Creativity in Citizen Cyberscience

Charlene Jennett, L Kloetzer, Anna Cox, D Schneider, Emily Collins, M Fritz, MJ Bland, C Regalado, I Marcus, H Stockwell
in Human Computation, Journal article

Abstract

An interview study was conducted to explore volunteers' experiences of creativity in citizen cyberscience. Participants were recruited from 4 projects: GeoTag-X, Virtual Atom Smasher, Synthetic Biology, and Extreme Citizen Science. Ninety-six interviews were conducted in total: 86 with volunteers (citizen scientists) and 10 with professional scientists. The resulting thematic analysis revealed that volunteers are involved in a range of creative activities, such as discussing ideas, suggesting improvements, gamification, artwork, creative writing, and outreach activities. We conclude that the majority of creative products are community-related. Creativity in citizen cyberscience is a collective process: volunteers create within a project and a community, both for themselves and for others.