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Linking the motivations and outcomes of volunteers to understand participation in CS

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

A new paper has been published in Marine Policy, authored by MSSRG members Ben McAteer, Dr. Wesley Flannery and Prof. Brendan Murtagh. The paper, titled 'Linking the motivations and outcomes of volunteers to understand participation in marine community science', explores how community science, by speaking to the needs and requirements of volunteers, can realise its potential as a solution to challenges facing marine conservation. A critique is made of evaluations that ineffectively examine the relationship between volunteers’ motivations and how they relate to the personal outcomes that they seek to realise. The study then illustrates why a wider scope of participation-related issues must be studied. Using an exploratory factor analysis to evaluate survey data, the paper finds a range of patterns amongst respondents and identifies 4 types of volunteer profiles. A discussion is then presented on how and why categorising volunteers can better reflect the factors that support/inhibit the realisation of volunteer desires and encourage recruitment/retention. The paper, in its conclusions, does not value one type of volunteer over another but shows how projects should broaden their evaluative scope and pay increased attention to the alignment between a potential participant, their motivations/desired outcomes and the knowledge that they are most interested in.

To download an Open Access version of the paper, click below.

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