Citizen Scientists' Preferences for Communication of Scientific Output: A Literature Review

Marjolein de Vries, Anne Land-Zandstra, Ionica Smeets
2019 Citizen Science: Theory and Practice  
Many citizen science developers agree that participants in citizen science projects need to receive feedback on project outputs and that they should be recognized in results and publications. However, little research has thoroughly investigated the extent to which citizen scientists find communication of scientific output to be important. Citizen science studies rarely investigate this topic as their main goal. Therefore, we conducted a review on participants' preferences for communication of
more » ... ta, findings, and scientific publications in papers that focus on participant motivation but which also contain relevant evidence about communication in parts of the results. We reviewed 32 peer-reviewed papers that contained relevant evidence in quantitative analyses (e.g., Likert scale-type questions) or in qualitative analyses (e.g., interviews with participants). From this review, we conclude that participants value accessibility of their collected data, communication of project findings, and acknowledgement in publications. Taking this into account can pay off, as sharing data and findings can enhance the motivation of participants to engage in the project, thereby sustaining their participation, imparting the feeling that they spent their time well, and increasing a project's learning impact. Some practical and ethical issues such as privacy concerns, however, need to be taken into account. This literature review is the first to provide an overview of citizen scientists' preferences for communication of scientific output, and is a starting point for further research that should investigate the impact of different options for data sharing and communication of findings to participants.
doi:10.5334/cstp.136 fatcat:5ayth2flg5astbymkkcoyl62au