Although participation of citizen scientists is critical for a success of citizen science projects (a distinctive form of crowdsourcing), little attention has been paid to what types of messages can effectively recruit citizen scientists. Derived from previous studies on citizen scientists’ motivations, we created and sent participants one of four recruiting messages for a new project, Gravity Spy, appealing to different motivations (i.e., learning about science, social proof, contribution to science, and altruism). Counter to earlier studies on motivation, our results showed that messages appealing to learning, contribution and social proof were more effective than a message appealing to altruism. We discuss the inconsistency between the present and prior study results and plans for future work.

Source: Recruiting messages matter: Message strategies to attract citizen scientists