How to keep your citizen science volunteers motivated? / 2.02.2021

Does your research include citizen science and use of novel emerging low-cost technologies? In our review article, we explore how to keep citizen science volunteers committed in long-term participation.

A review article titled “Meeting Volunteer Expectations — a Review of Volunteer Motivations in Citizen Science and Best Practices for Their Retention Through implementation of Functional Features in CS Tools”, was recently published in Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

The review article contributes in bridging the gap between theory and practice in implementing Citizen Science (CS) projects, commonly managed by scientist from various backgrounds while pointing directions to facilitate the public engagement in scientific research. The article concentrates practices and experiences from several projects to deliver substantial insight in understanding and meeting volunteer motivations, needs and expectations, while it also provides a thorough review into different approaches to retain volunteers in the long term. Managing expectations through meeting volunteers’ needs with suited functional features facilitates the success and sustainability of CS projects. Overall, the paper provides guidance to CS practitioners on pursuing the connection between well planned and managed projects and tools and the volunteers’ motivation and satisfaction.

The review brings insights on how the tools for citizen science should be designed in order to provide citizen scientist with efficient and positive user experience. At the same time, while designing products fit-for-purpose one creates win-win situations both for CS volunteers and CS practitioners thus linking environmental research with societal benefits.

The review article can be found here: