Motivations Affecting Initial and Long-Term Participation in Citizen Science Projects in Three Countries
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Reliance on volunteer participation for citizen science has become extremely popular. Cutting across disciplines, locations, and participation practices, hundreds of thousands of volunteers throughout the world are helping scientists accomplish tasks they could not otherwise perform. Although existing projects have demonstrated the value of involving volunteers in data collection, relatively few projects have been successful in maintaining volunteers' continued involvement over long periods of time. Therefore, it is important to understand the temporal nature of volunteers' motivations and their effect on participation practices, so that effective partnerships between volunteers and scientists can be established. This paper presents case studies of longitudinal participation practices in citizen science in three countries -- the United States, India, and Costa Rica. The findings reveal a temporal process of participation, in which initial participation stems in most cases from self-directed motivations, such as personal interest. In contrast, long-term participation is more complex and includes both self-directed motivations and collaborative motivations.
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iConference 2014 Proceedings
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