Editor’s Choice: This paper underscores a very important point to keep in mind when designing a citizen science project: make sure you understand what motivates your target participants and how your project design feeds into this. This is particularly true when considering whether to “gameify” your project – some people are actually disincentivized by overt…

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Abstract: Gamification in citizen science systems combines play elements with scientific tasks. We posit that gamified elements are connected through “framings,” layers of meaning overlaid onto core tasks to shape an overall experience. Drawing upon self-determination theory, we propose a research model to investigate how users’ perceptions of framings contribute to motivational needs and contribution…

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Abstract: Citizen science opens new pathways that can complement traditional scientific practice. Intuition and reasoning often make humans more effective than computer algorithms in various realms of problem solving. In particular, a simple visual comparison of spatial patterns is a task where humans are often considered to be more reliable than computer algorithms. However, in…

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Abstract: Reef Check Australia (RCA) has collected data on benthic composition and cover at > 70 sites along > 1000 km of Australia’s Queensland coast from 2002 to 2015. This paper quantifies the accuracy, precision and power of RCA benthic composition data, to guide its application and interpretation. A simulation study established that the inherent…

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These computing researchers took a critical look at the current practice of citizen science with the goal of informing the development of tools and technologies. They asked two seemingly simple questions: what drives people to participate, and what are productive ways for people to participate? In the analysis, I particularly like the nuanced understanding of…

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Abstract: Citizen participation in online communities of scientific investigations has recently become more popular. Enhancing the engagement of citizens within these communities is a focus of attention for researchers and practitioners who want to amplify the impact on learning, science and society. This study investigates the relationship between engagement factors and behaviour patterns in an…

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Abstract: This paper presents an observatory for registering applications that use participatory sensing to collect data. Cataloging these applications will aid the scientific community to exchange more information, facilitating the comparison between different initiatives. Through an initial research, the applications are categorized in areas usually considered in the literature. We propose a survey to validate…

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Abstract: Citizen science—the involvement of volunteers in data collection, analysis and interpretation—simultaneously supports research and public engagement with science, and its profile is rapidly rising. Citizen science represents a diverse range of approaches, but until now this diversity has not been quantitatively explored. We conducted a systematic internet search and discovered 509 environmental and ecological…

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Excerpt: Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world and can grow to more than 40 feet long and more than 65,000 pounds. Despite their massive size, they are harmless “filter feeders” that move slowly through tropical waters, scooping up plankton with gaping mouths. (A)lthough whale sharks are gentle and easy-to-see, they are also…

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Abstract: Interest in Citizen Science has grown significantly over the last decade. Much of this interest can be traced to the provision of sophisticated platforms that enable seamless collaboration, cooperation and coordination between professional and amateur scientists. In terms of field research, smart-phones have been widely adopted, automating data collection and enriching observations with photographs,…

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