Adopting a citizen science approach in translational experimental medicine research in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a study protocol

Article


Shah, S., Barrado-Martín, Y., Marjot, T., Tomlinson, J. and Kiparoglou, V. 2023. Adopting a citizen science approach in translational experimental medicine research in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a study protocol. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. 8 (1). https://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.555
TypeArticle
TitleAdopting a citizen science approach in translational experimental medicine research in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a study protocol
AuthorsShah, S., Barrado-Martín, Y., Marjot, T., Tomlinson, J. and Kiparoglou, V.
Abstract

Citizen science approaches are widely and successfully used in biological, environmental, and ecological sciences; however, they are rarely applied in other domains, such as translational health research, notably in the field of liver disease and metabolism. We have designed a study that aims to explore the application of the citizen science approach in a translational experimental medicine study on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and a 12-week lifestyle and weight loss program. In this methodological paper, we describe the process of involving citizen scientists in the study.
We will recruit a convenience sample of 31 participants (with and without NAFLD) and a half-dozen citizen scientists (members of the public). Citizen scientists will work alongside clinical and non-clinical researchers in a translational experimental medicine study on NAFLD. Citizen scientists will be involved in the co-design and/or review of data collection tools (e.g., semi-structured open-ended questionnaire surveys and semi-structured wellbeing diaries completed by the participants), co-analysis of data on participants’ experiences and motivations, co-drafts of research findings and papers, and suggestions for policy recommendations. Citizen scientists will be trained in the research tasks they will undertake, and will be either co-authors or their names will be mentioned in the acknowledgements in research paper(s) based on the level of research contributions.
Lessons learned from implementing citizen science in this study will help to reveal the advantages, limitations, and implications of involving citizen scientists in the translational medicine research. Knowing citizen scientists’ motivations, expectations, training needs, and overall experience of involvement in this study could provide insights, which could inform the planning and conduct of future translational research studies.
Involving citizen scientists in translational medicine research is an important step in extending research opportunities for members of the public; however, there may be methodological challenges, which may be identified and resolved by more research studies.

Keywords Research with members of the public; Citizen science; Citizen scientists ; Public engagement in science; Translational research; Science with society
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
17 Partnerships for the goals
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
PublisherUbiquity Press
JournalCitizen Science: Theory and Practice
ISSN2057-4991
Publication dates
Online16 Oct 2023
Publication process dates
Submitted22 Aug 2022
Accepted22 Aug 2023
Deposited25 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

© 2023 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.555
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