Crowdsourcing As a Tool for Research: Implications of Uncertainty

Edith Law, Krzysztof Z. Gajos, Andrea Wiggins, Mary L. Gray, and Alex Williams


 


Abstract

Numerous crowdsourcing platforms are now available to support research as well as commercial goals. However, crowdsourcing is not yet widely adopted by researchers for generating, processing or analyzing research data. This study develops a deeper understanding of the circumstances under which crowdsourcing is a useful, feasible or desirable tool for research, as well as the factors that may influence researchers' decisions around adopting crowdsourcing technology. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 researchers in diverse disciplines, spanning the humanities and sciences, to illuminate how research norms and practitioners' dispositions were related to uncertainties around research processes, data, knowledge, delegation and quality. The paper concludes with a discussion of the design implications for future crowdsourcing systems to support research.

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Citation Information

Edith Law, Krzysztof Z. Gajos, Andrea Wiggins, Mary L. Gray, and Alex Williams. Crowdsourcing as a tool for research: Implications of uncertainty. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW '17, pages 1544–1561, New York, NY, USA, 2017. ACM.

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