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Brokering Trust in Citizen Science

Gilfedder, Mat, Robinson, Cathy J., Watson, James E. M., Campbell, Thomas G., Sullivan, Brian L., Possingham, Hugh P.
Society & natural resources 2019 v.32 no.3 pp. 292-302
decision making, surveys, systematic review
Citizen science (CS) information requires systematic review that incorporates a range of interests and concerns. Yet, there has been little research on what might constitute reviewing best practice to ensure CS is trusted by contributors and users of the data. Insights from a survey of all 1134 reviewers who curate the global eBird Project highlight the knowledge-brokering work involved to ensure CS data are trusted by both citizens and science. Drawing on scholarship focused on key drivers of useable knowledge for natural resource decision-making, we consider CS reviewing best practice to ensure CS can be useful to the producers and users of this knowledge. We find that CS reviewers need to be motivated to provide appropriate feedback to improve CS data, commit to reviewing practice that is respected by citizens, and ensure the information published is credible and be reviewed by a supportive and accountable network of fellow reviewers.