Citizen science: crowdsourcing for research

  • 22 May 2018


Why it matters

Experts come from all walks of life, and everyday people are increasingly making valuable contributions to scientific research.

The number of research projects using citizen science has grown rapidly over the past decade. Through citizen science, researchers are engaging people, who are not formally trained experts in a field. One such approach is crowdsourcing, where large pools of people with diverse backgrounds generate ideas, solve problems and carry out research tasks.

This report reviews practical examples of crowdsourcing for research and provides advice for designing, implementing and evaluating citizen science projects. As the first of three THIS Institute learning reports on citizen science, it is followed by reports on crowdsourcing for systematic reviews, and using citizen science to generate ideas and build consensus.

What we did

We started with a rapid review of 460 relevant research papers. From these titles, we selected 53 articles for the report that involved primary research about citizen science in research contexts.

We also interviewed four experts who had experience managing research projects that used crowdsourcing.

What we found


Download the report


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