Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s42532-022-00136-4
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Citizen science’s transformative impact on science, citizen empowerment and socio-political processes
Author von Gönner, J.; Herrmann, T.M.; Bruckermann, T.; Eichinger, M.; Hecker, S.; Klan, F.; Lorke, J.; Richter, A.; Sturm, U.; Voigt-Heucke, S.; Brink, W.; Liedtke, C.; Premke-Kraus, M.; Altmann, C.; Bauhus, W.; Bengtsson, L.; Büermann, A.; Dietrich, P. ORCID logo ; Dörler, D.; Eich-Brod, R.; Ferschinger, L.; Freyberg, L.; Grützner, A.; Hammel, G.; Heigl, F.; Heyen, N.B.; Hölker, F.; Johannsen, C.; Kluß, T.; Kluttig, T.; Knobloch, J.; Munke, M.; Mortega, K.; Pathe, C.; Soßdorf, A.; Stämpfli, T.; Thiel, C.; Tönsmann, S.; Valentin, A.; Wagenknecht, K.; Wegener, R.; Woll, S.; Bonn, A. ORCID logo
Journal Socio-Ecological Practice Research
Year 2023
Department MET; iDiv; ESS
Volume 5
Issue 1
Page From 11
Page To 33
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords Participatory research; Research data management; Data quality; Social learning; Political uptake; Recognition
Abstract Citizen science (CS) can foster transformative impact for science, citizen empowerment and socio-political processes. To unleash this impact, a clearer understanding of its current status and challenges for its development is needed. Using quantitative indicators developed in a collaborative stakeholder process, our study provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of CS in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Our online survey with 340 responses focused on CS impact through (1) scientific practices, (2) participant learning and empowerment, and (3) socio-political processes. With regard to scientific impact, we found that data quality control is an established component of CS practice, while publication of CS data and results has not yet been achieved by all project coordinators (55%). Key benefits for citizen scientists were the experience of collective impact (“making a difference together with others”) as well as gaining new knowledge. For the citizen scientists’ learning outcomes, different forms of social learning, such as systematic feedback or personal mentoring, were essential. While the majority of respondents attributed an important value to CS for decision-making, only few were confident that CS data were indeed utilized as evidence by decision-makers. Based on these results, we recommend (1) that project coordinators and researchers strengthen scientific impact by fostering data management and publications, (2) that project coordinators and citizen scientists enhance participant impact by promoting social learning opportunities and (3) that project initiators and CS networks foster socio-political impact through early engagement with decision-makers and alignment with ongoing policy processes. In this way, CS can evolve its transformative impact.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
von Gönner, J., Herrmann, T.M., Bruckermann, T., Eichinger, M., Hecker, S., Klan, F., Lorke, J., Richter, A., Sturm, U., Voigt-Heucke, S., Brink, W., Liedtke, C., Premke-Kraus, M., Altmann, C., Bauhus, W., Bengtsson, L., Büermann, A., Dietrich, P., Dörler, D., Eich-Brod, R., Ferschinger, L., Freyberg, L., Grützner, A., Hammel, G., Heigl, F., Heyen, N.B., Hölker, F., Johannsen, C., Kluß, T., Kluttig, T., Knobloch, J., Munke, M., Mortega, K., Pathe, C., Soßdorf, A., Stämpfli, T., Thiel, C., Tönsmann, S., Valentin, A., Wagenknecht, K., Wegener, R., Woll, S., Bonn, A. (2023):
Citizen science’s transformative impact on science, citizen empowerment and socio-political processes
Socio-Ecological Practice Research 5 (1), 11 - 33