awareness, views and experiences of Citizen Science among Swedish researchers — two surveys

by Pavel Bína, Fredrik Brounéus, Dick Kasperowski, Niclas Hagen, Martin Bergman, Gustav Bohlin, Mari Jönsson, Stephen Coulson and Tim Hofmeester

In 2021 Sweden’s first national portal for citizen science will be launched to help researchers practice sustainable and responsible citizen science with different societal stakeholders. This paper present findings from two surveys on attitudes and experiences of citizen science among researchers at Swedish universities. Both surveys provided input to the development of the national portal, for which researchers are a key stakeholder group. The first survey (n=636) was exclusively focused on citizen science and involved researchers and other personnel at Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU). 63% of respondents at SLU had heard about citizen science (CS) prior to the survey; however a majority of these (61%) had not been involved in any CS initiative themselves. Dominant reasons for researchers choosing a CS approach in projects were to enable collection of large amounts of data (68%), improving the knowledge base (59%), improving data quality (25%), promote participants’ understanding in research (21%) and promote collaboration between the university and society (20%). The other survey (n=3 699) was on the broader topic of communication and open science, including questions on CS, and was distributed to researchers from all Swedish universities. 61% of respondents had not been engaged in any research projects where volunteers were involved in the process. A minority of the researchers had participated in projects were volunteers had collected data (18%), been involved in internal or external communication (16%), contributed project ideas (14%) and/or formulated research questions (11%). Nearly four out of ten respondents (37%) had heard about CS prior to the survey. The researchers were more positive towards having parts of the research process open to citizen observation, rather than open to citizen influence/participation. Our results show that CS is a far from well-known concept among Swedish researchers. And while those who have heard about CS are generally positive towards it, researchers overall are hesitant to invite citizens to take part in the research process.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Agenda 2030's, “Leave no one behind”, in citizen science?

by Madeleine Montanari, Liesbet Jacobs, Mordechai Haklay, Felix Kwabena Donkor and Maria Rosa Mondardini

Citizen science (CS) is promoted as a useful practice for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this contribution we explore how CS aligns to the SDGs overarching pledge to ‘Leave no one behind’. We propose a framework to evaluate exclusionary processes in CS. We interlink three dimensions of CS inspired by existing CS typologies with five factors underpinning exclusionary processes. With this, we are able to situate existing literature on various exclusionary effects in CS within a structured framework. We hope this contribution sparks a discussion and inspires practitioners’ reflections on a more inclusive practice in CS.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Gamification for social perception: introducing scientific literacy to dabblers in citizen science

by Emilio Velis, Diego Torres and Gino Caballero

Understanding scientific concepts is a crucial factor in motivating dabblers at the start of co-created citizen science projects. This article describes PACMAC, a card-based cooperative card game aimed at introducing dabblers to hypothesis and falsifiability concepts through the visualization of a social perception map. The game was evaluated in five neighborhoods from El Salvador. The results showed that PACMAP is approachable for participants of different demographics to develop an understanding of the concepts of hypotheses and falsifiability.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Onto new horizons: insights from the WeObserve project to strengthen the awareness, acceptability and sustainability of Citizen Observatories in Europe

by Gerid Hager, Margaret Gold, Uta Wehn, Raquel Ajates, Linda See, Mel Woods, Chrysovalantis Tsiakos, Joan Masó, Dilek Fraisl, Inian Moorthy, Dahlia Domian and Steffen Fritz

WeObserve delivered the first European-wide Citizen Observatory (CO) knowledge platform to share best practices, to address challenges and to inform practitioners, policy makers and funders of COs. We present key insights from WeObserve activities into leveraging challenges to create interlinked solutions, connecting with international frameworks and groups, advancing the field through communities of practice and practitioner networks, and fostering an enabling environment for COs. We also discuss how the new Horizon Europe funding programme can help to further advance the CO concept, and vice versa, how COs can provide a suitable mechanism to support the ambitions of Horizon Europe.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Editorial
ECSA Special Issue

by Susanne Hecker, Mordechai Haklay, Enrico M. Balli and Tim Woods

Over 500 delegates took part in the third international ECSA conference in September 2020. Across 30 sessions, as well as keynote talks, e-poster presentations and more informal settings, they discussed and debated a diverse range of subjects related to citizen science. This special edition of ‘JCOM’ brings together some of the central themes that were under the spotlight at ECSA 2020. Since ECSA 2020 has been one of the first examples of a conference that moved completely online, and it has been considered a big success, we also include the Conference Report, as supplementary material with this editorial.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Sep 27, 2021 Essay
Co-created citizen science: challenging cultures and practice in scientific research

by Jade Gunnell, Yaela Golumbic, Tess Hayes and Michelle Cooper

Co-created citizen science offers practical tools for implementing science communication theories by increasing public participation in scientific research, empowering communities and advancing situated scientific knowledge. However, delivering such an approach presents a number of key challenges around funding, fostering working partnerships between scientists and citizens and ensuring all stakeholders receive sufficient benefits from the process. In this essay we draw from science communication and citizen science literature to describe these challenges and discuss the opportunities that will enable co-created practices to prosper.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Aug 16, 2021 Article
Citizen-driven participatory research conducted through knowledge intermediary units. A thematic synthesis of the literature on “Science Shops”

by Anne-Sophie Gresle, Eduardo Urias, Rosario Scandurra, Bálint Balázs, Irene Jimeno, Leonardo de la Torre Ávila and Maria Jesus Pinazo

A Science Shop acts as a mission-oriented intermediary unit between the scientific sphere and civil society organizations. It seeks to facilitate citizen-driven open science projects that respond to the needs of civil society organizations and which, typically, include students in the work process. We performed a thematic analysis of a systematically selected literature on Science Shops to understand how the scientific literature reflects the historical evolution of Science Shops in different settings and what factors the literature associates with the rise and fall of the Science Shop. We used the PRISMA methodology to search for scientific papers in indexed journals in eight databases published in English, French and Spanish, and employed the thematic theory approach to extract and systematize our results. Twenty-six scientific articles met the inclusion criteria. We identified three meta-categories and ten sub-topics which can serve as key pointers to guide the set-up and future work of Science Shops. Our results identify a major paradox: Science Shops incorporate public values in their scientific agendas but have difficulties sustaining themselves institutionally as they do not fit the current dominant research paradigm. Science shops represent a persuasive complementary approach to the way science is defined, executed and produced today.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Jul 01, 2021 Article
Characteristics of Spanish citizen participation practices in science

by Carolina Llorente, Gema Revuelta and Mar Carrió

A new regime of science production is emerging from the involvement of non-scientists. The present study aims to improve understanding of this phenomenon with an analysis of 16 interviews with Spanish coordinators of participatory science practices. The results indicate a majority of strategic and captive publics and point to communication as a key tool for the development of successful practices. Five key elements of the degree of integration required to develop a citizen participation in science practice were analysed: derived outputs, level of participant contribution, participation assessment, practice replicability, and participant and facilitator training. Proposals for strategies to remove barriers to citizen participation are the study's principal contribution.

Volume 20 • Issue 04 • 2021