Blog Post

From the Editor’s desk, Citizen Science: Theory & Practice

Citizen Science: Theory and Practice is an open-access, online, peer-reviewed journal focused on advancing the global field of citizen science. During the journal’s first two years we published 17 research papers, 5 case studies, 3 essays, and 2 review and synthesis papers, compiled into 4 issues. In 2018 we are already into the second issue of the year, and have recently published papers in two new categories: Meeting reports and methods papers.

This year we also will publish a special issue focusing on ethics in citizen science. Although we generally publish articles as they are typeset, we are choosing to release this issue in its entirety to maximize its impact and to catalyze discussions of this important topic. The ethics issue is likely to include about 10 articles, depending on how the review process unfolds.

CS:TP Tip 0 – If you are wondering how to see issues, as opposed to individual articles—the most recent of which can be accessed easily from the journal’s home page—it’s simple. Just click on “Issues” in the home page header. And if you want to see all of the journal’s published articles in chronological order, just click on “articles.”)

People are looking at the articles! The most recent, “A Framework for Articulating and Measuring Individual Learning Outcomes from Participation in Citizen Science,” published on 28 August, already has had 385 views and 113 downloads (these statistics are updated automatically and are available for each article, right under the abstract). And one of the journal’s most popular articles, “Strategies Employed by Citizen Science Programs to Increase the Credibility of Their Data,” published on 20 May 2016, has had 7743 views and 1296 downloads and has been cited seven times in journals, including the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management and Biodiversity and Conservation. (Citation information is also available on the journal website, again, just below the abstract for each article.)

Are you interested in publishing an article in Citizen Science: Theory and Practice? If so, we’d love to hear from you! But let me sound a slight note of caution—some contributors have been surprised at the rigor of our peer-review process. While we are a fledgling journal in a still-young field, we nevertheless are dedicated to publishing the highest-quality papers that we can produce. Each submitted paper receives examination by one or more editors and, if deemed suitable, receives a full critique by at least two reviewers. Most papers published in the journal have gone through at least one round of review, sometimes two.

To help prospective authors achieve success in getting their work published, I plan to write a series of blog posts to offer some thoughts/tips/ideas from my three years of editing this journal.

CS:TP Tip 1: Article introductions do not need to extol the virtues/benefits/pitfalls of citizen science in general, or to mention that quality of data is important in citizen science projects! But they do need to properly place context around the actual subject of the article. More on that soon …

We hope that you enjoy the articles that we have published thus far and that you’ll send ideas for new articles as well as theme issues our way. (We are already working on our second theme issue, focused on citizen science and policy, for which we have received the first few papers and which will be published during 2019.)

Finally, thanks to all of the authors who already have published in the journal or who are currently embroiled in our review process! And especially thanks for your patience. Right now we have 44 papers in various stages of review, a huge workload for an all-volunteer team.

Rick Bonney

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