Evaluating the role of citizen science in biological investigations
MetadataShow full item record
Considering recent and predicted ecological changes (caused by global climate change), baseline monitoring of biological diversity becomes an extremely useful record to have. Citizen science provides a unique, low-cost, high output method of attaining large data sets which has already been implemented in several studies. They are used by major bodies such as the Natural History Museum, OPAL and the RSPB. Despite this concerns lie with the accuracy of the data – can volunteers really produce real data? In this study various aspects were investigated, firstly the current public opinion about citizen science, how we can train volunteers carrying out surveys, and the kinds of method suitable for biological monitoring by citizen scientists. This report finds a generally good level of public literacy in terms of the existence and the potential of, citizen science. Participant confidence significantly increases once a volunteer has carried out a survey – but this does not show any relationship with accuracy. It is concluded that estimation of abundance must be embedded with training and validation methods, and it is recommended further work is carried out into robust online training and validation.
Day, F. (2020) ‘Evaluating the role of citizen science in biological investigations’, The Plymouth Student Scientist, 13(1), p. 28-44.