CSSI Element: Building the Twenty-First Century Citizen Science Framework to Enable Scientific Discovery Across Disciplines
Modern research draws upon large volumes of data created by many sources such as telescopes, biomedical imagery and crowds of everyday people who observe the natural world through photography. Researchers must be smart about how they collect, manage, analyze, interpret, and synthesize these growing data sets. To this end, citizen science has been successfully used as a means for both collecting distributed information as well as closing the analysis gap arising from large data volumes, rates and complexities. However, for citizen science as a research framework to fulfill its promise in supporting hundreds of researchers across many disciplines in harnessing the data revolution and in enabling new science not previously possible, this grant develops new Citizen Science Cyberinfrastructure (CSCI) for (1) Combining Modes of Citizen Science - linking field-based citizen science with online analysis citizen science; (2) Smart Task Assignment - taking advantage of the combined power of volunteers plus machines; and (3) exploring new data models by presenting Data as Subject to the volunteer. This is best done by building on the demonstrated success of substantial CI investments in citizen science, namely Zooniverse.org and CitSci.org, while leveraging the CI resources available through the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI). The development of the new CSCI Framework is being driven by three science use cases in biomedicine, ecology, and astronomy; specifically, 3-D reconstructions of bioimaged cell organelles, species monitoring through identifying individual animals via non-invasive imaging, and characterizing astronomical light curves in anticipation of large upcoming surveys.