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Purposeful Gaming & Socio-Computational Systems: A Citizen Science Design Case

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Association for Computing Machinery


Citizen science is a form of social computation where members of the public are recruited to contribute to scientific investigations. Citizen-science projects often use web-based systems to support collaborative scientific activities, making them a form of computer-supported cooperative work. However, finding ways to attract participants and confirm the veracity of the data they produce are key issues in making such systems successful. We describe a series of web-based tools and games currently under development to support taxonomic classification of organisms in photographs collected by citizen-science projects. In the design science tradition, the systems are purpose-built to test hypotheses about participant motivation and techniques for ensuring data quality. Findings from preliminary evaluation and the design process itself are discussed.


Prestopnik, Nathan; Crowston, Kevin (2012): Purposeful Gaming & Socio-Computational Systems: A Citizen Science Design Case. Proceedings of the 2012 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/2389176.2389188. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 75–84. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA