Assessing data quality in citizen science

  title={Assessing data quality in citizen science},
  author={Margaret Kosmala and Andrea Wiggins and Alexandra Swanson and Brooke D. Simmons},
  journal={Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment},
Ecological and environmental citizen-science projects have enormous potential to advance scientific knowledge, influence policy, and guide resource management by producing datasets that would otherwise be infeasible to generate. However, this potential can only be realized if the datasets are of high quality. While scientists are often skeptical of the ability of unpaid volunteers to produce accurate datasets, a growing body of publications clearly shows that diverse types of citizen-science… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Assessing data quality in citizen science (preprint)

Each citizen science dataset should be judged individually, according to project design and application, rather than assumed to be substandard simply because volunteers generated it.

Evaluating the Fitness for Use of Citizen Science Data for Wildlife Monitoring

Contributory citizen science programs focused on ecological monitoring can produce fine-grained and expansive data sets across spatial and temporal scales. With this data collection potential,

Understanding the reliability of citizen science observational data using item response models

Citizen science projects have become increasingly popular in many fields, including ecology. However, the quality of this information is frequently debated within the scientific community. Modern

The Verification of Ecological Citizen Science Data: Current Approaches and Future Possibilities

An idealised system for data verification is presented, in which the bulk of records are verified by automation or community consensus, and any flagged records can then undergo additional levels of verification by experts.

Applied citizen science in freshwater research

Worldwide, scientists are increasingly collaborating with the general public. Citizen science methods are readily applicable to freshwater research, monitoring, and education. In addition to

Potential of Citizen Science for Enhancing Infrastructure Monitoring Data and Decision‐Support Models for Local Communities

An interdisciplinary definition of infrastructure data quality is provided that extends beyond accuracy to include currency, timeliness, completeness, and equitability and argues that with this expanded definition of data quality, citizen science can be a viable method for enhancing the quality of infrastructure monitoring data and ultimately the credibility of risk analysis and decision‐support models that use these data.

How citizen science could improve species distribution models and their independent assessment

This work used opportunistic presence-only data along with presence-absence data from a standardized citizen science program to establish and assess habitat suitability maps for 9 species of amphibian in western France and tested the effects of applying different combinations of filters to the citizen data and of complementing it with additional standardized fieldwork.

Citizen science contributes to SDM validation

Citizen science is becoming an important piece for the acquisition of scientific knowledge in the fields of natural sciences, and particularly in the inventory and monitoring of biodiversity

The diversity and evolution of ecological and environmental citizen science

Understanding the landscape of citizen science in ecology and the environment (and its change over time) is valuable because it informs the comparative evaluation of the ‘success’ of different citizen science approaches.



Community-based Data Validation Practices in Citizen Science

The findings describe the processes that both relied upon and added to information provenance through information stewardship behaviors, which led to improved reliability and informativity in community-based data validation practices and the characteristics of records of wildlife species observations.

Citizen Science as an Ecological Research Tool: Challenges and Benefits

Citizen science, the involvement of volunteers in research, has increased the scale of ecological field studies with continent-wide, centralized monitoring efforts and, more rarely, tapping of

Assessing citizen science data quality: an invasive species case study

An increase in the number of citizen science programs has prompted an examination of their ability to provide data of sufficient quality. We tested the ability of volunteers relative to professionals

Statistical solutions for error and bias in global citizen science datasets

Expert variability provides perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of citizen-driven intertidal monitoring program.

The accuracy of data collected by secondary school students as citizens in a program that quantitatively sampled benthic rocky intertidal communities at 13 sites on Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Hawai'i island during the years 2004-2007 was evaluated.

The current state of citizen science as a tool for ecological research and public engagement

Approaches to citizen science – an indispensable means of combining ecological research with environmental education and natural history observation – range from community-based monitoring to the use

Data validation in citizen science: a case study from Project FeederWatch

A data validation protocol developed for Project FeederWatch, a continent-wide bird monitoring program, is described that is designed to increase researchers' and participants' confidence in the data being collected.

A review of citizen science and community-based environmental monitoring: issues and opportunities

A need to compare and contrast the success (and the situations that induce success) of CBM programs which present sound evidence of citizen scientists influencing positive environmental changes in the local ecosystems they monitor is identified.