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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 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

Jun 21, 2021 Review
La cultura científica ¿es importante para los ciudadanos?

by Martha Cambre

¿Qué ciencia necesita el ciudadano? Es una pregunta que todos quienes trabajamos por una cultura científica universal y estamos convencidos que es importante nos hemos hecho una y mil veces. Cabe preguntarnos ¿somos los únicos que podemos responder o intentar responder esa pregunta? Este libro nos aporta otras miradas que incluyen las voces de científicos, tomadores de decisión y la propia ciudadanía.

Volume 4 • Issue 01 • 2021

Jun 14, 2021 Article
Step by step towards citizen science — deconstructing youth participation in BioBlitzes

by Julia Lorke, Heidi L. Ballard, Annie E. Miller, Rebecca D. Swanson, Sasha Pratt-Taweh, Jessie N. Jennewein, Lila Higgins, Rebecca F. Johnson, Alison N. Young, Maryam Ghadiri Khanaposhtani and Lucy D. Robinson

BioBlitzes, typically one-day citizen science (CS) events, provide opportunities for the public to participate in data collection for research and conservation, potentially promoting deeper engagement with science. We observed 81 youth at 15 BioBlitzes in the U.S. and U.K., identifying five steps participants use to create a biological record (Exploring, Observing, Identifying, Documenting and Recording). We found 67 youth engaged in at least one of the steps, but seldom in all, with rare participation in Recording which is crucial for contributing data to CS. These findings suggest BioBlitzes should reduce barriers to Recording for youth to increase engagement with science.

Volume 20 • Issue 04 • 2021

May 10, 2021 Article
A question of dialogue? Reflections on how citizen science can enhance communication between science and society

by Katherin Wagenknecht, Tim Woods, Christian Nold, Simone Rüfenacht, Silke Voigt-Heucke, Anne Caplan, Susanne Hecker and Katrin Vohland

Citizen science is a transdisciplinary approach that responds to the current science policy agenda: in terms of supporting open science, and by using a range of science communication instruments. In particular, it opens up scientific research processes by involving citizens at different phases; this also creates a range of opportunities for science communication to happen This article explores methodological and practical characteristics of citizen science as a form of science communication by examining three case studies that took different approaches to citizens' participation in science. Through these, it becomes clear that communication in citizen science is ‘÷always’ science communication and an essential part of “doing science”.

Volume 20 • Issue 03 • 2021 • Special Issue: Re-examining Science Communication: models, perspectives, institutions, 2021

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

Nov 24, 2020 Commentary
Socioenvironmental activism and emerging science communicators in Mexico

by Susana Herrera-Lima

Activists, social organizations and members of citizen collectives in Mexico and Latin America have assumed not only the fight for water and territory, but also the difficult task of interacting with experts in different scientific fields, and the challenge of placing their causes in the public space. They take the role of cultural mediators between affected people, scientists and politicians within hybrid transdisciplinary working groups. Within the framework of these groups' actions, a new current of communication of science has emerged, one that shifts its interest from encouraging involvement with scientific knowledge for its own sake, to untangling, understanding and communicating socio-environmental issues for the explicit purpose of contributing to social transformation.

Volume 19 • Issue 06 • 2020