A review article titled “Meeting Volunteer Expectations — a Review of Volunteer Motivations in Citizen Science and Best Practices for Their Retention Through implementation of Functional Features in CS Tools”, was recently published in Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.
The review article contributes to bridging the gap between theory and practice in implementing Citizen Science (CS) projects, commonly managed by scientists from various backgrounds while pointing directions to facilitate public engagement in scientific research. The article concentrates on practices and experiences from several projects to deliver substantial insight in understanding and meeting volunteer motivations, needs, and expectations, while it also provides a thorough review into different approaches to retain volunteers in the long term. Managing expectations through meeting volunteers’ needs with suited functional features facilitates the success and sustainability of CS projects. Overall, the paper provides guidance to CS practitioners on pursuing the connection between well planned and managed projects and tools and the volunteers’ motivation and satisfaction.
The review brings insights on how the tools for citizen science should be designed in order to provide citizen scientists with an efficient and positive user experience. At the same time, while designing products fit-for-purpose creates win-win situations both for CS volunteers and CS practitioners thus linking environmental research with societal benefits.
This work was partly funded by ERA-PLANET (www.era-planet.eu), trans-national project SMURBS.