Keeping participants engaged in citizen science projects

  • L Stockman

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Citizen science projects heavily rely on motivated individuals to bring projects to a success. However, it remains a challenge to motivate and keep participants engaged. This research investigates why participants stay engaged to a project for longer periods.
In the literature, recent quantitative studies have created certain participant profiles which mainly focus on time spent and activities completed. In this qualitative research, where participants within the citizen science project ‘Historical Database Suriname & Curaçao’ are interviewed.
The research found that a deeply rooted motivation, such as altruism, is the driving force behind why participants stay engaged in citizen science projects. Furthermore, autonomy and an engaged leadership team helps to sustain the engagement.
Practitioners should help participants who are dealing with emotionally difficult tasks to support them. Mechanisms should be put in place to allow for even more flexible tasks improving autonomy even more. Future research should focus on project leadership engagement and to what extent this influences the participants’ engagement and whether the findings of this research can be generalized to other contexts.
Date of Award3 Jul 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMontse Prats López (Examiner) & Laury Bollen (Co-assessor)


  • Citizen science
  • crowdsourcing
  • intrinsic motivation
  • extrinsic motivation
  • sustained engagement
  • project awareness
  • qualitative research

Master's Degree

  • Master Business Process management & IT (BPMIT)

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