Next Article in Journal
Respiration Rates, Metabolic Demands and Feeding of Ephyrae and Young Medusae of the Rhizostome Rhopilema nomadica
Next Article in Special Issue
Transference of Citizen Science Program Impacts: A Theory Grounded in Public Participation in Scientific Research
Previous Article in Journal
Effects of Continuous Cropping of Codonopsis tangshen on Rhizospheric Soil Bacterial Community as Determined by Pyrosequencing
Previous Article in Special Issue
Citizens, Scientists, and Enablers: A Tripartite Model for Citizen Science Projects
Article

How Do Young Community and Citizen Science Volunteers Support Scientific Research on Biodiversity? The Case of iNaturalist

1
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK7 6AA, UK
2
Center for Community and Citizen Science, UC Davis School of Education, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
3
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
4
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
5
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: John A. Cigliano, Tina Phillips, Elizabeth R. Ellwood, Amanda E. Sorensen and Monica Awasthy
Diversity 2021, 13(7), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070318
Received: 28 April 2021 / Revised: 5 July 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 13 July 2021
Online community and citizen science (CCS) projects have broadened access to scientific research and enabled different forms of participation in biodiversity research; however, little is known about whether and how such opportunities are taken up by young people (aged 5–19). Furthermore, when they do participate, there is little research on whether their online activity makes a tangible contribution to scientific research. We addressed these knowledge gaps using quantitative analytical approaches and visualisations to investigate 249 youths’ contributions to CCS on the iNaturalist platform, and the potential for the scientific use of their contributions. We found that nearly all the young volunteers’ observations were ‘verifiable’ (included a photo, location, and date/time) and therefore potentially useful to biodiversity research. Furthermore, more than half were designated as ‘Research Grade’, with a community agreed-upon identification, making them more valuable and accessible to biodiversity science researchers. Our findings show that young volunteers with lasting participation on the platform and those aged 16–19 years are more likely to have a higher proportion of Research Grade observations than younger, or more ephemeral participants. This study enhances our understanding of young volunteers’ contributions to biodiversity research, as well as the important role professional scientists and data users can play in helping verify youths’ contributions to make them more accessible for biodiversity research. View Full-Text
Keywords: data quality; community science; citizen science; iNaturalist; online participation; young volunteers; biodiversity data quality; community science; citizen science; iNaturalist; online participation; young volunteers; biodiversity
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Aristeidou, M.; Herodotou, C.; Ballard, H.L.; Higgins, L.; Johnson, R.F.; Miller, A.E.; Young, A.N.; Robinson, L.D. How Do Young Community and Citizen Science Volunteers Support Scientific Research on Biodiversity? The Case of iNaturalist. Diversity 2021, 13, 318. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070318

AMA Style

Aristeidou M, Herodotou C, Ballard HL, Higgins L, Johnson RF, Miller AE, Young AN, Robinson LD. How Do Young Community and Citizen Science Volunteers Support Scientific Research on Biodiversity? The Case of iNaturalist. Diversity. 2021; 13(7):318. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070318

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aristeidou, Maria, Christothea Herodotou, Heidi L. Ballard, Lila Higgins, Rebecca F. Johnson, Annie E. Miller, Alison N. Young, and Lucy D. Robinson 2021. "How Do Young Community and Citizen Science Volunteers Support Scientific Research on Biodiversity? The Case of iNaturalist" Diversity 13, no. 7: 318. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13070318

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop