Everyone counts? Design considerations in online citizen science

Spiers, Helen and Swanson, Alexandra and Fortson, Lucy and Simmons, Brooke D. and Trouille, Laura and Blickhan, Samantha and Lintott, Chris (2019) Everyone counts? Design considerations in online citizen science. Journal of Science Communication, 18 (1): A04. ISSN 1824-2049

[thumbnail of Everyone counts - accepted version]
PDF (Everyone counts - accepted version)
Everyone_counts_accepted_version.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (2MB)


Effective classification of large datasets is a ubiquitous challenge across multiple knowledge domains. One solution gaining in popularity is to perform distributed data analysis via online citizen science platforms, such as the Zooniverse. The resulting growth in project numbers is increasing the need to improve understanding of the volunteer experience; as the sustainability of citizen science is dependent on our ability to design for engagement and usability. Here, we examine volunteer interaction with 63 projects, representing the most comprehensive collection of online citizen science project data gathered to date. Together, this analysis demonstrates how subtle project design changes can influence many facets of volunteer interaction, including when and how much volunteers interact, and, importantly, who participates. Our findings highlight the tension between designing for social good and broad community engagement, versus optimizing for scientific and analytical efficiency.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Science Communication
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? citizen sciencepublic engagement with science and technologysocial inclusioncommunication ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Mar 2019 10:55
Last Modified:
16 Dec 2023 01:29