Participation in biodiversity research projects: what's in it for me?
This paper describes the benefits of participating citizens in biodiversity research projects. It is assessed whether people: gain knowledge about science and the environment; gain or improve scientific skills; increase their self-efficacy for science and the environment (self-efficacy is the confidence that a person has that his or her actions will have an effect); increase their interest in science and the environment; increase their motivation for science and the environment; and change their actions towards the environment. The overall result of the study was positive. Participants reported benefits in all of the above six categories. Perceived benefits were greatest with respect to the environment and slightly less with respect to science. Thus, it is concluded that not only scientists benefit benefit from the public's involvement in research: the participating citizens seem to benefit also.