Citizen Research and what does it mean for the future of academic research

Harvard article on popular science (see link) is an interesting article to discuss the future of applied research in the academia. The underlying assumption of this type of research is based on the increasing level of participation and collaboration among interested individuals. In other words, by working together we decrease the margin of error and we get more work done. This is true almost everywhere, working as group most likely to increase efficiencies and effectiveness of our researcher.  The widespread of the internet and mobile phone (ICT) have increased  people connected and the possibility to collect different type of data. In addition, these ICT is changing how scientists and citizen interact. The article cited different initiatives that have started harnessing this type of research (foldit, Test my Brain, and so on…). The implication of this type of research can be disputed because of many internal and external factors that may affect this research. For instance, one can think of data quality, citizen knowledge, and research design, and the complexity of the research question. The best avenue is a combination of both citizen research and researchers collaborating together by doing so, it will help disseminate knowledge within the communities. What do you think is the future of citizen research? Please leave a comment

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