Editor’s Choice: This article is an excellent overview for a dedicated issue of 20 articles in Biological Conservation on the ever-expanding role of citizen science in that arena. Section 5 in particular has some thoughtful recommendations on next steps. — LFF — Abstract: Research taking place at the intersection of conservation and citizen science holds great potential…

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Abstract: The use of citizen science to address global and local environmental challenges will depend on demonstrated evidence that it can lead to meaningful contributions to science, management, and social action. Systematic evaluation of citizen science projects is important yet lacking to date. We developed an evaluation tool and used it to conduct a meta-analysis…

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Input from about 10,000 volunteers viewing images from Martian south polar regions has identified targets for closer inspection, yielding new insights about seasonal slabs of frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) and erosional features called “spiders.” The volunteers from around the world have been exploring the surface of Mars by examining images from the Context Camera…

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Abstract: It is a hard reality that virtually all countries, no matter how well resourced, take conservation and land use decisions based on highly patchy and imperfect data – if indeed any data at all. Despite a mushrooming of scientific evidence and journals in the past decade, and open-access provision of many expensive global datasets,…

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Editor’s Choice: To succeed in producing high-quality science, citizen science efforts must account for potential bias from human input – even if it is to understand which factors relate to improved performance to increase efficiency. This article is a great example of this type of study with the interesting result that predicted efficiency gains from local knowledge…

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“Low-cost technology opens up doors for people who never before had the opportunity to become involved in science, especially those in low-income communities. In recent years, communities themselves are initiating research projects, supported by scientists, rather than the other way around. For example, Extreme Citizen Science, based in the United Kingdom, is developing a generic…

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Editor’s Choice: This article is an excellent example of crowd-based monitoring for public health purposes using the ubiquity of smartphones in urban environments. — LFF — Abstract: In this study, we attempted to assess the feasibility of collecting population health data via mobile devices. Specifically, we constructed noise maps based on sound information monitored by individuals’ smartphones….

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Children learn how science works mainly from fact-filled textbooks. The wider public experiences scientific discovery second-hand, through best-seller books, newspapers and television, as well as online formats like science blogs and TED Talks. Even for many undergraduate science students, the majority of hands-on experience comes from lab exercises which aim to support textbook learning, rather…

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In a unique project, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have crowdsourced the annotation and analysis of a large number of gene expression profiles from the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). More than 70 volunteers from 25 countries helped Mount Sinai researchers analyze the data, enabling…

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Citizen science, the active involvement of non-professional scientists in research, is experiencing an upsurge of interest. Activities range from small projects by groups with a common interest to large international projects, which involve professional scientists and research institutions. Citizen science can involve a vast range of activities, from gathering data in remote regions of the…

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