Galaxy Zoo: Motivations of Citizen Scientists

December 1st, 2013 | RESEARCH

Citizen science, in which volunteers work with professional scientists to conduct research, is expanding due to large online datasets. To plan projects, it is important to understand volunteers' motivations for participating. This paper analyzes results from an online survey of nearly 11 000 volunteers in Galaxy Zoo, an astronomy citizen science project. Results show that volunteers' primary motivation is a desire to contribute to scientific research. We encourage other citizen science projects to study the motivations of their volunteers, to see whether and how these results may be generalized to inform the field of citizen science.


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Team Members

M. Jordan Raddick, Author, Johns Hopkins University
Georgia Bracey, Co-Principal Investigator, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Pamela Gay, Author, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Chris Lintott, Author, Oxford University
Carie Cardamone, Author, Brown University
Phil Murray, Author, Fingerprint Digital Media
Kevin Schawinski, Author, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule
Alexander Szalay, Contributor, Johns Hopkins University
Jan Vandenberg, Contributor, Johns Hopkins University


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.3847/AER2011021
Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 1539-1515

Publication: Astronomy Education Review
Volume: 12
Number: 1
Page(s): 1

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Space science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Public Programs