Citizen Science is an Internet-enabled mass participation and online collaboration mode,which fully reflects the idea of crowd wisdom and open innovation. To date,the researchers abroad have extensively investigated the citizen science as a research field,while the topic is still at its early stage in China. This paper aims at discussing the conceptualization and pattern design of citizen science projects,and providing some future directions for Library and Information Science researchers.
The paper firstly reviews the prior studies on citizen science field,and indicates some limitations from theoretical and practical perspectives. Theoretically,many previous studies did not clearly figure out the difference between scientific crowdsourcing and citizen science,which may blur the boundary of conceptualization and lead to some misunderstanding on these two terms. Practically,so far,most of the citizen science projects focus on the nature science disciplines,while paying little attention to the humanities and social sciences,especially for the advancement of digital humanities,citizen science projects may have great potential in facilitating and improving the relevant research themes and topics. Then,the study emphasizes that scientific crowdsourcing can be viewed as the theoretical foundation of citizen science research,which means that the successful conceptualization and design of scientific crowdsourcing mode will better the understanding of citizen science projects. The study elaborates on the key issues of scientific crowdsourcing and core driving forces,and then endeavors to propose a typology on the scientific crowdsourcing into three categories,namely non-emergent,emergent with the quantitative accumulation,and emergent with the qualitative accumulation. Several dimensions are put forward to illustrate the characteristics of the three categories of scientific crowdsourcing.
Furthermore,the study attempts to examine the specific pattern of citizen science projects based on the scientific crowdsourcing mode proposed above,and two dimensions are used to illustrate the genre of citizen science projects. Later,16 citizen science projects are selected to validate the two-dimension-model and show a good explanatory effect in classifying the various citizen science projects in an academic manner. In addition,the study highlights the organization-based view to reinforce the management and development of citizen science projects,which suggests adding a third-party,i.e.,the organization to conduct the relevant managerial and deploy work,including task design and decomposition,participant incentive and training mechanism,data curation and quality control,etc. A specific operational model with the entities and associations is designed to elaborate on the key steps and issues regarding the successful implementation of citizen science projects. Finally,the paper suggests several research directions from the Library and Information Science (LIS) perspective,indicating that the LIS field should take the opportunity to explore the relevant research topics,especially contributing to the planning and implementation of citizen science projects in the digital humanities domain. 4 figs. 1 tab. 45 refs.