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Title: Recruiting, paying, and evaluating the experiences of civic scientists studying urban park usage during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic
This paper describes an attempt to utilize paid citizen science in a research project that documented urban park usage during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in two U.S. cities. Strategies used by the research team to recruit, pay, and evaluate the experiences of the 43 citizen scientists are discussed alongside key challenges in contemporary citizen science. A literature review suggests that successful citizen science projects foster diverse and inclusive participation; develop appropriate ways to compensate citizen scientists for their work; maximize opportunities for participant learning; and ensure high standards for data quality. In this case study, the selection process proved successful in employing economically vulnerable individuals, though the citizen scientist participants were disproportionately female, young, White, non-Hispanic, single, and college educated relative to the communities studied. The participants reported that the financial compensation provided by the study, similar in amount to the economic stimulus checks distributed simultaneously by the Federal government, were reasonable given the workload, and many used it to cover basic household needs. Though the study took place in a period of high economic risk, and more than 80% of the participants had never participated in a scientific study, the experience was rated overwhelmingly positive. Participants reported that the work provided stress relief, indicated they would consider participating in similar research in the future. Despite the vast majority never having engaged in most park stewardship activities, they expressed interest in learning more about park usage, mask usage in public spaces, and socio-economic trends in relation to COVID-19. Though there were some minor challenges in data collection, data quality was sufficient to publish the topical results in a peer-reviewed companion paper. Key insights on the logistical constraints faced by the research team are highlighted throughout the paper to advance the case for paid citizen science.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2027600
NSF-PAR ID:
10350923
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Sustainable Cities
Volume:
4
ISSN:
2624-9634
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    The Study on U.S. Parents’ Divisions of Labor During COVID-19 (SPDLC) collects longitudinal survey data from partnered U.S. parents that can be used to assess changes in parents’ divisions of domestic labor, divisions of paid labor, and well-being throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of SPDLC is to understand both the short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic for the gendered division of labor, work-family issues, and broader patterns of gender inequality.

    Survey data for this study is collected using Prolifc (www.prolific.co), an opt-in online platform designed to facilitate scientific research. The sample is comprised U.S. adults who were residing with a romantic partner and at least one biological child (at the time of entry into the study). In each survey, parents answer questions about both themselves and their partners. Wave 1 of SPDLC was conducted in April 2020, and parents who participated in Wave 1 were asked about their division of labor both prior to (i.e., early March 2020) and one month after the pandemic began. Wave 2 of SPDLC was collected in November 2020. Parents who participated in Wave 1 were invited to participate again in Wave 2, and a new cohort of parents was also recruited to participate in the Wave 2 survey. Wave 3 of SPDLC was collected in October 2021. Parents who participated in either of the first two waves were invited to participate again in Wave 3, and another new cohort of parents was also recruited to participate in the Wave 3 survey. This research design (follow-up survey of panelists and new cross-section of parents at each wave) will continue through 2024, culminating in six waves of data spanning the period from March 2020 through October 2024. An estimated total of approximately 6,500 parents will be surveyed at least once throughout the duration of the study.

    SPDLC data will be released to the public two years after data is collected; Waves 1 and 2 are currently publicly available. Wave 3 will be publicly available in October 2023, with subsequent waves becoming available yearly. Data will be available to download in both SPSS (.sav) and Stata (.dta) formats, and the following data files will be available: (1) a data file for each individual wave, which contains responses from all participants in that wave of data collection, (2) a longitudinal panel data file, which contains longitudinal follow-up data from all available waves, and (3) a repeated cross-section data file, which contains the repeated cross-section data (from new respondents at each wave) from all available waves. Codebooks for each survey wave and a detailed user guide describing the data are also available. Response Rates: Of the 1,157 parents who participated in Wave 1, 828 (72%) also participated in the Wave 2 study. Presence of Common Scales: The following established scales are included in the survey:
    • Self-Efficacy, adapted from Pearlin's mastery scale (Pearlin et al., 1981) and the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (Rosenberg, 2015) and taken from the American Changing Lives Survey
    • Communication with Partner, taken from the Marriage and Relationship Survey (Lichter & Carmalt, 2009)
    • Gender Attitudes, taken from the National Survey of Families and Households (Sweet & Bumpass, 1996)
    • Depressive Symptoms (CES-D-10)
    • Stress, measured using Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983)
    Full details about these scales and all other items included in the survey can be found in the user guide and codebook
    The second wave of the SPDLC was fielded in November 2020 in two stages. In the first stage, all parents who participated in W1 of the SPDLC and who continued to reside in the United States were re-contacted and asked to participate in a follow-up survey. The W2 survey was posted on Prolific, and messages were sent via Prolific’s messaging system to all previous participants. Multiple follow-up messages were sent in an attempt to increase response rates to the follow-up survey. Of the 1,157 respondents who completed the W1 survey, 873 at least started the W2 survey. Data quality checks were employed in line with best practices for online surveys (e.g., removing respondents who did not complete most of the survey or who did not pass the attention filters). After data quality checks, 5.2% of respondents were removed from the sample, resulting in a final sample size of 828 parents (a response rate of 72%).

    In the second stage, a new sample of parents was recruited. New parents had to meet the same sampling criteria as in W1 (be at least 18 years old, reside in the United States, reside with a romantic partner, and be a parent living with at least one biological child). Also similar to the W1 procedures, we oversampled men, Black individuals, individuals who did not complete college, and individuals who identified as politically conservative to increase sample diversity. A total of 1,207 parents participated in the W2 survey. Data quality checks led to the removal of 5.7% of the respondents, resulting in a final sample size of new respondents at Wave 2 of 1,138 parents.

    In both stages, participants were informed that the survey would take approximately 20 minutes to complete. All panelists were provided monetary compensation in line with Prolific’s compensation guidelines, which require that all participants earn above minimum wage for their time participating in studies.
    To be included in SPDLC, respondents had to meet the following sampling criteria at the time they enter the study: (a) be at least 18 years old, (b) reside in the United States, (c) reside with a romantic partner (i.e., be married or cohabiting), and (d) be a parent living with at least one biological child. Follow-up respondents must be at least 18 years old and reside in the United States, but may experience changes in relationship and resident parent statuses. Smallest Geographic Unit: U.S. State

    This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. In accordance with this license, all users of these data must give appropriate credit to the authors in any papers, presentations, books, or other works that use the data. A suggested citation to provide attribution for these data is included below:            

    Carlson, Daniel L. and Richard J. Petts. 2022. Study on U.S. Parents’ Divisions of Labor During COVID-19 User Guide: Waves 1-2.  

    To help provide estimates that are more representative of U.S. partnered parents, the SPDLC includes sampling weights. Weights can be included in statistical analyses to make estimates from the SPDLC sample representative of U.S. parents who reside with a romantic partner (married or cohabiting) and a child aged 18 or younger based on age, race/ethnicity, and gender. National estimates for the age, racial/ethnic, and gender profile of U.S. partnered parents were obtained using data from the 2020 Current Population Survey (CPS). Weights were calculated using an iterative raking method, such that the full sample in each data file matches the nationally representative CPS data in regard to the gender, age, and racial/ethnic distributions within the data. This variable is labeled CPSweightW2 in the Wave 2 dataset, and CPSweightLW2 in the longitudinal dataset (which includes Waves 1 and 2). There is not a weight variable included in the W1-W2 repeated cross-section data file.
     
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  5. Abstract STUDY QUESTION

    To what extent is preconception maternal or paternal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination associated with miscarriage incidence?

    SUMMARY ANSWER

    COVID-19 vaccination in either partner at any time before conception is not associated with an increased rate of miscarriage.

    WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

    Several observational studies have evaluated the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and found no association with miscarriage, though no study prospectively evaluated the risk of early miscarriage (gestational weeks [GW] <8) in relation to COVID-19 vaccination. Moreover, no study has evaluated the role of preconception vaccination in both male and female partners.

    STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

    An Internet-based, prospective preconception cohort study of couples residing in the USA and Canada. We analyzed data from 1815 female participants who conceived during December 2020–November 2022, including 1570 couples with data on male partner vaccination.

    PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

    Eligible female participants were aged 21–45 years and were trying to conceive without use of fertility treatment at enrollment. Female participants completed questionnaires at baseline, every 8 weeks until pregnancy, and during early and late pregnancy; they could also invite their male partners to complete a baseline questionnaire. We collected data on COVID-19 vaccination (brand and date of doses), history of SARS-CoV-2 infection (yes/no and date of positive test), potential confounders (demographic, reproductive, and lifestyle characteristics), and pregnancy status on all questionnaires. Vaccination status was categorized as never (0 doses before conception), ever (≥1 dose before conception), having a full primary sequence before conception, and completing the full primary sequence ≤3 months before conception. These categories were not mutually exclusive. Participants were followed up from their first positive pregnancy test until miscarriage or a censoring event (induced abortion, ectopic pregnancy, loss to follow-up, 20 weeks’ gestation), whichever occurred first. We estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for miscarriage and corresponding 95% CIs using Cox proportional hazards models with GW as the time scale. We used propensity score fine stratification weights to adjust for confounding.

    MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

    Among 1815 eligible female participants, 75% had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the time of conception. Almost one-quarter of pregnancies resulted in miscarriage, and 75% of miscarriages occurred <8 weeks’ gestation. The propensity score-weighted IRR comparing female participants who received at least one dose any time before conception versus those who had not been vaccinated was 0.85 (95% CI: 0.63, 1.14). COVID-19 vaccination was not associated with increased risk of either early miscarriage (GW: <8) or late miscarriage (GW: 8–19). There was no indication of an increased risk of miscarriage associated with male partner vaccination (IRR = 0.90; 95% CI: 0.56, 1.44).

    LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION

    The present study relied on self-reported vaccination status and infection history. Thus, there may be some non-differential misclassification of exposure status. While misclassification of miscarriage is also possible, the preconception cohort design and high prevalence of home pregnancy testing in this cohort reduced the potential for under-ascertainment of miscarriage. As in all observational studies, residual or unmeasured confounding is possible.

    WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

    This is the first study to evaluate prospectively the relation between preconception COVID-19 vaccination in both partners and miscarriage, with more complete ascertainment of early miscarriages than earlier studies of vaccination. The findings are informative for individuals planning a pregnancy and their healthcare providers.

    STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)

    This work was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Health [R01-HD086742 (PI: L.A.W.); R01-HD105863S1 (PI: L.A.W. and M.L.E.)], the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R03-AI154544; PI: A.K.R.), and the National Science Foundation (NSF-1914792; PI: L.A.W.). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the report, or the decision to submit the paper for publication. L.A.W. is a fibroid consultant for AbbVie, Inc. She also receives in-kind donations from Swiss Precision Diagnostics (Clearblue home pregnancy tests) and Kindara.com (fertility apps). M.L.E. received consulting fees from Ro, Hannah, Dadi, VSeat, and Underdog, holds stock in Ro, Hannah, Dadi, and Underdog, is a past president of SSMR, and is a board member of SMRU. K.F.H. reports being an investigator on grants to her institution from UCB and Takeda, unrelated to this study. S.H.-D. reports being an investigator on grants to her institution from Takeda, unrelated to this study, and a methods consultant for UCB and Roche for unrelated drugs. The authors report no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER

    N/A.

     
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