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Citizen Science as an Ecosystem of Engagement: Implications for Learning and Broadening ParticipationAbstract The bulk of research on citizen science participants is project centric, based on an assumption that volunteers experience a single project. Contrary to this assumption, survey responses (n = 3894) and digital trace data (n = 3649) from volunteers, who collectively engaged in 1126 unique projects, revealed that multiproject participation was the norm. Only 23% of volunteers were singletons (who participated in only one project). The remaining multiproject participants were split evenly between discipline specialists (39%) and discipline spanners (38% joined projects with different disciplinary topics) and unevenly between mode specialists (52%) and mode spanners (25% participated in online and offlinemore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2023
Hoping for optimality or designing for inclusion: Persistence, learning, and the social network of citizen science
The explosive growth in citizen science combined with a recalcitrance on the part of mainstream science to fully embrace this data collection technique demands a rigorous examination of the factors influencing data quality and project efficacy. Patterns of contributor effort and task performance have been well reviewed in online projects; however, studies of hands-on citizen science are lacking. We used a single hands-on, out-of-doors project—the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)—to quantitatively explore the relationships among participant effort, task performance, and social connectedness as a function of the demographic characteristics and interests of participants, placing these results in themore »