Dusting for science: Motivation and participation of digital citizen science volunteers

  • Nov O
  • Arazy O
  • Anderson D
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Abstract

Digital citizen science offers a low cost way to strengthen the scientific infrastructure, and engage members of the public in science. It is based on two pillars: (1) a technological pillar, which involves develpoing computer systems to manage large amounts of distrubuted resources, and (2) a motivational pillar, which involves attracting and retaining volunteers who would contirbute their skills, time, and effort to a scientific cause. While the technological dimension has been weidely studied, th motivational dimension received little attention to date. To address this gap, we surveyed volunteers at Stardust@home a digital citizen scinece project, in which volunteers classify, online images from NASA's Stardust space craft. We found that collective an dintrinsic motivatons are the most salient motivational factors, whereas reward motives seem to be less relevant. We also found that intrinsic and norm-oriented motives are most strongly associated with particpiation intentions, where were, in turn, found to be associated with participatoin effort. Implications for research and practice are discussed

Author-supplied keywords

  • Citizen science
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Motivation
  • Participation
  • Stardust@home

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Authors

  • Oded Nov

  • Ofer Arazy

  • David Anderson

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