Citizen science in marine litter research: A review
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Citizen science (CS) can help to tackle the emerging and worldwide problem of marine litter (ML), from collecting data to engaging different stakeholders. We reviewed what and how the scientific literature is reporting CS on ML to identify possible gaps to be improved. The 92 search results (separate occasions when 48 different CS initiatives were discussed across 85 publication records) revealed an under-representation of studies in developing regions. Most search results focused on the science of ML, whilst information regarding citizen scientists was commonly vague or missing, preventing critical analysis of good practices on this aspect. The studies concentrated on the shoreline and did not harmonize types and sizes of items collected, thus precluding data meta-analyses. The standardisation of CS methods and approaches and the detailed report of aspects related to citizen scientists are essential to support the science we need for the advances in CS efforts to face ML.
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