To Help or Hinder
Real-time Chat in Citizen Science

Abstract:
In this paper we investigate the implications of providing a real-time messaging interface in a Web-based citizen science game. Our study draws on data from two weeks of chat messages and survey responses collected from Eyewire, a highly successful citizen science game which enables players to take part in scientific enquiries, within a semi-gamified environment.

Our analysis reveals that real-time chat facilitates and supports players for several types of engagement; to collaboration on tasks, knowledge sharing, learning, socialising, supporting other in the community, and to help sustain long-term participation. Based on the analysis, we derive a set of design recommendations for citizen science platforms designers, focusing on the role of real-time chat on improving participation and performance.

ePrint ID: 406181
Authors: Ramine Tinati, Elena Simperl and Markus Luczak-Roesch

Find the publication on the University of Southampton website
https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/406181/

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