This paper, by Ramine Tinati of the University of Southampton et al, studies Eyewire‘s use of real-time chat, looking at the contributions of both chatting and non-chatting members of the community. It was published in ACM Web Science 2015, and is available as a preprint here.
Citizen science is changing the process of scientific knowledge discovery.
Successful projects rely on an active and able collection of
volunteers. In order to attract, and sustain citizen scientists, designers
are faced with the task of transforming complex scientific
tasks into something accessible, interesting, and hopefully, engaging.
In this paper, we examine the citizen science game EyeWire.
Our analysis draws up a dataset of over 4,000,000 completed game
and 885,000 chat entries, made by over 90,000 players. The analysis
provides a detailed understanding of how features of the system
facilitate player interaction and communication alongside completing
the gamified scientific task. Based on the analysis we describe
a set of behavioural characteristics which identify different types of
players within the EyeWire platform.