Online Citizen Science platforms are good examples of socio-technical systems where technology-enabled interactions occur between scientists and the general public (volunteers). Citizen Science platforms usually host multiple Citizen Science projects, and allow volunteers to choose the ones to participate in. Recent work in the area has demonstrated a positive feedback loop between participation and learning and creativity in Citizen Science projects, which is one of the motivating factors both for scientists and the volunteers. This emphasises the importance of creating successful Citizen Science platforms, which support this feedback process, and enable enhanced learning and creativity to occur through knowledge sharing and diverse participation. In this paper, we discuss how scientists’ and volunteers’ motivation and participation influence the design of Citizen Science platforms. We present our summary as guidelines for designing these platforms as user-inspired socio-technical systems. We also present the case-studies on popular Citizen Science platforms, including our own CitizenGrid platform, developed as part of the CCL EU project, as well as Zooniverse, World Community Grid, CrowdCrafting and EpiCollect+ to see how closely these platforms follow our proposed guidelines and how these may be further improved to incorporate the creativity enabled by the collective knowledge sharing.

Source: Design Guidelines for the User-Centred Collaborative Citizen Science Platforms

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