View Full Version : Ideas for Citizen Science in Astronomy - hot off the arXiv press

Jean Tate
2014-Sep-16, 02:09 PM
"Ideas for Citizen Science in Astronomy", by Philip J. Marshall, Chris J. Lintott, Leigh N. Fletcher, arXiv:1409.4291 (http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.4291):

We review the relatively new, internet-enabled, and rapidly-evolving field of citizen science, focusing on research projects in stellar, extragalactic and solar system astronomy that have benefited from the participation of members of the public, often in large numbers. We find these volunteers making contributions to astronomy in a variety of ways: making and analyzing new observations, visually classifying features in images and light curves, exploring models constrained by astronomical datasets, and initiating new scientific enquiries. The most productive citizen astronomy projects involve close collaboration between the professionals and amateurs involved, and occupy scientific niches not easily filled by great observatories or machine learning methods: citizen astronomers are most strongly motivated by being of service to science. In the coming years we expect participation and productivity in citizen astronomy to increase, as survey datasets get larger and citizen science platforms become more efficient. Opportunities include engaging the public in ever more advanced analyses, and facilitating citizen-led enquiry by designing professional user interfaces and analysis tools with citizens in mind.

A quick skim, and I find that Cosmoquest is mentioned twice:

More recently, interfaces inviting classifiers to look at the Moon, Mercury, Mars and Vesta have been launched and attracted significant numbers of classifications; however, although preliminary results have been promising (Kanefsky, Barlow & Gulick 2001) these projects have yet to produce datasets that have been used by the planetary science community in the same way that Galaxy Zoo has by the astronomical community. The recent release of the first paper from the Cosmoquest Moon Mappers project (Robbins et al. 2014) may indicate that this will change.

The survey respondents also tended to be more highly educated than average US internet users, with most holding at least an undergraduate degree, and around a quarter having a masters or doctorate. Very similar findings were reported by Gugliucci, Gay & Bracey (2014) from a survey of COSMOQUEST project participants.

Any other CQuestian read this? Can we get a discussion going?

(Mods, if this is not the most appropriate place for this thread, please move it.)

Jean Tate
2014-Oct-23, 09:02 AM
The revisions were completed a few weeks' ago, and the draft has now gone off for review.

The version which was submitted is available from GitHub (here (https://github.com/drphilmarshall/Ideas-for-Citizen-Science-in-Astronomy/blob/40347e7d99afb08c6949490cc3eec80b9d097182/review.pdf)), or from the link in the astro-ph page ("The most up to date PDF file should be downloaded from this http URL (http://tinyurl.com/CitizenAstronomyReview)"). You may also find the discussion - via the Issues (https://github.com/drphilmarshall/Ideas-for-Citizen-Science-in-Astronomy/issues) at the GitHub URL - interesting (the link takes you to the Open Issues; the Closed ones are perhaps more interesting).

The version which was submitted is quite different from the v1 posted to arXiv a little over a month ago now ... :clap:

(I'm quite tickled to read "We are most grateful to the following people for their excellent suggestions, comments, and clarifications: Trevor Barry, [...] Jean Tate, [...]" :p)

2014-Dec-04, 02:25 AM
Thanks for posting about this! (And sorry for the massive delay in responding ... I blame Google constantly thinking they are making their spam filter better when, in fact, it keeps moving legit e-mails of mine to it!)