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https://doi.org/10.22323/1.418...
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Keeping participants engaged in citizen science projects: the role of science communication strategies

Authors: Luís, Cristina; Navalhas, Inês; Marín-González, Esther; Magalhães, Joana; Arias, Rosa; Giardullo, Paolo; Leguina, Leire;

Keeping participants engaged in citizen science projects: the role of science communication strategies

Abstract

Scientists, policy makers and non-governmental organisations, among other actors, increasingly recognize the relevance of conducting research through citizen science (CS). As such, new projects involving this practice continue to emerge. Participants in CS projects can be engaged in various steps, which can range from contributions in designing the projects and defining/prioritising hypotheses, collecting, and analysing data, to communicating the results. However, as with other research practices, CS faces several challenges and questions that need to be addressed such as the recruitment of participants and their retention. Since retention of participation is central to the success of projects and their overall impact, a better understanding of the specific actions that increase such retention could benefit the citizen science community. The NEWSERA project (https://newsera2020.eu/), is analysing how to improve engagement of each stakeholder from the quadruple-helix model (citizens, academics, policy makers and industry) in CS through the implementation of co-created innovative science communication strategies. So, in a dialogue roundtable that took place at Engaging Citizen Science Conference 2022 (Aarhus, Denmark), the NEWSERA team developed a methodology to discuss with CS project managers, participants, and other stakeholders, the challenges faced in maintaining long-term engagement, specifically focusing on citizens as the main stakeholder target group. The discussions and results that resulted from this session contribute to the debate around the best strategies to engage and keep participants in CS projects and provide some clues for CS project managers to improve their engagement strategies.

Countries
Italy, Portugal
Keywords

Engagement, Stakeholders, Citizen Science, Science Communication

11 references, page 1 of 2

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[2] C. Lopez, Motives for Citizen Science Program Participation and the Role of the Organization: Lessons from Water Quality Monitors in Texas, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice 6, 1 (2021) 3. http://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.341

[3] M. Lotfian, J. Ingensand, and M. Brovelli, A Framework for Classifying Participant Motivation that Considers the Typology of Citizen Science Projects, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (2020) 10.3390/ijgi9120704. [OpenAIRE]

[4] S.E. West and R.M. Pateman, Recruiting and Retaining Participants in Citizen Science: What Can Be Learned from the Volunteering Literature? Citizen Science: Theory and Practice (2016). ISSN 2057-4991. https://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.8

[5] D. Asingizwe, P.M. Poortvliet, C.J. M. Koenraadt, A.J.H. van Vliet, C.M. Ingabire, L. Mutesa et al., Why (not) participate in citizen science? Motivational factors and barriers to participate in a citizen science program for malaria control in Rwanda, PLoS ONE 15, 8: e0237396 (2020).

[6] S. West, R. Pateman, and A. Dyke, Data Submission in Citizen Science Projects Report for Defra (Project number PH0475). Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York (2016). [OpenAIRE]

[7] The Conservation Volunteers, Engaging Volunteers: Guide to engaging volunteers in Citizen Science Projects, TCV: The Conservation Volunteers.

[8] D. Wald, J. Longo, and A.R. Dobell, Design principles for engaging and retaining virtual citizen scientists, Conservation Biology 30, 3, (2016) 562-570. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24760984

[9] J. Magalhães, B. Guasch, R. Arias, P. Giardullo, A. Elorza, I. Navalhas, E. Marín-González, M. Mazzonetto, and C. Luís, A methodological approach to co-design citizen science communication strategies directed to quadruple-helix stakeholders, JCOM 21, 04, A05 (2022). https://doi.org/10.22323/2.21040205

[10] European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, Mutual learning exercise on citizen science initiatives: policy and practice, Second topic challenge paper, Ensuring good practices and impacts: Horizon Europe policy support facility, EU Publications Office (2022). https:// doi.org/10.2777/17212

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    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    1
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
1
Average
Average
Average