Mobilizing public participation in science, technology, and policy—Understanding the motivations of citizen science volunteers

Citizen Science
Oral Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information: [email protected]; 202-691-4031


Understanding what motivates citizen science volunteers to donate their time and expertise is an important research and practical question. Previous studies have found that motivation is complex, and varies in regard to factors including national culture, individual demographics, project topic, and even whether volunteers are new or returning. This talk synthesizes previous research to identify a core set of broad, global motivations experienced by a range of citizen science volunteers. Building on this review, a discussion of methodologies for understanding unique, contextual motivations leads to suggestions for effective and impactful project design.