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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Excerpt: On Aug. 21, as the moon passes in front of the sun and casts a shadow across the United States, millions are expected to gaze at the totality. Meanwhile, a smaller crowd will be glued to 150 custom-made radio receivers set up across the country. The project, called EclipseMob, is the largest experiment of…

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Excerpt: In her introduction to the round table, Dr. Katrin Vohland, Director of the Research Programme “Public Engagement with Science” and Executive Chair of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), reflected on the importance and challenges for CS in the current situation in Europe. Two opposing trends that can be observed: On one hand, science…

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Excerpt: Students from St Thomas Primary School discovered the small jumping Lycidas Karschi spider during a Bug Blitz field day in September. Experts have now verified the spider’s identification. “They’re a tiny little jumping spider, about 5 millimetres long,” Bug Blitz program director John Caldow said. “Children are catching things with nets and bringing them…

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Excerpt: Old guys who hunt have been stepping up to help the Snapshot Wisconsin project, a booming citizen-based science initiative that’s using trail cameras to document what’s going on in our woodlands and other wild places when we’re not looking. Since its launch in spring 2016, Snapshot Wisconsin has worked with 604 citizen volunteers to…

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Abstract: Citizen science, where citizens play an active role in the scientific process, is increasingly used to expand the reach and scope of scientific research while also achieving engagement and educational goals. Despite the emergence of studies exploring data outcomes of citizen science, the process and experience of engaging with citizens and citizen-lead groups through…

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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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