Crowd science is scientific research that is conducted with the participation of volunteers who are not professional scientists. Thanks to the Internet and online platforms, project initiators can draw on a potentially large number of volunteers. This crowd can be involved to support data-rich or labour-intensive projects that would otherwise be unfeasible. So far, research on crowd science has mainly focused on analysing individual crowd science projects. In our research, we focus on the perspective of project initiators and explore how crowd science projects are set up. Based on multiple case study research, we discuss the objectives of crowd science projects and the strategies of their initiators for accessing volunteers. We also categorise the tasks allocated to volunteers and reflect on the issue of quality assurance as well as feedback mechanisms. With this article, we contribute to a better understanding of how crowd science projects are set up and how volunteers can contribute to science. We suggest that our findings are of practical relevance for initiators of crowd science projects, for science communication as well as for informed science policy making.
Scientists and funders are right to encourage the shift from passive citizen science — number crunching — to more-active roles, including sample collection.Let's see about that.
A massive citizen science project, involving more than 850,000 volunteers, has expanded its reach to include projects across the entire UK.
And while the citizen scientists could clearly save the working scientists some money, the authors suggest that this shouldn't really be the only goal. "Involving the crowd may enable researchers to pursue different kinds of research questions and approaches, rather than simply replacing one type of labor (e.g., graduate students) with another (volunteers)."
The implications for community participation in science and conservation are far-reaching. Imagine communities throughout the world gathering data, from remote villages in the Kalahari, the Congo, Australia and Mongolia, to school children in New York’s Central Park, London, Paris, Tokyo, New Delhi and Beijing. Citizens gathering data on birds, animals and plants. Millions of people all over the world sharing their data in the cloud, creating a worldwide network to monitor the global ecosystem in real time.
Benedikt Fecher sees great potential for citizen science, but argues a return to smaller-scale, high-involvement projects would be beneficial. This alternative model depends on citizen analysis, rather than just data collection. The core challenges for this kind of citizen science is to motivate and enable expert volunteers to make a long-term commitment to a scientific problem.
Public butterfly count aims to check countryside health
The charity Butterfly Conservation is calling on the public to help survey the state of Britain's countryside by counting our most colourful insects.
Long before the term "citizen science" was coined, the field of astronomy has benefited from countless men and women who study the sky in their spare time.
A new global monitoring system has been launched that promises "near real time" information on deforestation around the world.
FOR THOUSANDS of ordinary people around the world, one of biology’s hardest problems is just a game. Both scientists and supercomputers have long struggled to predict the three-dimensional structures of the biological molecules called proteins. These structures are crucial to understanding proteins’ roles in fundamental cellular processes and disease, but predicting them is no easy task—which is why some researchers have turned to laypeople for help.
Tens of thousands of birders are now what the lab calls “biological sensors,” turning their sightings into digital data by reporting where, when and how many of which species they see.
New York Times.
DIY ocean instrument could create 'citizen scientists' of the seas.
An open-source approach to collecting oceanographic information could democratize marine science, a team of US researchers believes. If successful, it could bring down the cost of obtaining three crucial pieces of data needed by marine scientists.
In the way that smart phones have permeated our culture, citizen science seems equally ubiquitous, appearing at science conferences, museums, conservation organizations, government agencies, journal articles, web sites and yes, in blogs. Citizen science covers a diverse collection of activities in which groups undertake investigations alongside or under the supervision of scientists.