Designing Virtual Organizations for Citizen Science

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Theoretical model for investigation of public participation in scientific research through citizen science projects, which often operate as virtual organizations.

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Designing Virtual Organizations for Citizen Science

  1. 1. Designing Virtual Organizations for Citizen Science <ul><li>Wiggins & K. Crowston </li></ul><ul><li>IFIP 8.2 OASIS workshop </li></ul><ul><li>15 December, 2009 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Motivation <ul><li>Problem : The Tyranny of Scale in scientific research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporal scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data scale </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution : Redesigning scientific work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eScience: leverages ICTs to overcome challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizen Science: harnesses public interest to enable and extend research </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Context <ul><li>Citizen Science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific research that includes non-scientists as active contributors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often has educational or civic goals in addition to scientific goals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diverse range of intellectual domains, wide variety of modes of participation </li></ul><ul><li>Usually a type of virtual organization </li></ul>
  4. 4. Conceptual Framework <ul><li>Multi-level: distinct but interrelated individual and organizational factors </li></ul><ul><li>IMOI model: outputs become inputs </li></ul><ul><li>Contextually aware </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific processes and goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explicitly assuming involvement of professional scientists in project design and development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant processes and goals </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Initial Model
  6. 6. Inputs <ul><li>Individual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizational </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Task design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology design </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Moderators <ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual: Joining, contributing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational: Scientific research, volunteer management, data management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emergent States </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual: Commitment, roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational: Sustainability, community </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Outputs <ul><li>Individual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizational </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Issues <ul><li>Heterogeneity and scope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From stardust to bumblebees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From a handful to a horde </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participation is like… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layered individual work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small group interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks of practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social movements </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Future Work <ul><li>Develop typology of citizen science projects, guided by this framework </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate and revise iteratively </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In-depth case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Examine “experience design” of contributors’ participation to optimize for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientifically valuable outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant benefit and learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project sustainability </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Thanks! <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>voss.syr.edu </li></ul>

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