February 7, 2017, by Alison Clarke
Digital Technologies: changing the way research is undertaken through Crowd Sourcing
Enhance the connectivity of research
Digital technologies are driving changes in the way research is undertaken. An example is the use of Crowd Sourcing. This is as a powerful way to harness contributions from large groups of people. They might contribute ideas or undertake specific task. One popular platform for people-powered research is Zooniverse (www.zooniverse.org). Zooniverse provides hosting for crowdsourcing projects, for example ranging from analysing cancer cells to classifying galaxies to identifying the seasons in photographs of landscapes. This work is claimed to have supported c. 100 research articles to date. Interestingly, David Watson (Oxford Internet Institute) investigated the use of crowdsourcing in the natural sciences and found that papers published from Zooniverse projects outperformed others by researchers using conventional means.
Crowdsourced science: sociotechnical epistemology in the e-research paradigm, Watson, D. & Floridi, L. Synthese (2016). doi:10.1007/s11229-016-1238-2.
The combination of methods used by academic crowdsourcing projects requires research teams which cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, and is just one example of why working in cross disciplinary teams can be beneficial.
We would be interested in hearing about researchers at Nottingham using Crowd Sourcing in their research. We could promote what you are doing through this blog? Alternatively, maybe you are interested in using Crowd Sourcing and are looking for someone to connect with?