Citizen science is a popular means of engaging the general public in research activities led by professional scientists. By involving a large number of these amateur scientists, citizen science offers the advantages of distributed data collection and analysis on a scale that would be otherwise difficult and costly to achieve. While advancements in information technology in the past decades have fostered the growth of citizen science through online participation, continuous recruitment and engagement of participants remains important factors. Such web-based projects may alienate the citizen scientists from the researchers. In this paper, we investigate how motivations to participate in a citizen science project vary after an on-site, face to face interaction with the scientists leading the project. We use a citizen science-based environmental monitoring project as a case study, and in a measure-manipulate-measure experiment, find that involving users directly in data collection and interaction with the researchers of the project increases overall participant motivation to contribute to the project. Cultural and societal factors that contribute to motivation are also dissected and analyzed. Our findings provide an exploratory insight into a means for better motivating contributors and predicting who would be more positively affected to contribute. The subsequent benefits to data collection and analysis for environmental monitoring are immediate. Moreover, the increased scientific literacy of contributors as a result of raised participation, let citizen scientists represent a useful resource to be involved by public and private managers in other crowd-based projects as wise and technological prepared participants.

[Conference version] Effects of face-to-face interaction on motivations to participate in technology-mediated citizen science / Cappa, Francesco; Jeffrey, Laut; Giustiniano, Luca; Oded, Nov; Maurizio, Porfiri. - Organizing Crowds and Innovation, (2015), pp. 1-16. (Organizing Crowds and Innovation, Oxford, UK, October 30-31).

[Conference version] Effects of face-to-face interaction on motivations to participate in technology-mediated citizen science

CAPPA, FRANCESCO;GIUSTINIANO, LUCA;
2015

Abstract

Citizen science is a popular means of engaging the general public in research activities led by professional scientists. By involving a large number of these amateur scientists, citizen science offers the advantages of distributed data collection and analysis on a scale that would be otherwise difficult and costly to achieve. While advancements in information technology in the past decades have fostered the growth of citizen science through online participation, continuous recruitment and engagement of participants remains important factors. Such web-based projects may alienate the citizen scientists from the researchers. In this paper, we investigate how motivations to participate in a citizen science project vary after an on-site, face to face interaction with the scientists leading the project. We use a citizen science-based environmental monitoring project as a case study, and in a measure-manipulate-measure experiment, find that involving users directly in data collection and interaction with the researchers of the project increases overall participant motivation to contribute to the project. Cultural and societal factors that contribute to motivation are also dissected and analyzed. Our findings provide an exploratory insight into a means for better motivating contributors and predicting who would be more positively affected to contribute. The subsequent benefits to data collection and analysis for environmental monitoring are immediate. Moreover, the increased scientific literacy of contributors as a result of raised participation, let citizen scientists represent a useful resource to be involved by public and private managers in other crowd-based projects as wise and technological prepared participants.
Citizen science, Computer-mediate interactions, Crowdsourcing
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/157080
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