Do games attract or sustain engagement in citizen science? A study of volunteer motivations

Iacovides, Ioanna; Jennett, Charlene; Cornish-Trestrail, Cassandra and Cox, Anna L. (2013). Do games attract or sustain engagement in citizen science? A study of volunteer motivations. In: CHI '13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, USA, pp. 1101–1106.



Increasingly, games are being incorporated in online citizen science (CS) projects as a way of crowdsourcing data; yet the influence of gamification on volunteer motivations and engagement in CS projects is still unknown. In an interview study with 8 CS volunteers (4 from Foldit, 4 from Eyewire), we found that game elements and communication tools are not necessary for attracting new volunteers to a project; however they may help to sustain engagement over time, by allowing volunteers to participate in a range of social interactions and through enabling meaningful recognition of achievements.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 46987
  • Item Type
  • Conference or Workshop Item
  • ISBN
  • 1-4503-1952-1, 978-1-4503-1952-2
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    CHI+MEDEP/G059063/1EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
    Citizen Cyberlab317705EU (European Union)
  • Keywords
  • Citizen Science; Online Communities; Games; Gamification; Motivation; Engagement
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2013 The Author(s)
  • Depositing User
  • Ioanna Iacovides