Citizen science projects involve the general public in research activities in collaboration with professional scientists. In these projects, citizens contribute to the scientific project by collecting or analyzing data, often through a web-based interface. The participation of citizens in research projects is expected to produce at least two benefits: completing scientific research in a shorter time and at a lower cost, and the enhancement of the participants’ scientific literacy. While advancements in information technology facilitate the participation of the general public in research projects through online contributions, many communities still fail to develop the expected outcomes. In fact, extant studies show that such failures can be related to the different stimuli to which participants are exposed, and to their endurance over time. Citizens’ participation can be substantiated, and therefore analyzed, in terms of quantity of contributions and level of engagement. To this extend the introduction of some reward mechanisms might influence the level of participation in science projects. This paper reports the results of an empirical study on the effects of monetary rewards and social media recognition on citizens’ participation. In particular, the paper challenges the role of monetary incentives in volunteer activities and its possible crowding-out side effects. The investigation on citizens’ motivation has been conducted via electroencephalographic measurements and survey indices aimed at capturing the effects of some monetary incentives, specifically tailored for the research setting and social media recognition reward. The study concludes that both the monetary rewards and social media recognition could increase the citizens’ participation in science projects, if properly implemented.

Engaging citizens in science projects / Cappa, Francesco; Giustiniano, Luca. - Academy of Management Conference 2016 Proceedings, (2016), pp. - (Academy of Management, Anaheim, August 2016).

Engaging citizens in science projects

Francesco Cappa;Luca Giustiniano
2016

Abstract

Citizen science projects involve the general public in research activities in collaboration with professional scientists. In these projects, citizens contribute to the scientific project by collecting or analyzing data, often through a web-based interface. The participation of citizens in research projects is expected to produce at least two benefits: completing scientific research in a shorter time and at a lower cost, and the enhancement of the participants’ scientific literacy. While advancements in information technology facilitate the participation of the general public in research projects through online contributions, many communities still fail to develop the expected outcomes. In fact, extant studies show that such failures can be related to the different stimuli to which participants are exposed, and to their endurance over time. Citizens’ participation can be substantiated, and therefore analyzed, in terms of quantity of contributions and level of engagement. To this extend the introduction of some reward mechanisms might influence the level of participation in science projects. This paper reports the results of an empirical study on the effects of monetary rewards and social media recognition on citizens’ participation. In particular, the paper challenges the role of monetary incentives in volunteer activities and its possible crowding-out side effects. The investigation on citizens’ motivation has been conducted via electroencephalographic measurements and survey indices aimed at capturing the effects of some monetary incentives, specifically tailored for the research setting and social media recognition reward. The study concludes that both the monetary rewards and social media recognition could increase the citizens’ participation in science projects, if properly implemented.
citizen science, motivations
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/177389
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