Human values and digital citizen science interactions

V. Palacin, Maria Angela Felicita Cristina Ferrario, Gary Hsieh, Antti Knutas, Annika Wolff, Jari Porras

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Sustained participation is critical to the success of digital citizen-science initiatives, yet much of the current literature focuses on mapping people's motives to engage without considering the extent to which participation is sustained over time. We conducted a year-long experimental study (n=85) “in-thewild” to explore the effects of human-value orientations on the use of digital citizen-science tools. Participants took part in both the co-design and use of digital citizen-science tools in Lappeenranta, Finland from 2018–2019. Our statistical analysis finds evidence of relations between value orientations, sustained participation, and the number and quality of digital interactions. Specifically, we find that value orientations are linked with different usage patterns. For instance, people with a stronger openness-to-change (OTC) values tended to use the mobile application to check others’ submissions, even when they had nothing to submit, whereas people with stronger security values mostly used the application when they had something relevant to submit. Further understanding the influence of human values in digital citizen science is a promising area for future research that could contribute to a) guide the design of incentive mechanisms, b) understand user experiences in online communities, and c) inform the design and evaluation of digital citizen-science technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102605
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Early online date01 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2021


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