Citizen science projects store an enormous amount of information about species distribution, diversity and characteristics. Researchers are now beginning to make use of this rich collection of data. However, access to these databases is not always straightforward. Apart from the largest and international projects, citizen science repositories often lack specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect them to the scientific environments. Thus, it is necessary to develop simple routines to allow researchers to take advantage of the information collected by smaller citizen science projects, for instance, programming specific packages to connect them to popular scientific environments (like R). Here, we present rAvis, an Rpackage to connect R-users with Proyecto AVIS (http://proyectoavis.com), a Spanish citizen science project with more than 82,000 bird observation records. We develop several functions to explore the database, to plot the geographic distribution of the species occurrences, and to generate personal queries to the database about species occurrences (number of individuals, distribution, etc.) and birdwatcher observations (number of species recorded by each collaborator, UTMs visited, etc.). This new R-package will allow scientists to access this database and to exploit the information generated by Spanish birdwatchers over the last 40 years. © 2014 Varela et al.
Varela, S., González-Hernández, J., Casabella, E., & Barrientos, R. (2014). rAvis: An R-package for downloading information stored in proyecto AVIS, a citizen science bird project. PLoS ONE, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0091650