From participants to creators: Considerations for community-led citizen science

Herodotou, Christothea; Twiner, Alison; Scanlon, Eileen; McLeod, Kevin and Seale, Jane (2022). From participants to creators: Considerations for community-led citizen science. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2022 (Chinn, C.; Tan, E.; Chan, C. and Kali, Y. eds.), International Society of the Learning Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan, pp. 11–18.



There is a plurality of opinions as to what citizen science looks like. We adopt a community-led approach and argue that enabling communities with no or limited science expertise to engage with designing their own scientific investigations is a means to democratising research. To understand the requirements for this form of community participation, we surveyed 150 participants of nQuire - a web-based solution that scaffolds the research design process - and identified factors that enabled and inhibited non-researchers from participating in research. Participants acknowledged the importance of taking part in scientific studies and reported learning benefits in terms of increased awareness and behavioural change. The majority of participants expressed interest in joining studies in the future, yet reported that they are rather unlikely to create their own investigations due to a lack of time, skills and support needed. Implications for the design of community-led citizen science are discussed.

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