Narrative as an evaluative approach for citizen science projects


Current modes of evaluation in citizen science (and in science communication in general) rarely include narrative evaluations. According to Natasha Constant (Research Associate at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, UK) and Liz Roberts (Research Fellow on the Drought Risk and You project at the University of the West of England, UK), “science evaluators have adopted a number of approaches to evaluate “impact” namely front-end, formative and summative research which draw on a range of quantitative and qualitative methods (…).” Nevertheless, according to the two researchers, “Storied experience of participant involvement enhances understanding of context-based and often intangible processes.”

In their freshly published paper “Narratives as a mode of research evaluation in citizen science: understanding broader science communication impacts” Constant and Roberts explore how narrative evaluations can “create a critical, reflective space where self-evaluation can take place”. The authors propose a number of narrative approaches that may be drawn upon for evaluation purposes. Their paper can be downloaded open access here.