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Growing citizen science for conservation to support diverse project objectives and the motivations of volunteers

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Abstract

Interest in citizen science has been increasing worldwide, accompanied by research oriented at identifying needs and recommending options for supporting the field. In this context, synthesising research on citizen science is becoming increasingly important. This short communication reviews recent findings in the New Zealand literature with a focus on community-based monitoring, and identifies considerations for supporting further growth of the citizen science field. The perspective offered here is that reducing barriers to participation is the surest way to maintain citizen science momentum, and that this will be assisted by a comprehensive understanding of diversity in the motivations for citizen science activities on the ground. Participant-focussed considerations are useful in both the research design stage and in the context of identifying methods for longer term support.

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... In emergency situations, in particular, these technologies have become vital, as evinced by projects such as Safecast, Ushahidi, and FoldIt. However, beyond the best-known digital citizen-science projects, most medium-sized local digital citizen-science initiatives face numerous challenges in sustaining the participation of their volunteers Jennett and Cox, 2018;Orchard, 2018). This has motivated many studies in two main areas: 1) investigations of peoples motivations to engage in citizen-science initiatives (Curtis, 2015;Jennett and Cox, 2018;Reed et al., 2013;Rotman et al., 2012;Orchard, 2018;Iacovides et al., 2013) and 2) the design of incentive mechanisms to support peoples engaged action (Restuccia et al., 2016;Jaimes et al., 2015). ...
... However, beyond the best-known digital citizen-science projects, most medium-sized local digital citizen-science initiatives face numerous challenges in sustaining the participation of their volunteers Jennett and Cox, 2018;Orchard, 2018). This has motivated many studies in two main areas: 1) investigations of peoples motivations to engage in citizen-science initiatives (Curtis, 2015;Jennett and Cox, 2018;Reed et al., 2013;Rotman et al., 2012;Orchard, 2018;Iacovides et al., 2013) and 2) the design of incentive mechanisms to support peoples engaged action (Restuccia et al., 2016;Jaimes et al., 2015). However, the former relies on self-reported data (e.g. ...
... Digital citizen-science initiatives face numerous challenges in sustaining volunteer participation Jennett and Cox, 2018;Orchard, 2018). This has motivated studies to identify and report the motivations of participants from interviews and surveys (Curtis, 2015;Jennett and Cox, 2018;Reed et al., 2013;Rotman et al., 2012;Orchard, 2018;Iacovides et al., 2013), and the creation of reward-centric incentive mechanisms to increase volunteer engagement (Restuccia et al., 2016;Jaimes et al., 2015). ...
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