83 research outputs found

    Mutual learning exercise on citizen science initiatives: policy and practice. Second thematic report: ensuring good practices and impacts

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    This publication provides a summary of the Mutual Learning Exercise on Good Practices on Citizen Science and their Impact. This document starts by presenting the examples of successful CS national projects chosen by the 11 countries participating in the MLE, and the variables against which the projects were analysed. Chapter 2 summarises the results related to challenges & mitigation strategies with the implementation of CS projects. Chapter 3 analyses the examples of CS networks and centres of expertise and presents the current state of national funding opportunities that were provided by the 11 participating countries in the MLE. Chapter 4 provides recommendations which cover a range of potential actions targeting different aspects discussed during the workshop sessions to better implement and especially support CS initiatives and projects and overcome the detected barriers. The document concludes with Chapter 5 which briefly explains the next MLE topic sessions

    The potential of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in future transport systems

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    As transport systems are pushed to the limits in many cities, governments have tried to resolve problems of traffic and congestion by increasing capacity. Miller (2013) contends the need to identify new capabilities (instead of capacity) of the transport infrastructure in order to increase efficiency without extending the physical infrastructure. Kenyon and Lyons (2003) identified integrated traveller information as a facilitator for better transport decisions. Today, with further developments in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and a greater disposition by the public to provide volunteered geographic information (VGI), the potential of information is not only integrated across modes but also user-generated, real-time and available on smartphones anywhere. This geographic information plays today an important role in sectors such as politics, businesses and entertainment, and presumably this would extend to transport in revealing people’s preferences for mobility and therefore be useful for decision-making. The widespread availability of networks and smartphones offer new opportunities supported by apps and crowdsourcing through social media such as the successful traffic and navigation app Waze, car sharing programmes such as Zipcar, and ride sharing systems such as Uber. This study aims to develop insights into the potential of governments to use voluntary (crowdsourced) geographic information effectively to achieve sustainable mobility. A review of the literature and existing technology informs this article. Further research into this area is identified and presented at the end of the paper.peer-reviewe

    Characterising Volunteers' Task Execution Patterns Across Projects on Multi-Project Citizen Science Platforms

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    Citizen science projects engage people in activities that are part of a scientific research effort. On multi-project citizen science platforms, scientists can create projects consisting of tasks. Volunteers, in turn, participate in executing the project's tasks. Such type of platforms seeks to connect volunteers and scientists' projects, adding value to both. However, little is known about volunteer's cross-project engagement patterns and the benefits of such patterns for scientists and volunteers. This work proposes a Goal, Question, and Metric (GQM) approach to analyse volunteers' cross-project task execution patterns and employs the Semiotic Inspection Method (SIM) to analyse the communicability of the platform's cross-project features. In doing so, it investigates what are the features of platforms to foster volunteers' cross-project engagement, to what extent multi-project platforms facilitate the attraction of volunteers to perform tasks in new projects, and to what extent multi-project participation increases engagement on the platforms. Results from analyses on real platforms show that volunteers tend to explore multiple projects, but they perform tasks regularly in just a few of them; few projects attract much attention from volunteers; volunteers recruited from other projects on the platform tend to get more engaged than those recruited outside the platform. System inspection shows that platforms still lack personalised and explainable recommendations of projects and tasks. The findings are translated into useful claims about how to design and manage multi-project platforms.Comment: XVIII Brazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems (IHC'19), October 21-25, 2019, Vit\'oria, ES, Brazi

    Inspiring citizen science innovation for sustainable development goal 6 in water quality monitoring in China

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    Introduction: The global challenge of sustainable development is encapsulated in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to which China is committed. As outlined in the UNESCO World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) report, water fundamentally impacts on sustainable development, making the achievement of SDG 6 (water and sanitation) crucial. China, as a leading manufacturing hub with extensive agriculture, grapples with challenges in monitoring SDG 6 indicators, especially concerning water quality.Methods: In light of these challenges, this study explores the utilisation of non-traditional data sources, specifically citizen science (CS), to address aspects of SDG 6 monitoring pertaining to water quality monitoring in China. Specifically, our study employs a combination of research techniques–including a literature review, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation–to critically evaluate 13 existing CS projects focused on water quality monitoring. A modified CS assessment framework has been utilised, offering a comprehensive, structured approach to evaluation.Results: In total, this analysis identified four key findings: 1) CS projects related to water monitoring in China predominantly focus on freshwater and drinking water; 2) Greater attention and support are needed for freshwater monitoring initiatives to align with China’s “ecological civilisation” policy; 3) Replacing “citizen science” with “public participation” may promote broader acceptance of these initiatives; 4) Training requires enhancement, particularly for participants from third- and fourth-tier cities as well as remote rural areas.Discussion: This research delineates feasible strategies for the future expansion and integration of CS projects throughout the country. It advocates for a more participatory data-driven approach to sustainable water management in China, given the highlighted challenges and the potential solutions unearthed through the use of citizen science and public participation

    Mutual learning exercise on citizen science initiatives: policy and practice. Fourth thematic report: enabling environments and sustaining citizen science

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    This publication focuses on enabling environments and the institutional and governance arrangements that can support Citizen Science, with a particular focus on the role of different stakeholders, including research institutes, funding bodies, public authorities, businesses and civil society organisations in promoting Citizen Science. It provides the outcome of the discussions of two separate two-day workshop sessions on recommendations on enabling environments, good practices, lessons learned and success factors identified to implement new enabling factors for Citizen Science

    Mutual learning exercise on citizen science initiatives: policy and practice. Fifth thematic report: scaling up citizen science

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    This publication addresses meanings, dimensions, models and approaches/strategies of scalability in citizen science as well as drivers, success factors and challenges of (up)scaling citizen science projects and initiatives across Europe. It provides a multi-dimension qualitative definition of scaling up, the MLE CSI-PP Responsible and Inclusive Scalability Framework, and eight key areas of action for policymakers aimed at supporting the (up)scaling of citizen science projects and initiatives across Europe. Ultimately it argues that (up)scaling should be a responsible and inclusive process, context- and domain-dependent, aligned with the logics of the projects/initiatives, driven by common scientific questions and common social challenges, and built on proven impact, related to science and scientific literacy, inclusion, regulatory frameworks, and matters of concern (e.g., environmental, societal)

    When Concerned People Produce Environmental Information: A Need to Re-Think Existing Legal Frameworks and Governance Models?

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    When faced with an environmental problem, locals are often among the first to act. Citizen science is increasingly one of the forms of participation in which people take action to help solve environmental problems that concern them. This implies, for example, using methods and instruments with scientific validity to collect and analyse data and evidence to understand the problem and its causes. Can the contribution of environmental data by citizens be articulated as a right? In this article, we explore these forms of productive engagement with a local matter of concern, focussing on their potential to challenge traditional allocations of responsibilities. Taking mostly the perspective of the European legal context, we identify an existing gap between the right to obtain environmental information, granted at present by the Aarhus Convention, and “a right to contribute information” and have that information considered by appointed institutions. We also explore what would be required to effectively practise this right in terms of legal and governance processes, capacities, and infrastructures, and we propose a flexible framework to implement it. Situated at the intersection of legal and governance studies, this article builds on existing literature on environmental citizen science, and on its interplay with law and governance. Our methodological approach combines literature review with legal analysis of the relevant conventions and national rules. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of our analysis, and on the benefits of this legal innovation, potentially fostering data altruism and an active citizenship, and shielding ordinary people against possible legal risks

    The nature of volunterreed geographic information

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    This contribution starts from the assumption that volunteered geographic information is a technological, cultural and scientific innovation. It therefore offers first some general background on the context that has fuelled the development of VGI and the lively scientific debates that have accompanied its success. The paper then focuses on the nature of this data by describing the main elements of VGI: the geographical reference (coordinates, geotag, etc.), the contents (texts, images, etc.) and the producers’ profiles. The opportunities and the criticalities offered by this data are described with examples drawn from recent literature and applications to highlight both the research challenges and the current state of the subject. The chapter aims to provide a guide to and a reference picture of this rapidly evolving subject

    Mutual learning exercise on citizen science initiatives: policy and practice. First topic report: introduction and overview of citizen science

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    This publication provides background information on the Mutual Learning Exercise on Citizen Science. It is written with a science policy audience in mind and provides an introduction and details of the modus operandi for the MLE. It first provides a brief overview of the activities that are part of the field of citizen science. It then covers the available information about participation, and the place of citizen science within the wider context of public engagement with science, including an analysis of Special Eurobarometer 516. It also looks at definitions, typologies, and best practice guidelines. Finally, it looks at the place of citizen science within European R&I funding programmes

    Extreme citizen science: Lessons learned from initiatives around the globe

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    The participation of communities living in high conservation value areas is increasingly valued in conservation science and practice, potentially producing multiple positive impacts on both biodiversity and local people. Here, we discuss important steps for implementing a successful extreme citizen science project, based on four case studies from conservation projects with Pantaneiro fishers living in Brazilian Pantanal wetland, Baka hunter-gatherers and Fang farmers in lowland wet forest in Cameroon, Maasai pastoralists in Kenya, and Ju|'hoansi rangers living in the semiarid deserts of Namibia. We highlight the need for a high level of trust between the target communities and project developers, communities' right to choose the data they will be collecting, and researchers' openness to include new tools that were not initially planned. By following these steps, conservation scientists can effectively create bottom-up collaborations with those living on the frontlines of conservation through community-led extreme citizen science
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