Review of Six Japanese Online Citizen Science Projects with Main Indicators to Encourage Citizen Motivation

Keywords: open science, citizen science, crowd science, super-volunteers, Japan


Universities and research institutions have recently been preparing for open science. Open science includes various concepts such as open data and open access. Scientific activities participated in with citizens who are not specialists in the field are traditionally called citizen science. The recent developments of web-based information and communication technology (ICT) have further changed the methods and styles of citizen science. This new generation of web-based citizen science is referred to as “crowd science” in this study. Crowd science projects have gradually been launched in Japan as web-based data-collection and data-processing projects. However, what factors mainly contribute to the improvement of these Japanese projects are yet to be reviewed. In this article, six Japanese crowd science projects are reviewed and classified on the basis of levels of online citizen participation. It is suggested that super-volunteers, who are enthusiastic members of the project, should become key players for the growth of the project. Furthermore, it is revealed that online discussion forums have played a major role in enhancing participants’ communication. These forums result in fruitful discussions and achievements of the project. Knowledge of these key components is beneficial not only for future project organizers but also for universities and research institutions.

Author Biographies

Eiri Ono, Kyoto University
Center for Enhancing Next Generation Research
University Research Administrator
Yuko Ikkatai, Shiga University
Faculty of Education
Teruaki Enoto, Kyoto University

Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science and Hakubi Center
Associate Professor


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