Scientists@Home: What drives the quantity and quality of online citizen science participation?

Oded Nov, Ofer Arazy, David Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Online citizen science offers a low-cost way to strengthen the infrastructure for scientific research and engage members of the public in science. As the sustainability of online citizen science projects depends on volunteers who contribute their skills, time, and energy, the objective of this study is to investigate effects of motivational factors on the quantity and quality of citizen scientists' contribution. Building on the social movement participation model, findings from a longitudinal empirical study in three different citizen science projects reveal that quantity of contribution is determined by collective motives, norm-oriented motives, reputation, and intrinsic motives. Contribution quality, on the other hand, is positively affected only by collective motives and reputation. We discuss implications for research on the motivation for participation in technology-mediated social participation and for the practice of citizen science.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere90375
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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