“Citizen identification”: online learning supports highly accurate species identification for insect-focussed citizen science

Perry, Jessica R, Sumner, Seirian, Thompson, Cris and Hart, Adam G ORCID: 0000-0002-4795-9986 (2021) “Citizen identification”: online learning supports highly accurate species identification for insect-focussed citizen science. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 14 (6). pp. 862-867. doi:10.1111/icad.12528

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1. Citizen science is widely used in ecological research. Data verification of citizen collected data continues to be an issue, and confirming accurate species identification reported by citizens can be especially difficult. 2. Here, we determine the efficacy of using remote learning to identify UK social wasp (Vespinae) species. Citizen scientists (N = 559) collected wasps and identified specimens to species level using a series of online videos and support material. 3. A pre-identification and post-identification questionnaire, and a post-identification assessment test, obtained both qualitative and quantitative data for engagement and changes in identification skills. Some (13.5%) of the participants sent their samples in for expert verification of species identification. 4. Self-assessed skill ratings increased from 2.2/5 pre-identification to 3.5/5 post-identification process. Identification accuracy was high, with 85.6% of assessment test images and 96% of the verified specimens being identified correctly. In previous years, face-to-face public ID workshops with expert trainers yielded an identification accuracy of 91.3%. Eighty-seven percent of participants reported enjoying the experience and would take part again. 5. Remote learning of identification skills in non-specialists can produce greater identification accuracy than face-to-face expert-led workshops, with lower resource requirements and enhanced engagement.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Citizen science; Identification; Vespinae; Social wasps
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL360 Invertebrates > QL 461 Insects
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 10:40
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10089

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