Panel session given at MCN2012. This slide deck is the introduction, and was followed by talks from Arfon Smith (Director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium and Technical Lead of the Zooniverse projects) and Jeff Holmes (Digital content editor, Encyclopedia of Life).
Citizen science describes methodologies and technologies that allow members of the public to contribute actively to gathering, improving and analysing data. Museums, particularly natural history and science museums have started to utilise citizen science techniques to provide a way to increase the speed and volume of information processing that can be undertaken. Datasets published openly and online can be made available for transcription, pattern recognition and visual analysis. The skills of enthusiastic amateurs can be utilised to gather new data for research and to add to existing collections datasets. In this panel the benefits to museum research and collections of citizen science approaches will be presented, along with case studies and discussions of technologies for large scale public data analysis.