Anita Greenhill & Gary Graham

University of Manchester & University of Leeds


Anita Greenhill and Gary Graham

TITLE | Wonders of the Zooniverse — understanding one million users, crowdsourcing and citizen science

ABSTRACT | Why do people contribute to online citizen platforms? What is their motivation? Can the understanding of online citizen science be used to build new business models? These are questions that take on major economic and social significance, considering the has over one million participants. The is a platform enabling the efforts and abilities of citizens along with scientists to analyse a flood of data. We are exploring the interface between citizen science and crowdsourcing. In our investigation we focus on the following: knowledge of the crowd; value of the crowd; and the motivations of the crowd. The research will generate evidence to demonstrate how managers of crowdsourcing initiatives can optimise both the user experience and their management approaches, in order to enhance and sustain levels of participation. This will ensure the self-preservation of their operational model. A key focus of the project is to discover how value is being captured by the Zooniverse, through the voluntary activities of labour, knowledge, skills and expertise. Further we will investigate how user value can positively contribute to participation in citizen science.

BIOGRAPHY | Dr Greenhill’s key areas of research interest are in the areas of Networked Usage of Technology within Community, Organisational and Business settings. She is actively conducting research into technologically enabled work, spatiality, and Internet usage in organisations. Dr Greenhill has a growing body of more than 60 publications, ranging from examination of virtual space and the impact that new technological developments are having on organisations and people to the use of technology on techno-religious practice. Dr Greenhill recently carried out a research project for the National Coordinating Centre of Public Engagement (NCCPE) examining the engagement practices between Universities and Local Communities. Dr Greenhill is currently a co-investigator on a NEMODE (EPSRC) 3 year project Modelling and optimising participation in online citizen science: Uncovering the wonders of the Zooniverse.

Dr Gary Graham is based at Leeds University Business School and is a founding member of the Future Cities and Community Resilience Network. This network is focused on the use of creative and cultural foresight techniques to map out a better social, economic and ethical future for ordinary people living in inner city communities. Gary is a visiting research scholar at the MIT Centre for Transport and Logistics and the Freight Future Lab. He has authored two books and guest edited three highly ranked special issues and reviews for TFSC, Futures, EJM and SCM: an International Journal.