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Top Citizen Science Projects of 2012

This isn’t an academic article, but I thought it was an interesting read. SciStarter listed their most popular citizen projects from 2012. It is worth going through and noting what did their most popular projects have in common and what aspects we could adapt when thinking about the creation of Ripple. Puzzles, identification and observations appeared to be popular trends.

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Research Papers

Amateur experts

This magazine article discusses the emerging citizen science trends and how it benefits large scale projects. It is another article that talks about the mutal benefits between

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Research Papers

Galaxy Zoo: Exploring the Motivations of Citizen Science Volunteers

This is another article that explores volunteer motivations as well as map out the demographics of the volunteers. A helpful resource in determining what will encourage users to come to Ripple. I particularly like how the authors discussed the community that emerged from the Galaxy Zoo site

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Research Papers

Citizen Science: Can Volunteers Do Real Research?

Also passed out at our meeting last week, I think this is a great article to take researchers into account. The paper presents an article for how volunteers are beneficial in a project, could be great in utilizing when reaching out to potential projects

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Research Papers

Dynamic changes in motivation in collaborative citizen-science projects

This article was passed out at our meeting last week. I think it is a great article that talks about motivations both for volunteers and researchers. It will be a good thing to keep in mind when thinking about how we want to keep both parties engaged on Ripple projects. The article called both sides a partnership and evaluated the expections both sides had of each other.

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Research Papers

DAST Template

Draw a Scientist Test Template

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Ann Bessenbacher onto Test Collection

Phylo DNA Puzzles

The site Phylo allows you to play a DNA puzzle game that makes you put together different dna strands in patterns based on color. After looking through the tutorial I was playing and finding it pretty interesting.

Pro: Easy to navigate, Color is good and overall design is well thought out, you do not need to login, and the ranking system may bring you back to play again.

Cons: I wasn’t sure exactly what the game was doing to help out. The site does have an about section but I feel as if the game did a little better job of describing or giving a few more details it would have been better.

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Timothy James Lange onto Citizen Science Sites

Old Weather

The site uses weather observations made by ships to contribute to climate projections. The site does say that your information will be used to track past ship and tell the stories of the people on board.

Pro: The website layout and colors really work well together. I think the visuals on the homepage that show you exactly how you do the work on the site are very helpful. The drive to becoming a captain of a ship will make you want to keep coming back. They have a tutorial section.

Cons: Login is required.

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Timothy James Lange onto Citizen Science Sites

Zooniverse

This site has multiple citizen science projects linked to it.


Pro: I like how it’s divided out into categories (Space, Climate, etc), site is simple to use, many of the projects are well-known, database creates a larger community

Con: logins may be required to participate in some projects

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Sea Floor Explorer

A very nicely designed website, the colors may actually be a little two bright for my taste but its easy to navigate and you don’t have to log in to just start classifying. The projects goal is to figure out where different sea creatures live and in what conditions. The tutorial at the beginning is brief and helps out enough to get you started. The site does keep track of the different creatures you have found if you login and the site seems to be updated frequently.

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Timothy James Lange onto Citizen Science Sites

Project Noah

A database to collect pictures of animals and have them identified by the site community


Pro: picture driven, mobile app available, social media presence, site design, divided by groups


Con: login required

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Citizen Sort

This is a site that allows you to play a few different games to help out with there projects. The site quotes “As you play, you’ll help classify plants, animals, and insects, and you’ll produce valuable scientific data to aid scientists in their work.”

Pros: The games are more for children but are at least some what interesting and it is a different concept then some citizen science projects. The website is fairly easy to navigate and most of the information you need is readily on hand.

Cons: The site takes a longtime to register, and it requires you to confirm your enrollment via e-mail.

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Timothy James Lange onto Citizen Science Sites

Fold it

Participants fold proteins in a game setup.


Pro: like the game idea, large community/social media presence, lots of information on site, updated content

Con: almost too much information on the site/messy

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Sci Starter

A site that helps you find projects. You can pick projects from activity type or topic type. The site is easy to navigate and it has plenty of different projects you can look through including projects that can be done online only. Does not require a login to allow you to browse through the projects. Cons: site does redirect you to other pages which may make you login.

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Timothy James Lange onto Citizen Science Sites

Redmap

This project asks for participants to log marine animal sightings found around Australia and post a picture.

Pro: interactive map showing pictures and locations, site design

Con: login required

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Panamath

This interactive project has viewers take a test to measure their number sense.

Pro: Can immediately take test, flexibility in length of time (5-20 minutes), immediate report of results available after the test (can see where your results fall), simple game to play

Con: The site seemed geared toward a younger audience, low sense of collaboration (lack of updates)

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Project BudBurst

This project asks users to watch a particular plant over a time and report on changes it exhibits by sending it periodic reports.

Pro: Site is easy to navigate, options in involvment (ie. can submit a single report or regular reports)

Con: login required, site geared toward teachers (to involve students)

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Yardmap

This project asks participants to submit a map of their yard in order to compile data to understand how that habitat affects native bird species.

Pro: Like the design of the site, interesting idea


Con: Not really in our target age range, login required

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

iSpot

This project has participants add pictures of nature and uses its online community to help identify it.

Pro: Picture driven observations, sense of collaboration in identification process

Con: Login required, site is a bit disorganized

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

#Snowtweets

Using twitter, this group asks viewers to tweet their location and snow depth through a hashtag. They are collecting data for creating more accurate snowfall simulations.


Pro: Like the social media aspect, when I got on twitter there were several posts tweeted about the project and it led to discussion. An easy thing to tweet. They have an interactive map that looks at where tweets are coming from, and snow is falling. Website is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate.

Cons: Lack of reward for particpants, no feedback on ongoing research

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

mPING

This project tracks weather by asking users to download an app on their phone and send in periodic reports as weather occurs.


Pros: Very easy to use, I downloaded the app on my phone and sending in a report takes seconds- very straightforward. Gives a sense of helping meteorologists through the interactive map they have online that allows people to see their reports among others.


Cons: Don’t like site color, not very inviting. The content could also be more specific and ordered so easier to read. App is much better in design. To see the report you sent in among others you have to open a browser window, which I can do on my phone, but the quality would be better on a computer.

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Galaxy Zoo

Another well established project where viewers look at various pictures of galaxies and help classify them.


Pro: Site is straightforward, consistent, easy to navigate. You can immediately start classifying and creating a login is optional if you want to keep track of your work.


Con: Not much information is given about why this work is important. What is the point of classification and how can the viewers feel like they are working for a bigger cause, no sense of reward/followup

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

SETI@home

This was basically the first citizen project and has a long established history (Since 1999). It is the subject in multiple articles we’ve discussed.


Pros: easy installation (listed as 2 steps), no login required (a download is though), well established project, updated site in terms of posts.


Cons: Lots of text on the website, don’t particularly like the web forum layout they have as their home page, lack of consistency in web layout (not a universal design)

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Megan Kendall onto Citizen Science Sites

Eye Wire

Site for citizens to help develop nueral pathways in the brain. Con- Requires a download of special software and you do have to create a login. I have not yet been able to load the software on my work machine.

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Ann Bessenbacher onto Citizen Science Sites

NSF Engineering Classroom Resources

This collection of lessons and web resources is aimed at classroom teachers, their students, and students’ families. Most of these resources come from the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). NSDL is the National Science Foundation’s online library of resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

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