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Tagging, Pinging and Linking – User Roles in Virtual Citizen Science Forums.

Journal article
Authors Frauke Rohden
Christopher Kullenberg
Niclas Hagen
Dick Kasperowski
Published in Citizen Science: Theory and Practice
Volume 4
Issue 1
Pages 1-13
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 1-13
Language en
Keywords Citizen science , citizen humanities , discussion forum , Virtual Citizen Science
Subject categories Theory of science, Other Humanities, Other Humanities not elsewhere specified, General Literature Studies


This article investigates user roles in virtual citizen science projects through a case study of the Talk-forum of Shakespeare’s World, a humanities project on the Zooniverse platform. To address collective knowledge production, we study the use of hashtags, pinging, and linking as a way of differentiating how researchers, moderators, and different user groups use the forum according to their roles. We show how both volunteers and researchers have a much deeper interest in the texts that they transcribe and actively seek contextual information, shape new lines of inquiry, and discover new phenomena. We conclude that the use of online forums in citizen science can play a crucial role for extending the knowledge production from academic research to a wider public interest, and also provide new knowledges beyond the assigned task of transcribing documents.

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