A Participant's Perspective on Citizen Science Projects

Jesse Kamstra

At PULSAQUA, we are interested in all things Citizens Science. We believe that it is a valuable method of conducting research, while it also enables citizens to contribute to scientific knowledge!

And while we know a lot about the worth of Citizen Science for us (as an organization, but also as a society), considerably less is known about what makes Citizen Science projects valuable for participants. It is important to learn more about what the participants (i.e. the volunteers) get out of participating in a CS project, because it can help organizations that are using Citizen Science to improve their projects. Insights in what makes a project valuable for the volunteers allows organizations to design future projects in such a way that these projects are scientifically sound, while also remaining interesting and valuable for all participants.

This is exactly what our former intern Jordy Janssen researched for his master's thesis at Leiden University. He talked with multiple participants of the Delft Measures Rain project about what they got out of participating in this project. He came across some very interesting outcomes that people experienced as a result of participating in the project. The participants of Delft Measures rain had different motivations for participating, and these different motivations seemed to have an influence on what participants felt they 'received' as a result of participating. These findings contributed to the understanding of participants' outcomes in a CS project, which in turn allows us to make more accurate predictions of what participants can get out of a CS project.

We are happy to share that Jordy defended his thesis successfully last June! Moreover, after a well-deserved holiday, Jordy will return to PULSAQUA in September to work on more papers about CS!

The results of his research are now available. You can find his full thesis below:


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