Motivation and support services in citizen science insect monitoring: A cross-country study

Anett Richter*, Orr Comay, Cecilie S. Svenningsen, Jonas Colling Larsen, Susanne Hecker, Anders P. Tøttrup, Guy Pe'er, Robert R. Dunn, Aletta Bonn, Melissa Marselle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design and successful performance of citizen science-based monitoring require an understanding of the motivation and the needs of participants. Herem we use a questionnaire to assess intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and investigate in links between project support service and motivations in 181 participants taking part in three insect-focused citizen science projects in Denmark, Germany and Israel. Across all three countries, main intrinsic motivation for participating in the projects were “to have fun” and to “do something (good) for nature”. Equally important across all countries were extrinsic motivations such as “contribute to science” and “contribute to nature conservation”. Interestingly, differences in the projects (country or program-type) were more strongly related to respondent's motivation than demographic variables such as age and gender. Linking project support services to participants' intrinsic and extrinsic motivations revealed that the intrinsic motivation of “feeling a part of the community” as well as the extrinsic motivation “learning” and the service to provide “training on insect identification” were positively related. Interestingly, the support service of “monetary incentives” was negatively related with the motivation to “conserve species generally” and “conserve insects specifically”. We conclude, that early identification of the citizen scientists' motivation and the assessment of how motivations may change over time are important to foster successful and sustainable citizen science monitoring programs. International networks of (potentially similar) biodiversity monitoring schemes should consider differences in cultural background and citizen scientist's requirements, and accordingly tailor the projects designs to activate, train, and support participants according to their needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109325
JournalBiological Conservation
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Citizen science
  • Cross-country comparison
  • Engagement
  • Insects
  • Monitoring
  • Motives


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