While those running ‘citizen science’ projects generally recruit volunteers there are many ways that researchers can use the services of commercial crowdsourced labour platforms, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or Crowdflower.  There are two main ways this is being used:

1) As a source of participants for experiments, as an alternative to the usual use of undergraduate students.

2) As a ‘human computing’ service, where a ‘crowd’ can be used to very quickly analyse datasets that cannot be done by  computer alone, but may require many months of RA work.

The Network will run a number of events on this topic – including

a) a workshop session on issues related to running experiments, including understand profile of subjects

b); a workshop on using paid crowdsourced labour, including costs, ethics etcs; and

c) Practical training on setting up, design and running jobs on commercial platforms.

If you are interested in participating or contributing please get in touch:  j.k.stewart@ed.ac.uk