The motivation for citizens’ involvement in life sciences research is predicted by age and gender

Last modified: 
August 10, 2020 - 12:42pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2020
Date published: 08/2020
Authors: Martin Lakomý, Renata Hlavová, Hana Machackova, Gustav Bohlin, Maria Lindholm, Michela Bertero, Markus Dettenhofer
Journal title: PLOS ONE
Volume: 15
Issue: 8
Pages: e0237140

Open Science is an umbrella term encompassing multiple concepts as open access to publications, open data, open education and citizen science that aim to make science more open and transparent. Citizen science, an important facet of Open Science, actively involves non-scientists in the research process, and can potentially be beneficial for multiple actors, such as scientists, citizens, policymakers and society in general. However, the reasons that motivate different segments of the public to participate in research are still understudied. Therefore, based on data gathered from a survey conducted in Czechia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK (N = 5,870), this study explores five types of incentives that can motivate individuals to become involved in life sciences research. The results demonstrate that men and younger individuals are more persuaded by extrinsic motives (external benefits or rewards), as compared with women and older people, who are driven by intrinsic motives (that originates from within an individual). This paper shows that specific strata of the population are differentially motivated to engage in research, thereby providing relevant knowledge for effectively designing public involvement activities that target various groups of the public in research projects.

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