Monday, 22 September 2014

Take part in research about citizen science

Fungimappers are invited to take a survey looking into media engagement and citizen science by University of Tasmania student Fraser Johnston. To fill out the survey please click here or go to

We would appreciate it if Fungimappers can take the survey before 10 October 2014. Read on for further details:

Dear volunteer,

I am writing on behalf of the University of Tasmania to request your help with an important project. As part of an honours project to evaluate engagement of volunteers in citizen science, we are conducting a survey of current Fungimap volunteers to ask about their experiences in citizen science programs.

What is citizen science? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as: 

The collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.

You have been selected to be part of this project because you are a Fungimap volunteer. Taking time to complete this brief survey will give us a better understanding of the importance of citizen science from the perspective of volunteers. I know that surveys like this can be an inconvenience, but I hope that you will take just a little time to participate in this brief web questionnaire so that we can improve citizen science for everyone.

The survey is anonymous so your answers will be completely confidential. The results of the survey will not be linked to any survey participant. Text comments will be used verbatim so please do not provide any identifying information in your text comments.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important project. If you have any questions about the administration of the survey, please contact Fraser Johnston, at or Kathleen Williams, at 

To fill out the survey please follow this link


Fraser Johnston

University of Tasmania.

By completing and submitting the linked survey you are granting permission for the data collected to be used in this University of Tasmania research.

Survey participants

You are invited to take part in this research that is being carried out as part of an Honours degree for Fraser Johnston under the supervision of Kathleen Williams in the department of Journalism Media and Communications. This study will compare volunteer engagement across different types of citizen science projects by surveying volunteers about their experiences.

The aim of this study is to better understand how different types of citizen science programs engage volunteers though a variety of media and how this affects the experience of volunteers.

Fungimappers are invited to participate in this survey due to their involvement as a volunteer at Fungimap. Involvement in this survey is entirely voluntary and there are no consequences if you choose not to participate. Choosing not to participate will not affect your relationship with Fungimap or the University of 

We ask participants to spend a few minutes filling out the online questionnaire that is found here: 

There are a total of 40 questions that are a mixture of multiple choice and short answer. There is no time limit to the questionnaire and participants may fill it out over any amount of time before the 10th of October.

Participation in this study will allow you to have some input into the way that citizen science programs engage their volunteers, this will benefit the organisations directly involved in the study and wider citizen science community by giving citizen science organisations a roadmap to volunteer engagement though different media. 

There are not thought to be any risks associated with participating in this questionnaire.Participants in this questionnaire can withdraw at any time without providing an explanation for doing so however as all questionnaires are anonymous it will not be possible to retrieve data once the questionnaire has been filled out and submitted. The data collected from the surveys during the course of this project will be confidentially and securely stored in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania. Following a period of five years, the data will be securely destroyed. As participants do not provide their names the survey data will not identify any individual.

Findings of the study will be included in Fraser Johnston’s honours thesis. This will be available by request following grading at the conclusion of 2014. Survey participants will not be identified in the thesis.

If you have any questions about the study please contact Fraser Johnston or Kathleen Williams

“This study has been approved by the Tasmanian Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have concerns or complaints about the conduct of this study, please contact the Executive Officer of the HREC (Tasmania) Network on +61 3 6226 6254 or email The Executive Officer is the person nominated to receive complaints from research participants. Please quote ethics 
reference number H0014403.”

This information sheet is for participants to keep, consent for involvement is implied by the completion and submission of the survey.

Thank you,

Fraser Johnston, Kathleen Williams

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