(test) MICS demo impact summary

This is an impact report of the citizen science project zMICS demo. The scores displayed summarise the results of the assessment process designed by the MICS project. For more information on how they were calculated, visit https://mics.tools

Project Information

Project start date:
January 2019
Project end date:
July 2022
Project Contacts:
Luigi Ceccaroni - lceccaroni@earthwatch.org.uk
Project URL:
https://about.mics.tools/
Impact Assesment progress:
17% complete

Rules-based scores

These scores are calculated based on a set of rules written to combine a specific set of impact metrics on the same theme into a single indicator. A higher score means the project is carrying out more activities related to the theme of the indicator and is, therefore, more likely to have a higher positive impact in this area. Rule-based scores are only calculated for specific themes. Overall assessments can be found below in the machine-learning--based scoring. Descriptions and explanations of impact indicators are provided at about.mics.tools/indicators (e.g., the score is low on economic productivity because the project did not include specific aspects related to improving efficiency). Different scores trigger different recommendations presented in the following section. Also, scores are not linked to project objectives; they try to capture a broad range of impacts even if the project does not consider or care about all of them. All scores are out of 42.

Impact Indicators Impact score (max 42) Average score (of projects on platform)
Society Activeness 0 23
Involvement 23 18
Governance Policy 24 15
Sustainable Development Goals 2 17
Economy Economic productivity 0 14
Financial sustainability 0 20
Environment Environmental awareness 9 22
Environmental footprint 11 12
Science Scientific productivity 5 20
Interdiscplinary science 0 21

Recommendations

The following recommendations are determined by the scores the project received in the previous section. The recommendations are based on citizen-science best practice as defined in the current scientific literature and how other projects have taken action to improve their impact in specific areas. Of course, following these recommendations does not guarantee the project will suddenly have a higher impact; it all depends on the specific context of each project, but they might provide helpful inspiration.

Society Activeness

The activeness of participants within a project is an important aspect of citizen science. Efforts should be made to make participants aware they are contributing to a research project through clear communication channels, and to offer them the opportunity to be responsible for their activities. If the project has not measured participants' degree of satisfaction in the process, it might want to consider to consider investigating this further using this paper as a starting point.

Involvement

The degree of involvement of participants in a project is an important aspect of citizen science, and includes involving participants in multiple stages of the project, offering them multiple activities to take part in, and offering different levels of involvements depending on individual interests and availability. This project could consider whether there are more stages of the project that participants could be involved in for example by considering co-design or co-evaluation.

Governance Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". However, citizen science has a much broader remit, so it is ok that your project does not directly consider them. You can find more information on SDGs here, to see if there are any possible links between their aims and your project.

Policy

The project might not look like it has the highest score for policy influence, but the answers given suggest it is actually among the more successful citizen-science projects in terms of policy. The most commonly considered impact on policy is citizen-science data as a source of information for decision makers. But citizen science can also directly impact policy as an object of research policy or as a policy instrument (read more in this paper). Policy influence can also include affecting organisational policy not just governmental policy. It might be helpful to consider how the project is influencing policy currently and whether any of the other forms of policy influence could also be achieved in the project. The project might find further inspiration from example projects in this report.

Economy Economic productivity

We know that economic productivity isn't a priority for most citizen-science projects. If you are interested in improving the economic productivity of the project, it might help to fully appraise any potential developments and advances made through the creation of a dedicated IPR plan. This will help reveal any economic potential that might have been overlooked, and support its exploitation.

Financial sustainability

If the project wants to improve its financial sustainability, it could consider creating an exploitation plan. To reduce recurring investments in technology and the cost per observation, the project could consider using open-source software and tools.

Environment Environmental footprint

This indicator considers the project's material footprint, polluting emissions, procurement policy, and pro-environmental actions for participants (such as litter picking). The project's score for this indicator shows that the project has considered some of these elements but to get a higher score the project needs to take measures to improve its environmental footprint in all these areas. 

Environmental awareness

The project clearly promotes environmental awareness, by educating participants on environmental challenges, or by contributing to participants' awareness of the natural environment through dissemination activities. Want to be able to measure participants' higher awareness, or increased stewardship? You might want to consider this paper.

Science Scientific productivity

It is important to share the outputs of a citizen-science project - through events, media and publications - otherwise learnings will not extend beyond the sphere of the project. Not every citizen-science project has an academic focus on publications. Neverthesless, by publishing the results of the project in peer-reviewed journals, the project could improve its scientific impact. Try to publish in high impact-factor journals so that the publications will be cited more. Perhaps the project could even support students' disseratations or theses in the future.

Interdiscplinary science

Explicitly promoting interdisciplinary ways of working could increase the impact of the project. There is evidence that interdisciplinarity is statistically significantly and positively associated with research impact (Okamura, 2019), largely through the engagement of a wider audience

Machine Learning Scores

The following scores were calculated using a statistically-driven machine-learning approach, a type of AI that learns to perform a task by analysing patterns in data. This is an experimental approach to citizen-science impact assessment, and the exact reasoning behind the scores is not explainable. The scores represent a best guess of the impact the project is having in each domain. How can you use the score? Well, this platform gives a common framework for impact assessment so you can use the scores: to see how the project's impact evolves over time; to compare the project with others; to report to funders and participants; or for your organisation's internal reporting. All scores are out of 42.

Economy 20 Economy 20 Society 8 Society 8 Governance 26 Governance 26 Science and technology 16 Science and technology 16 Environment 31 Environment 31 max. 42
Total Score 20/42