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Citizen Science - the public becomes experts

News: Nov 13, 2017

There are many examples of the public getting involved in research by contributing to archives and databases with their observations, images and other types of information. During the first GPS400 Conference, both local and global projects were noted.

Oxford University scholars Victoria Van Hyning and Samantha Blickhan spoke about their projects at Zooniverse, a citizen science web platform. In one project that classifies galaxies, over one and a half million volunteers have contributed. When speaking about a project about old papyrus documents, Van Hyning commented:
‘It's important to keep it simple for the non-specialists to participate. We have provided keyboards with the characters of the documents. We involve the volunteers through blogs, social media, newsletters and arrangements at museums, schools and retirement homes.’

With help from about a thousand pupils, Christopher Kullenberg at the University of Gothenburg has collected information about what kinds of messages are posted on analog bulletin boards, and in what form - handwritten notes, printed notes, with or without references to websites and mobile phone numbers.
‘The material on the bulletin boards is not preserved as they are cleaned on a regular basis’ Christopher Kullenberg said.
Instead, digital techniques are used - in this case, an app where the children has been asked to insert metadata. Similarly, other apps are used to collect information about roadkill - information that may be used to decide where more wildlife fences need to be set up.

Karl-Magnus Johansson of the National Archives in Gothenburg has been working on an exhibition of the 100th anniversary of the ‘Gothenburg Bread riots’ in 1917. In this project, he wanted to engage third parties to contribute with stories that may have been forgotten or perhaps never told. The National Archives advertised in local newspapers for volunteers who wanted to share their stories.
‘We received a lot of answers but had to limit the group to 18 people who could be included in workshops. We hope to be able to use these experiences in future projects’ said Karl-Magnus Johansson.

 

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Originally published on: gps400.gu.se

Page Manager: Monica Havström|Last update: 1/21/2010
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