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Assessing the Value Orientations of Contributors to Virtual Citizen Science Projects

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Association for Computing Machinery


Like other crowdsourcing communities, e.g., Wikipedia, citizen science projects struggle to attract and retain long-term contributors. Long-term contributors are critical to the success of many projects; research about motivational drivers has attracted the attention of many scholars. Prior literature has argued that values are motivational constructs linked to behavioral outcomes, and value orientations differ among demographic groups and cultures. In this paper, we assess the value orientations of volunteers who contribute to Zooniverse - an online platform that connects the public and researchers who collaborate on scientific research. We conducted an online survey (N=5,436) to measure the value orientations of Zooniverse contributors using Schwartz’s’ Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ). We found the most salient value orientations of the population were achievement, self-direction, and security. Value prioritization differs slightly among some demographic groups. We present strategies for motivating contributions based on value orientations in the discussion.


Jeong, Eunmi (Ellie); Jackson, Corey; Dowthwaite, Liz; Ahmad, Tallal; Trouille, Laura (2023): Assessing the Value Orientations of Contributors to Virtual Citizen Science Projects. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Communities and Technologies. DOI: 10.1145/3593743.3593782. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 191–202. Lahti, Finland