Motivation to Participate in an Online Citizen Science Game

  title={Motivation to Participate in an Online Citizen Science Game},
  author={Vickie Curtis},
  journal={Science Communication},
  pages={723 - 746}
  • V. Curtis
  • Published 16 October 2015
  • Psychology
  • Science Communication
Online citizen science projects have the potential to engage thousands of participants with scientific research. A small number of projects such as Foldit use an online computer game format. Motivation to participate in Foldit was investigated in a group of 37 players using an online survey, semistructured interviews, and participant observation. Results suggest that contributing to scientific research and an interest in science were among the most important motivations for participation… 

Figures from this paper

Which motives are most effective in recruiting citizen scientists ? Results of a field experiment
Researchers have identified a range of motives for participation in citizen science projects, but have not investigated their relative efficacy in encouraging initial participation. We report on an
Getting it Right or Being Top Rank: Games in Citizen Science
The use of games in citizen science is growing, but can create tension as gaming and science can be seen as incompatible areas of activity. For example, the motivations for winning a game and
Bridging the Benefits of Online and Community Supported Citizen Science: A Case Study on Motivation and Retention with Conservation-Oriented Volunteers
This study explores the motivations and barriers for participation and persistence in an innovative citizen science pilot project with Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers. The project combines
A Framework for Classifying Participant Motivation that Considers the Typology of Citizen Science Projects
A motivational framework is defined, which classifies participant motivation taking into account the typologies of citizen science projects, and helps citizen science practitioners to have comprehensive knowledge about potential motivational factors that can be used to recruit participants, as well as sustaining participation in their projects.
Appealing to different motivations in a message to recruit citizen scientists: results of a field experiment
This study examines the relative efficacy of citizen science recruitment messages appealing to four motivations that were derived from previous research on motives for participation in
Is Virtual Citizen Science A Game?
The literature is reviewed to determine what the trends are regarding the performance of particular game elements or characteristics in citizen science, existing projects are surveyed to assess how popular different game features are, and existing projects use a range of game elements with points and leaderboards the most popular.
Motivation for Participation: From General Volunteerism to Online Citizen Science
Some citizen scientists are incredibly committed to a project and spend many hours a week on the project task sometimes over many months or years. This chapter considers previous research in this
Designing feedback information to encourage users' participation performances in citizen science projects
A research model is proposed to depict the influence of feedback types and feedback valences on self‐efficacy and enjoyment and will provide the groundwork for feedback information design to enhance users' participation performance in citizen science projects.
Investigating the Impacts of Task characteristics in Gamified Citizen Science
Citizen science is a form of crowdsourcing service that recruits general public on scientific collaboration and co-creation. Drawing upon the job characteristic theory and self-determination theory,
Expertise and engagement: re-designing citizen science games with players' minds in mind
This study developed six interface and mechanical changes to the tutorial levels in Foldit designed to increase engagement and retention and documents the process of operationalizing CLT and SDT as new game features, a unique methodology not used in game design previously.


Do games attract or sustain engagement in citizen science?: a study of volunteer motivations
It is found that game elements and communication tools are not necessary for attracting new volunteers to a CS project; however they may help to sustain engagement over time, by allowing volunteers to participate in a range of social interactions and through enabling meaningful recognition of achievements.
An Exploratory Factor Analysis of Motivations for Participating in Zooniverse, a Collection of Virtual Citizen Science Projects
199 registered users of Zooniverse, a successful collection of VCS projects, completed a web survey assessing various possible motives for their participation and an exploratory factor analysis of their responses suggests a three-factor solution representing motives related to Social Engagement, Interaction with the Website, and Helping.
Online citizen science games: Opportunities for the biological sciences
  • V. Curtis
  • Education
    Applied & translational genomics
  • 2014
Dynamic changes in motivation in collaborative citizen-science projects
It is shown that volunteers are motivated by a complex framework of factors that dynamically change throughout their cycle of work on scientific projects; this motivational framework is strongly affected by personal interests as well as external factors such as attribution and acknowledgment.
Technology-Mediated Citizen Science Participation: A Motivational Model
It is found that participation task granularity is correlated with motivation levels, and collective and intrinsic motives are the most salient motivational factors, whereas reward motives are less important for volunteers.
The Reader-to-Leader Framework: Motivating Technology-Mediated Social Participation
Billions of people participate in online social activities. Most users participate as readers of discussion boards, searchers of blog posts, or viewers of photos. A fraction of users become
“I want to be a captain! I want to be a captain!”: gamification in the old weather citizen science project
The appeal of gamification for participants in the Old Weather project, and its impact upon data quality, is explored, and new design recommendations which recognise varying levels of engagement with a project are offered.
Dusting for science: motivation and participation of digital citizen science volunteers
Volunteers at Stardust@home a digital citizen science project, in which volunteers classify online images from NASA's Stardust spacecraft, find that collective and intrinsic motivations are the most salient motivational factors, whereas reward motives seem to be less relevant.
Why Won't Aliens Talk to Us? Content and Community Dynamics in Online Citizen Science
A quantitative analysis of ten citizen science projects hosted on the Zooniverse platform, using a data set of over 50 million activity records and more than 250,000 users, collected between December 2010 and July 2013, identifies project characteristics, most importantly the subject domain and the duration of a project.
Using gamification to inspire new citizen science volunteers
Biotracker, a gamified mobile application that gathers plant phenology data, is evaluated and it is suggested that gamification is key to attracting many Millennials, as are social motivations and, to a lesser extent, education.