Free as in puppies: Compensating for ICT constraints in citizen science

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Citizen science is a form of collaborative research engaging the public with professional scientists. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are a leading factor in the recent spread of this phenomenon. A common assumption is that money and ICT are the ideal solutions to issues of data quality and participant engagement. The reality is instead that resource limitations often require adopting suboptimal ICT, including tools that are "free as in puppies" with hidden costs from poor usability and lack of appropriate functionality. A comparative case study of three citizen science projects, eBird, The Great Sunflower Project, and Mountain Watch, found that projects with few ICT resources employed a broader range of strategies to address these issues than expected. The most practical and effective strategies integrated available ICT with other resources to open up new solutions and options for supporting citizen science outcomes in spite of resource limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Pages1469-1480
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2013Feb 27 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW

Conference

Conference2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period2/23/132/27/13

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Citizen science
  • Data quality
  • Distributed work
  • Scientific collaboration
  • Technology-mediated participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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