Participation in Citizen Science: Insights from the CONECT-e Case Study

Petra Benyei*, Manuel Pardo-de-Santayana, Laura Aceituno-Mata, Laura Calvet-Mir, María Carrascosa-García, Marta Rivera-Ferre, Antonio Perdomo-Molina, Victoria Reyes-García

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Citizen science (CS) is growing quickly, given its potential to enhance knowledge coproduction by diverse participants, generating large and global data sets. However, uneven participation in CS is still an important concern. This work aims to understand (1) participation dynamics in CS and (2) how they are shaped by participation barriers and drivers. We do so by examining participation in CONECT-e, a CS project that uses a wiki-like platform to document traditional ecological knowledge. More precisely, we analyze quantitative data on participants’ profile and activity patterns and qualitative data on barriers and drivers of participation. Our findings suggest that overcoming the education, age, and residence participation barriers is challenging even in cocreated CS projects. This is potentially due to issues of perceived self-illegitimacy and low access to information and communication technologies. Our results also point out that participants’ alliance with the project’s objectives and trust relationships with the project team are important drivers of participation in CS projects. Finally, we also highlight the need to think beyond participation as single actions and rather consider participation diversity in CS as functional diversity in ecosystems, with participants performing a diverse set of interconnected tasks or functions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Technology and Human Values
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2020

Keywords

  • digital commons
  • inclusiveness
  • knowledge coproduction
  • landraces
  • motivations
  • traditional ecological knowledge

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