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      The Quest for New Empowered Citizen Scientists

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      Biodiversity Information Science and Standards

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Citizen science is well-known as being a very efficient means collecting large amounts of data at a global scale. However, even if it seems nice to collect observations about flowering plants and singing birds, people living in today’s world need to understand this global biodiversity crisis is here to stay. We need to move past the human sensor paradigm and learn to incorporate the general public in the entire research process. We need to move from cheap data labour to truly empowered citizen scientists and realise that stakeholders may not have complex scientific questions but still have questions about their environment. We need to move from citizen science to participatory science (Hinckson et al. 2017,Katapally 2019,Poncet and Turcati 2017), if we want to tackle the challenges we will be facing in the coming years. Natural Solutions has developed a number of gamified citizen science applications in the past (ecoBalade, Biolit, Sauvage de ma rue, INPN espèces, GeoNature Citizen), through which we have gained a good understanding of what works. Our last project is to create a citizen acting mobile platform using cognitive bias to nudge citizen in acting toward biodiversity. The application will be part of the IUCN congress taking part in Marseille in 2020.

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          Citizen science applied to building healthier community environments: advancing the field through shared construct and measurement development

          Background Physical inactivity across the lifespan remains a public health issue for many developed countries. Inactivity has contributed considerably to the pervasiveness of lifestyle diseases. Government, national and local agencies and organizations have been unable to systematically, and in a coordinated way, translate behavioral research into practice that makes a difference at a population level. One approach for mobilizing multi-level efforts to improve the environment for physical activity is to engage in a process of citizen science. Citizen Science here is defined as a participatory research approach involving members of the public working closely with research investigators to initiate and advance scientific research projects. However, there are no common measures or protocols to guide citizen science research at the local community setting. Objectives We describe overarching categories of constructs that can be considered when designing citizen science projects expected to yield multi-level interventions, and provide an example of the citizen science approach to promoting PA. We also recommend potential measures across different levels of impact. Discussion Encouraging some consistency in measurement across studies will potentially accelerate the efficiency with which citizen science participatory research provides new insights into and solutions to the behaviorally-based public health issues that drive most of morbidity and mortality. The measures described in this paper abide by four fundamental principles specifically selected for inclusion in citizen science projects: feasibility, accuracy, propriety, and utility. The choice of measures will take into account the potential resources available for outcome and process evaluation. Our intent is to emphasize the importance for all citizen science participatory projects to follow an evidence-based approach and ensure that they incorporate an appropriate assessment protocol. Conclusions We provided the rationale for and a list of contextual factors along with specific examples of measures to encourage consistency among studies that plan to use a citizen science participatory approach. The potential of this approach to promote health and wellbeing in communities is high and we hope that we have provided the tools needed to optimally promote synergistic gains in knowledge across a range of Citizen Science participatory projects.
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            Development of an amorphous film microanalysis method

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              The SMART Framework: Integration of Citizen Science, Community-Based Participatory Research, and Systems Science for Population Health Science in the Digital Age (Preprint)

              Citizen science enables citizens to actively contribute to all aspects of the research process, from conceptualization and data collection, to knowledge translation and evaluation. Citizen science is gradually emerging as a pertinent approach in population health research. Given that citizen science has intrinsic links with community-based research, where participatory action drives the research agenda, these two approaches could be integrated to address complex population health issues. Community-based participatory research has a strong record of application across multiple disciplines and sectors to address health inequities. Citizen science can use the structure of community-based participatory research to take local approaches of problem solving to a global scale, because citizen science emerged through individual environmental activism that is not limited by geography. This synergy has significant implications for population health research if combined with systems science, which can offer theoretical and methodological strength to citizen science and community-based participatory research. Systems science applies a holistic perspective to understand the complex mechanisms underlying causal relationships within and between systems, as it goes beyond linear relationships by utilizing big data–driven advanced computational models. However, to truly integrate citizen science, community-based participatory research, and systems science, it is time to realize the power of ubiquitous digital tools, such as smartphones, for connecting us all and providing big data. Smartphones have the potential to not only create equity by providing a voice to disenfranchised citizens but smartphone-based apps also have the reach and power to source big data to inform policies. An imminent challenge in legitimizing citizen science is minimizing bias, which can be achieved by standardizing methods and enhancing data quality—a rigorous process that requires researchers to collaborate with citizen scientists utilizing the principles of community-based participatory research action. This study advances SMART, an evidence-based framework that integrates citizen science, community-based participatory research, and systems science through ubiquitous tools by addressing core challenges such as citizen engagement, data management, and internet inequity to legitimize this integration.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biodiversity Information Science and Standards
                BISS
                Pensoft Publishers
                2535-0897
                July 17 2019
                July 17 2019
                : 3
                Article
                10.3897/biss.3.38149
                © 2019

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