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Subject: confchem: Post from Anna-Leena
From: CCCE ConfChem <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CONFCHEM <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 1 Jun 2016 12:12:50 -0500

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To reply: [1]

Dear Peter,

Some ideas on “ How can behavior design and gamification methodologies help
to sustain citizen science efforts over time? What are best practices in this

There’s a magazine article on the kinds of people who like to contribute to
these kinds of projects, here it’s about Old Weather project, but it’s
maybe possible to extrapolate a
[2] - people are drawn to a community and often it’s people who have some
background in the subject, retired teachers and scientists. I remember
reading another article stating these more generally, but I couldn’t find
it (sorry)

Anyway, that would lead to suggesting making the project attractive to not
only school students and young hip kids, but also the age group of people who
have retired; and putting an emphasis on building a place for discussion and

There’s more analysis on which kinds of projects appear more successful
(although it’s a little biased in the sense that the projects that have
gone on the longest have gathered most fame and a larger following, so it’s
tough to
I don’t think there’s a single project with physical manipulatives
distributed in the article; but some points seem generalizable:

-          Scientific impact and public engagement are linked in
the analysed projects, they’re successful either in both or none ->
carefully plan public engagement as well

-          The scientists working in the project may need training
on how to talk and collaborate with the citizens (e.g. convincing them to
write blogs, discuss at discussion boards…)

-          The projects that keep citizens involved for most hours
have an engaging tutorial and high public profile (the examples used were
Snapshot Serengeti and a few others)

The way I read your paper was that it focuses on students (university? High
school?) likely because of the distribution of data collecting devices
required in the project. Perhaps there’s a way to reach other social groups
to really gather data from the daily lives of different generations and more
and less privileged groups in the same areas… 
Another part that seems to run against the success model outlined above is
that the citizens will be data collectors only. This will not create lasting
engagement (how many times will you be interested in collecting data from
your walk to school). The planning is likely in such initial stages that
there’s little to say about the analysis and how it could be shared among
the participants, but that would probably be the area where a larger crowd
could partake in the project and keep it going for longer and also educate
more than being the vehicle for data collection.  

Some ideas that otherwise come to mind (in terms of the other data sets you
mention) – maybe share ideas on other tags that should be put on the data
collected by people. This could be a collaborative citizen science effort
already, to have people come up with descriptors that would set their daily
lives and susceptibilities to pollution apart from “everyone else”. Maybe
a vote to choose the ones that seem most information rich. Would have to
design a tutorial or a video or something about the different lives of people
all over the world to set people into mindset of noticing the differences. 
Also, this could be already done while the sensor development is happening in
the background to start raising public interest in the project (as it seems
safe to say your sensors WILL work and be of reasonable cost).
Later when uploading the data to the online repository, the collectors should
then choose from this predetermined list which ones apply to their data (say,
“collected on foot”, “downtown”, “wood stove in the house”,
etc…) and hence there’d be also more data to connect to individual social
settings level patterns, rather than just cities or countries data streams
overall (which obviously would be of interest as well).

What an interesting project you’re running! I wish you best of luck in the

Anna-Leena Kähkönen
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

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