Why Won’t Aliens Talk to Us? Content and Community Dynamics in Online Citizen Science

A paper by Markus Luczak-Roesch, Ramine Tinati, Elena Simperl, Max Van Kleek, Nigel Shadbolt and Robert Simpson describing research into 10 “Citizen Science” projects, in which members of the public are involved in scientific research. The study examined the factors that affect user engagement, the discussions between the citizen scientists and the transference of scientific expertise, with over 50 million activities of 250, 000 users being analysed.