Baptiste Bedessem Bogna Gawrońska-Nowak Piotr Lis


We assess the relationship between citizens’ participation in scientific research and public trust in research results within social sciences. We conduct an online citizen science quasi-experiment concerning the delineation of metropolitan areas of Poland’s two major cities. It consists of two stages. In stage one, participants in one region are exposed to citizen science and directly involved in delineating the boundaries of their local metropolitan area. In stage two, we add another region in which participants are not involved in the research process. In both regions we ask the participants to evaluate the level of their trust in the presented maps of respective metropolitan areas: based on citizen science in one region and historical data regression analysis in the other region. Our contribution to the literature lies in two areas. First, we demonstrate how citizen science can be used in urban studies to delineate boundaries of urban and metropolitan areas exhibiting strong functional connections. Second, we show that the participation of local residents in the research process increases public trust in the study results compared to non-participatory ‘traditional academic’ research. These results confirm that citizen science programs deserve to be strongly supported by European institutions as a possible means to resolving the credibility crisis of science, research and evidence-based policies.


Article Keywords

Citizen science, Social trust, Trust in science, Urban studies, City boundaries

Research Articles
Article Copyright
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Material published in the JCER is done so under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence, with copyright remaining with the author.
  • Articles published online in the JCER cannot be published in another journal without explicit approval of the JCER editor.
  • Authors can 'self-archive' their articles in digital form on their personal homepages, funder repositories or their institutions' archives provided that they link back to the original source on the JCER website. Authors can archive pre-print, post-print or the publisher's version of their work.
  • Authors agree that submitted articles to the JCER will be submitted to various abstracting, indexing and archiving services as selected by the JCER.
Further information about archiving and copyright are contained within the JCER Open Access Policy.