Cases & Design Documents

Several case studies were undertaken as part of the foundation for this research. The cases will be briefly described here, with links provided to lengthier the full case description and requirements documents. In addition, these cases led to the development of a series of design documents which will become available as they are completed. Part I, on design science and the selection of appropriate develompent projects is posted.

Design Document, Part I: Deciding What to Build
The Socially Intelligent Computing to Support Citizen Science (SOCS) project investigates the capabilities and potential of social computational systems (SoCS) in the context of citizen science. Employing a design science approach to research, this project has dual goals of answering meaningful scientific research questions about this field of inquiry while also addressing real-world problems that are important to the citizen science community.

Part I of this design document addresses the question, "how do we decide what to build?" The design science approach to research is described, and three interrelated factors (solving problems, addressing research questions, and feasibility of design) are discussed. These factors should be considered when deciding what kinds of artifacts are suitable for development. Ultimately, this discussion leads to the development of a decision table that outlines the research, architecture, and technology decisions that should be made at various points in the development timeline.

eBird, a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, is a citizen science project that engages a global network of birdwatchers to submit their observations via web-based tools. The service is free and serves a primary role for gathering large quantities (2 million observations per month) of scientific and conservation-oriented bird data, which are used by a broad spectrum of research and conservation initiatives.

Galaxy Zoo
Galaxy Zoo and other Zooniverse websites are citizen science projects designed to allow individuals to aid with scientific inquiry through annotating various astronomical photographs or other assets online. Galaxy Zoo is specifically designed to have individuals from around the world classify galaxies photographed by various space telescope platforms. The classifications submitted are used to paint a more detailed picture of the universe we live in.

The Great Sunflower Project
The Great Sunflower Project is a citizen science project designed to collect information about bee pollination across the United States. Participants in this project use a website to submit information about their gardens and the number of times bees visit within a given a period of time.

What's Invasive & Project Budburst
What's Invasive and Project Budburst are citizen science projects designed to collect information about invasive species and plant phenophases respectively. Participants in these projects use mobile devices in the field to collect and submit information about the plants and insects they are observing, as well as their location and other relevant factors.