The purpose of this research is to assess the current state of citizen science projects and reveal the role of volunteers in the research process. This is achieved by performing a literature review and content analysis of three international and one state-owned citizen science platforms (Wikipedia, SciStarter, CitSci and Precipita) that contain more than 800 research projects. Projects have been analyzed according to four categories: the academic disciplines, the way the project is designed, the phases of the research in which volunteers participate, and the tasks they perform. The results show that projects in the arts, humanities, and social sciences disciplines are almost non-existent. In addition, in the field of natural and physical sciences, projects are fostered with a top-down approach and volunteers participate primarily in the data collection phase in order to obtain a large volume of data, thereby receiving more financing from the European Union.

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Published on 01/01/2015

Volume 24, Issue 6, 2015
DOI: 10.3145/epi.2015.nov.15
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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