Evaluating Motivations of Citizen Scientists

Sunday, 15 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
N. E. Gugliucci, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL
CosmoQuest is a virtual research facility where anyone can help to analyze data from several NASA spacecraft. We report on our citizen scientist surveys from 2013 and 2014. In addition to collecting basic demographic data, we look for trends in repeat usage of the citizen science site tools and motivations for starting to work with CosmoQuest. For subjects who provide user names, we compare this to actual site use statistics. We are also interviewing a cross-section of casual and heavy site users to further explore these motivations. The CosmoQuest team also engages the public through “guerilla outreach,” or showing up to do outreach at events that are not necessarily science-focused. We’ll present the results of a survey of Dragon*Con attendees that visited the CosmoQuest booth in 2014 and determine the most helpful draws for our science outreach in public places.