Abstract: Citizen Science is part of a broader reconfiguration of the relationship between science and the public in the digital age: Knowledge production and the reception of scientific knowledge are becoming increasingly socially inclusive. We argue that the digital revolution brings the “problem of extension” — identified by Collins and Evans in the context of…

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Abstract: The ability of volunteers to undertake different tasks and accurately collect data is critical for the success of many conservation projects. In this study, a simulated herpetofauna visual encounter survey was used to compare the detection and distance estimation accuracy of volunteers and more experienced observers. Experience had a positive effect on individual detection…

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Here we have a real existential crisis – one that those of us in the field grapple with continuously – a search for the true meaning of the term  “citizen science”. This term has different meanings to various stakeholders, but to accurately track the contributions that are being made academically (and otherwise) by various forms…

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Human-machine collaboration is the key to solving the most complex issues of the world, an editorial published recently in the journal Science suggested. Championing “human computation”— a system that combines the artificial intelligence of machines and talents of humans, the authors claim the system could successfully tackle complex issues like climate change and geopolitical conflicts….

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An article published in PLOS One tracking academic papers mentioning ‘citizen science’ caused a lot of discussion in the last month. My take is here, but Caren Cooper’s blog does a much better job of exploring the issues. –CJL Citizen science is skyrocketing in popularity. Not just among participants (of which there are millions), but…

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Abstract: Recent improvements in online information communication and mobile location-aware technologies have led to the production of large volumes of volunteered geographic information. Widespread, large-scale efforts by volunteers to collect data can inform and drive scientific advances in diverse fields, including ecology and climatology. Traditional workflows to check the quality of such volunteered information can…

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Today is an important day for participation and innovation in the federal government. The White House officially launched the Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit, a tool that provides information and resources to help federal agencies use the power of public participation to help solve scientific and societal problems. The launch of this toolkit solidifies the White…

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Abstract: Citizen science is key to the success of Future Earth Initiatives for urban sustainability. Emerging research in urban land teleconnections highlights the benefits of incorporating theoretical insights from political ecology and participatory action research. Reviewing some of the forces propelling the recent popularity of citizen science, this article outlines challenges to processes of collaboration…

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This paper from the ever-prolific Cornell Lab of Ornithology team describes the creation of a new dataset of annotated images. Those interested in volunteer citizen science might be interested in another conclusion: We find that citizen scientists are significantly more accurate than Mechanical Turkers at zero cost. –CJL Abstract: We introduce tools and methodologies to…

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The arrival of ‘ash dieback’ in 2012, a fatal disease that aggressively infects trees, in the UK was big news, and generated a range of citizen science responses. This thoughtful article, from Judith Tsouvalis at the University of Nottingham, looks at the sometimes awkward relationship of such programs with language used by those concentrating on…

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