Abstract: In the last few years, contributions of the general public in scientific projects has increased due to the advancement of communication and computing technologies. Internet played an important role in connecting scientists and volunteers who are interested in participating in their scientific projects. However, despite potential benefits, only a limited number of crowdsourcing based…

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Excerpt: Fred Isberner is a retired healthcare professor in Carbondale, Illinois. But on 21 August, the 69-year-old will be collecting data about the Sun’s superheated outer atmosphere during a total solar eclipse. Isberner is one of thousands of people across the United States who plan to gather data during the event. Their combined efforts will…

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Excerpt: Saturday, citizen scientists throughout the U.S. gathered at watersheds to celebrate National Lakes Appreciation Month by conducting similar studies. Vincent Kaping, 10, of Felton, said he was surprised the disk wasn’t a more complex tool. He thought it would have some filter or other contraptions attached to it. “I was thinking that it would…

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Excerpt: The Cuyahoga Valley National Park will work to make students “citizen scientists,” with help from a $1 million donation to the National Park Foundation. Starting with Woodridge High School, which sits on national park land in Peninsula, the park’s Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center will provide lesson plans and materials to classrooms, like a…

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Excerpt: At a lab inside the 2,650-acre Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, bones are stacked on shelves, centuries-old clay smoking pipes are reassembled and imported shells once used to make buttons are stashed in a drawer. Outside the lab Wednesday, a half-dozen citizen scientists worked in the sweltering heat to uncover more artifacts and…

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Editor’s Choice: This paper attempts to disentangle the complex relationship between the folks that are “paid” to run the Zooniverse and the unpaid volunteers who provide the classifications. At what point does it become the responsibility of the paid professionals to move from a simple transactional relationship with the volunteers to a more democratized relationship…

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Editor’s Choice: For everyone who thinks they are a practitioner of Citizen Science, this article is a must read as it drives home the need for clear data management practices with Citizen Science projects especially as we see the dramatic proliferation of CS projects. Will your data obtained from volunteers be maximally useful in potentially combining…

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At your own risk

Abstract: In this article, the author proposes that the emergence of digital, disease-tracking applications over the past ten years like HealthMap (healthmap.org) and Flu Near You (flunearyou.org) that allow non-experts to contribute information about emergent public health threats have facilitated a “do-it-yourself (DIY)” risk assessment ethic. Focusing in particular on Flu Near You (FNY), a…

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Excerpt: The National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC) is the largest conference in North America focused on environmental measurements. NEMC 2017, held August 7th to 11th in Washington, DC, featured a half day citizen science session moderated by Jay Benforado, USEPA Office of Research and Development, and Leon Vinci, Drexel University. The session began with five…

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Editor’s Choice: What helps people connect with science on a personal level? Insights into this question may emerge in a new, compelling project coming out of Alaska. The investigators of “Winterberry” have designed this interdisciplinary project to integrate different ways of knowing and meaning-making into more familiar forms of participatory data collection. Their motivation? Making…

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