AAAI Publications, Eleventh International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

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To Help or Hinder: Real-Time Chat in Citizen Science
Ramine Tinati, Elena Simperl, Markus Luczak-Roesch

Last modified: 2017-05-03


In this paper we investigate the implications of providing a real-time messaging interface in a Web-based citizen science game. Our study draws on data from two weeks of chat messages and survey responses collected from Eyewire, a highly successful citizen science game which enables players to take part in scientific enquiries, within a semi-gamified environment. Our analysis reveals that real-time chat facilitates and supports players for several types of engagement; to collaboration on tasks, knowledge sharing, learning, socialising, supporting other in the community, and to help sustain long-term participation. Based on the analysis, we derive a set of design recommendations for citizen science platforms designers, focusing on the role of real-time chat on improving participation and performance.

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