Exploring participants’ engagement profiles in a citizen humanities project: A qualitative approach

  • T.J.M. Overbeek

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Researchers face challenges in maintaining participant engagement in citizen science/humanities projects. Therefore, they have attempted to identify patterns and characteristics among participants by clustering them based on their quantity, quality and type of contributions, their contribution pattern over time and motivational factors. These clusters, referred to as engagement profiles, could be used to personalize strategies that enhance participants' contributions to citizen science/humanities projects, thereby ensuring project continuity an success.
Engagement profiles have mostly been researched quantitatively in citizen science projects. This study investigates them qualitatively in a citizen humanities project. Thematic analysis of interviews with fifteen project participants about their contributions and motivations revealed two engagement profiles: regular and irregular contributors. However, despite several differences between these groups, considerable overlap in motivations, activities and barriers across profiles was found as well.
Well-known engagement strategies like distributing newsletters, offering recognition, and organising activities are found to be generally effective. A novel general strategy is tailoring communications to participants' interests. A novel strategy specifically for time-owning participants is exploring external sources. Overall, this study contributes to the understanding of engagement profiles and offers practical recommendations for improving participant engagement in citizen humanities projects.
Date of Award14 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMontse Prats López (Examiner) & Roger Bons (Co-assessor)


  • Engagement profiles
  • citizen humanities
  • qualitative methodology

Master's Degree

  • Master Business Process management & IT (BPMIT)

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