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ERIC Number: EJ1130283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2154-8455
Beyond Data Points and Research Contributions: The Personal Meaning and Value Associated with Public Participation in Scientific Research
Haywood, Benjamin K.
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v6 n3 p239-262 2016
As public participation in scientific research (PPSR) initiatives have expanded rapidly among private, public, and non-profit science research communities over the past decade, program managers and scholars regularly promote, evaluate, and manage such programs with a focus on the value and impact of PPSR efforts on the practice and relevancy of science. While many of these assessments rely on evaluation of individual participant knowledge and skill, they are driven by a broader interest in how such individual outcomes influence the form and function of science in society. Such a science-centered emphasis is neither surprising nor inappropriate. Nonetheless, such appraisals generally do not interrogate the full range of program goals and outcomes. This article advocates for greater comprehensive examination of the effects of PPSR participation on program volunteers. A more integrated perspective is therefore assumed to report on research conducted with volunteers in the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team citizen science program to interrogate the inter- and intrapersonal outcomes of program engagement through narrative interviews and focus groups. Findings highlight that while program participants value the data and research contributions they make, a suite of additional personal outcomes exist beyond these research inputs. Based on these findings, the article provides implications for advancing more intentional and meaningful PPSR efforts by focusing on the scale of engagement and interaction, cultivating community and connection, and developing tiered learning practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington; Oregon; California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A