How Empowering Is Citizen Science? Access, Credits, and Governance for the Crowd


Web-based crowdsourced citizen science is an efficient method for scientists to collect and process data. Although lay persons obtain the opportunities to participate in research and engage with scientists, these crowdsourced projects generally maintain the traditional hierarchy of academic science. Lay persons have little say in project or platform governance, and institutional tools to hold project investigators accountable are almost nonexistent. This article examines how existing institutional policies address the question of distribution in crowdsourced citizen science, as it may further affect lay participants’ role in the institution of scientific knowledge production and their access to research resources. This article begins by comparing the norms developed by citizen-science institutions. It then discusses examples from Galaxy Zoo to see how the results of research projects are distributed, both in the form of access to research outcome and in authorship. The article also discusses the potential conflicts that arise when crowdsourced projects are organized by for-profit companies and why citizen-science platforms should develop institutional norms to avoid such conflicts.

透過網站平台以眾包方式進行公民科學,可以讓科學家有效率的蒐集、處理研究資料,雖然素人得到參與研究、與科學家互動的機會,但這一類型的公民科學往往維持了科學研究的階層制度,參與者對研究計劃或是平台治理往往無法置喙,而能要求研究主持者對參與者負責的制度工具也付之闕如。本文探討公民科學如何處理研究成果之資源分配的問題,這些分配的方式將進一步影響素人參與者在科學知識生產制度中的地位以及取得研究資源的機會。本文首先比較公民科學相關機構所發展出的制度規範,再以星系動物園 (Galaxy Zoo) 的幾項研究為例討論研究成果如何分配,包含誰能取得使用研究成果(如論文及研究資料)、以及誰能成為論文的共同作者。本文也檢討營利事業以眾包方式進行公民科學所可能產生的衝突,以及為何公民科學平台應發展相關的制度性規範來避免此等衝突的發生。


How Empowering Is Citizen Science? Access, Credits, and Governance for the Crowd


中央研究院法律學研究所 陳舜伶