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  1. Abstract 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 »projects). Public engagement was narrow: The multiproject participants were eight times more likely to be White and five times more likely to hold advanced degrees than the general population. We propose a volunteer-centric framework that explores how the dynamic accumulation of experiences in a project ecosystem can support broad learning objectives and inclusive citizen science.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2023
  2. In citizen science, data stewards and data producers are often not the same people. When those who have labored on data collection are not in control of the data, ethical problems could arise from this basic structural feature. In this Perspective, we advance the proposition that stewarding data sets generated by volunteers involves the typical technical decisions in conventional research plus a suite of ethical decisions stemming from the relationship between professionals and volunteers. Differences in power, priorities, values, and vulnerabilities are features of the relationship between professionals and volunteers. Thus, ethical decisions about open data practices in citizen sciencemore »include, but are not limited to, questions grounded in respect for volunteers: who decides data governance structures, who receives attribution for a data set, which data are accessible and to whom, and whose interests are served by the data use/re-use. We highlight ethical issues that citizen science practitioners should consider when making data governance decisions, particularly with respect to open data.« less