FOCUS Sharing results with citizens
Anna Sanchez Vidal
July 25, 2023, 12:38 p.m.
It is a fundamental aspect, which can sometimes turn into a challenge, to share the results with citizens, that is, with anyone who participates and contributes to a citizen science project. So much so that it is underlined by three out of the 10 Principles of citizen science.
1. Citizen science projects actively involve citizens in scientific endeavours that generate new knowledge or understanding. Citizens may act as contributors, collaborators, or as project leader and have a meaningful role in the project.
4. Citizen scientists may, if they wish, participate in multiple stages of the scientific process. This may include developing the research question, designing the method, gathering and analysing data, and communicating the results.
8. Citizen scientists are acknowledged in project results and publications.
Many tools available today to develop, implement and evaluate citizen science initiatives address this aspect. For example, the Action toolkit dedicates considerable attention to sharing and publishing results. And there are many projects currently underway that have useful ideas and contributions.
At their core, the effective sharing of research results plays a pivotal role in cultivating societal trust in the scientific community. To achieve this, it is essential to guide and provide citizens with well-informed resources that enable them to understand and interpret the data.
Customising result sharing to meet participant preferences, expectations and motivations