Understanding discussions of citizen science around Sustainable Development Goals in Twitter

David Roldán-Álvarez, Fernando Martínez-Martínez, Estefanía Martín and Pablo A. Haya,

in IEEE Access, 2021, 9, pp. 144106-144120 https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3122086


Citizen science (CS) involves volunteers who participate in scientific research by collecting data or by addressing the needs of the project they are involved in. In the last years, there has been an increasing interest in how CS can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that aim to reach a sustainable future. Research about data quality has taught us that through using an appropriate methodology, CS can foster scientific knowledge and promote specific actions to achieve accomplish goals. However, there is not much information about the SDGs that CS is more interested in. This paper presents a long-term study on how CS discuss about SDGs in Twitter, aiming to classify the discussion around the SDGs. The paper reports on a variety of topics such as open science, innovation and biodiversity, among others, but the results show that the most addressed topic in CS discussions in Twitter is about climate change, with corresponds to the SDG 13. Based on these findings, it is possible to affirm that climate change is a hot topic in CS in Twitter. However, there are also other SDGs that although underrepresented, are also discussed in CS.