Why do people contribute to online citizen platforms? What is their motivation? Can the understanding of online citizen science be used to build new business models? These are questions that take on major economic and social significance, considering the Zooniverse.org has over one million participants. The Zooniverse.org is a platform enabling the efforts and abilities of citizens along with scientists to analyse a flood of data. We are exploring the interface between citizen science and crowdsourcing. In our investigation we focus on the following: knowledge of the crowd; value of the crowd; and the motivations of the crowd. The research will generate evidence to demonstrate how managers of crowdsourcing initiatives can optimise both the user experience and their management approaches, in order to enhance and sustain levels of participation. This will ensure the self-preservation of their operational model. A key focus of the project is to discover how value is being captured by the Zooniverse, through the voluntary activities of labour, knowledge, skills and expertise. Further we will investigate how user value can positively contribute to participation in citizen science.

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