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Deliverable 2.2 Report on indicators for impact assessment of science communication in Citizen Science Projects

Paolo Giardullo; Maria Angela Citarella; Federico Neresini; Joana Magalhães; Rosa Arias; Blanca Guasch; Maite Pelacho; Cristina Luis

Assessing impact is a growingly urgent need for scientific research. Within the newly established Horizon Europe program, citizen active participation, engagement and co-creation will become pivotal and thus proper impact assessment needs to be addressed. In this setting, Citizen Science (CS) arises as a fundamental tool for widening participation and contributing to reach social, economical, scientific and political impacts. However, dierent challenges have been described for CS impact assessment tools that impede a proper evaluation of communication actions. NEWSERA project tries to address current limitations from a dierent angle, by interpreting CS as part of the communication process.

NEWSERA will thus analyse and evaluate the complex and multidirectional science communication strategies, including digital and non-digital ones, addressed to quadruple helix stakeholders in citizen science projects across Europe as the new paradigm for science communication (#CitSciComm).

Our hypothesis relies on improving the science communication of citizen science projects, by co-designing ad hoc #CitSciComm tools and strategies with engaged stakeholders, during our “Citizen Science Communication Labs” (#CitSciComm Labs), while validating the concepts of Citizen Science Communication and Citizen Science Journalism. Reaching broader target audiences will allow at the same time to increase the expected outcomes and impacts of the CS projects themselves, while providing a greater compliance of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) pillars, i.e. science education, ethics, open access, gender, public participation and governance.

This deliverable thus aims at setting up a multi-level impact assessment framework, as the NEWSERA method, considering the impact assessment under three packages: Science Communication Actions (“NEWSERA Impact Assessment Package”), the assessment of CS on dierent dimensions (“ACTION Impact Assessment Package”), and the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) pillars (“RRI Impact Assessment Package”), for the analysis and evaluation of communication tools and co-designed strategies by CS projects, in an iterative process.

Indicators development, implementation and testing is part of the NEWSERA consortium work. In close collaboration with Work Package 5 (WP5) “Evaluation and impact assessment: the legacy of NEWSERA”, we will quantify indicators throughout an iterative analytical process for the assessment on the basis of current recognition, informed by the literature review and on the theoretical and methodological consideration developed hereby.

This report is presented in the following order: first, a literature review on impact assessment in science communication and challenges when assessing citizen science projects; second, a succinct explanation of the proposed NEWSERA methodology considering multi-level dimensions; and third, the description of indicators selection and implementation.

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