Difference between revisions of "Zooniverse research (2016-2017 archive)"

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Playground for Jim, Darren, and Aaron to build up a project analyzing volunteer management in the Zooniverse.

Current notes and activities[edit]


Winter 2017

  • Build classification and volunteer tables from existing Ouroboros and Panoptes data.
  • Build up theoretical framework, conceptual models, and modeling strategy.
  • Submission to CSCW 2017 (April) as a stretch goal.

Project Overview[edit]

Resources & Links[edit]


Jim's Notes from meeting w/ Zooniverse


Open Questions for Zooniverse Researchers


Project Proposal for Zooniverse Researchers

API endpoint: 'https://api.zooniverse.org/projects/<projecy_name>/status'


BYOR Planning Document

typology of leadership and volunteer mgmt practices


Zooniverse Best Practices


04-04-16 to 04-19-16[edit]

  • we should split between volunteer posts and scientist posts to forums
  • volunteers and scientists use the forums for different purposes
  • "folk-knowledge" only applies to scientists/admins
  • jungle rhythms uses talk to engage community, single researcher/moderator?
    • use of talk is somewhat task dependent?
    • small community, but still no social leadership
    • all the same researcher as point of contact? creates community? form of social leadership?
  • different communities have different methods of linking researchers to volunteers
    • Shakespeare world has explicit thread in forum
    • Some use blogs

BYOR 04-18-16[edit]

  • do a better job explaining Zooniverse (the platform), the roles within the community, and the types of interaction on the community forums
  • refine research questions
    • first question is causal but the research design doesn't support causal inference
    • second question can't be answered by independent variables as currently defined. Consider using qualitative methods and/or NLP
    • define "success" in concrete terms (success of the project vs success of the interaction), success is actually a collective outcome
    • define measures of quality
    • control for individual level variables (one of the
  • relevant lit
    • community management
    • kickerstarter
  • Aaron's notes (many redundant)
    • Read syracuse folks
    • Talk to Adler
    • What is it? Explain Zooniverse a bit more.
    • Explain measures
    • Explain puzzle/interest x2
    • Explain how you are gathering qualitative data
    • First question seems to require causal identification
    • Second question seems like it needs text analysis
    • What does this communication look like? What roles do volunteers take? x2
    • Community mgmt literature?
    • Refine RQs
    • Explain variables in relation to invididual level (vs conversation level?)

04-04-16 to 04-13-16[edit]

Zooniverse Best Practices

  • building a great project
    • Some of our most successful projects in terms of engagement have been those built in cooperation with volunteers. (all)
    • You can (and should) discuss your research goals in depth on your project’s Research page. (directive)
    • two way communication--volunteer testing (including the formal Zooniverse "project review" stage) will reveal things to alter (directive, social)
  • the launch rush
    • importance of the launch period, most traffic during initial spike
    • Write a newsletter. (directive? informational?)
    • have a promotion plan, recruit from outside zooniverse
    • use talk during initial launch (all)
    • moderators for talk (all)
  • in for the long hall
    • reminder emails (all)
    • create community--more commitment from volunteers involved in talk (all, social)
    • positive feedback, report on accomplishments (transactional)

notes from observations (classification shared doc)

  • question level vs. board/discussion level
  • scientist feedback and volunteer feedback--supports shared leadership
  • most feedback isn't exactly "leadership". responding to requests for information, information sharing, not exactly directive leadership.
  • single response vs multi-response questions
  • questions from research team vs questions from public
  • most chat is response to questions
  • not much traditional "leadership" because instructions are pretty clear/explicit. most discussion above & beyond the project
    • only examples of transactional (and possibly directive) leadership
    • we might find examples of social leadership, but likely in smaller projects
  • could "questions asked" be an independent variable?
  • is an informational post directive leadership? is it directive leadership when it responds to a question?
    • information sharing is an important component of engaging volunteers, but isn't necessarily "leadership"
    • can we find lit on information sharing? communities of practice?
  • responses to questions might be a good indication of leadership
    • sometimes responses are just informational
  • types of contributors
    • volunteer
    • moderator
    • scientist
    • zooniverse employee
    • admin (spacewarps)

independent vars

  • levels: question, board, project
  • question lvl vars (possibly omit this level because it's too complicated and not that helpful):
    • is question: 0/1
    • response (is two way communication): 0/1
    • response time
    • poster role
    • answer role
    • leadership? (transactional, aversive, directive, person focused)
  • discussion lvl vars:
    • object/discussion
    • num posts
    • num contributors
    • num responses (in response to)
    • avg response time
    • num volunteers, num mods, num scientists, num zooniverse team
    • num leadership (transactional, aversive, directive, person focused)
  • project level vars
    • num volunteers, num mods, num scientists, num zooniverse team
    • num discussions
    • num objects
    • project length (time)
    • frequency of blog posts
    • length of blog posts

Meeting logs[edit]


Jim and Aaron reviewed Aaron's revised project proposal and discussed data that still needs to be acquired. Next week Jim will pursue missing data, and Aaron will continue to work on the proposal. Jim (and hopefully Darren) will provide feedback on the proposal.


Jim and Aaron discussed project goals for the winter and spring quarters, including analytical goals, timelines, and publishing strategies. The project will analyze communication between scientists and volunteers, and the effect/association with productivity. Moving forward, Aaron will work up the theoretical framing, and Jim will wrangle the data.


Talked about API access, set up git repo and server access, and discussed future directions for paper based on Graham et al's work.


Met with Zooniverse Researchers to discuss project proposal and data acquisition. See Jim's Notes from meeting w/ Zooniverse


JM DG & AS narrowed research focus to project outcomes associated with information seeking, specifically tracking users who have engaged in information seeking and judging performance before and after.


Jim circulated the BYOR Planning Document and typology of leadership and volunteer mgmt practices, and concluded that "shared leadership" might not be the best conceptual framing. The group brainstormed updated RQs and methods of analysis.


Darren joined the meeting/project. Discussed more observations, recent readings, and responses to BYOR feedback. Set goals to build a leadership typology and plan revisions to planning document.


Discussed "triangulation" (theory, observations, folk-knowledge). Discussed observations from community talk and best practices and connections to literature. Created list of other relevant theory and literature.


Talked about predicted probabilities for unrelated projects. Revised and updated work goals for next week.


Laid out plans for the quarter. Set some preliminary work goals.