IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/respol/v43y2014i1p1-20.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Crowd science: The organization of scientific research in open collaborative projects

Author

Listed:
  • Franzoni, Chiara
  • Sauermann, Henry

Abstract

A growing amount of scientific research is done in an open collaborative fashion, in projects sometimes referred to as “crowd science”, “citizen science”, or “networked science”. This paper seeks to gain a more systematic understanding of crowd science and to provide scholars with a conceptual framework and an agenda for future research. First, we briefly present three case examples that span different fields of science and illustrate the heterogeneity concerning what crowd science projects do and how they are organized. Second, we identify two fundamental elements that characterize crowd science projects – open participation and open sharing of intermediate inputs – and distinguish crowd science from other knowledge production regimes such as innovation contests or traditional “Mertonian” science. Third, we explore potential knowledge-related and motivational benefits that crowd science offers over alternative organizational modes, and potential challenges it is likely to face. Drawing on prior research on the organization of problem solving, we also consider for what kinds of tasks particular benefits or challenges are likely to be most pronounced. We conclude by outlining an agenda for future research and by discussing implications for funding agencies and policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Franzoni, Chiara & Sauermann, Henry, 2014. "Crowd science: The organization of scientific research in open collaborative projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:43:y:2014:i:1:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.07.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733313001212
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benjamin F. Jones, 2009. "The Burden of Knowledge and the "Death of the Renaissance Man": Is Innovation Getting Harder?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 283-317.
    2. Dahlander, Linus & Gann, David M., 2010. "How open is innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 699-709, July.
    3. Nelson, Richard R., 2004. "The market economy, and the scientific commons," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 455-471, April.
    4. Thomas W. Malone & Mark Klein, 2007. "Harnessing Collective Intelligence to Address Global Climate Change," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, vol. 2(3), pages 15-26, July.
    5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    6. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 99-120, Spring.
    7. Henry Sauermann & Wesley M. Cohen, 2010. "What Makes Them Tick? Employee Motives and Firm Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(12), pages 2134-2153, December.
    8. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Stefan Haefliger & Georg von Krogh & Sebastian Spaeth, 2008. "Code Reuse in Open Source Software," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 180-193, January.
    10. Partha, Dasgupta & David, Paul A., 1994. "Toward a new economics of science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-521, September.
    11. Rullani, Francesco & Haefliger, Stefan, 2013. "The periphery on stage: The intra-organizational dynamics in online communities of creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 941-953.
    12. Sonali K. Shah, 2006. "Motivation, Governance, and the Viability of Hybrid Forms in Open Source Software Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1000-1014, July.
    13. Carolin Haeussler & Lin Jiang & Jerry Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2009. "Specific and General Information Sharing Among Academic Scientists," NBER Working Papers 15315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Eric von Hippel, 2006. "Democratizing Innovation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262720477, January.
    15. Haeussler, Carolin & Sauermann, Henry, 2013. "Credit where credit is due? The impact of project contributions and social factors on authorship and inventorship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 688-703.
    16. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    17. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
    18. Nicola Lacetera & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2011. "The Economics of Scientific Misconduct," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 568-603.
    19. von Krogh, Georg & Spaeth, Sebastian & Lakhani, Karim R., 2003. "Community, joining, and specialization in open source software innovation: a case study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1217-1241, July.
    20. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2006. "The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1116-1127, July.
    21. Kevin J. Boudreau & Nicola Lacetera & Karim R. Lakhani, 2011. "Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(5), pages 843-863, May.
    22. Sorenson, Olav & Fleming, Lee, 2004. "Science and the diffusion of knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1615-1634, December.
    23. Cummings, Jonathon N. & Kiesler, Sara, 2007. "Coordination costs and project outcomes in multi-university collaborations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1620-1634, December.
    24. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Rossi, Cristina, 2003. "Why Open Source software can succeed," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1243-1258, July.
    25. Jasjit Singh & Lee Fleming, 2010. "Lone Inventors as Sources of Breakthroughs: Myth or Reality?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 41-56, January.
    26. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Christian Matt & Christian Hoerndlein & Thomas Hess, 0. "Let the crowd be my peers? How researchers assess the prospects of social peer review," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 0, pages 1-14.
    2. Diego Ponte & Bozena I. Mierzejewska & Stefan Klein, 0. "The transformation of the academic publishing market: multiple perspectives on innovation," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 0, pages 1-4.
    3. repec:spr:eurasi:v:7:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s40821-016-0059-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:1:p:164-182 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:spr:elmark:v:27:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s12525-017-0250-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:6:p:1062-1070 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Boudreau, Kevin J. & Lakhani, Karim R., 2015. "“Open” disclosure of innovations, incentives and follow-on reuse: Theory on processes of cumulative innovation and a field experiment in computational biology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 4-19.
    8. Haeussler, Carolin & Sauermann, Henry, 2013. "Credit where credit is due? The impact of project contributions and social factors on authorship and inventorship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 688-703.
    9. repec:spr:elmark:v:27:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s12525-017-0247-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Matthijs den Besten & Catalina Martínez & Nicolas Besson & Stéphane Maraut & Jean-Michel Dalle, 2014. "Human computing via online labor markets. The perils and promises of crowdsourcing in data-rich ecosystems," Working Papers 1402, Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP), CSIC.
    11. repec:zbw:espost:172496 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Villani, Elisa & Rasmussen, Einar & Grimaldi, Rosa, 2017. "How intermediary organizations facilitate university–industry technology transfer: A proximity approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 86-102.
    13. Feldman, Maryann & Kenney, Martin & Lissoni, Francesco, 2015. "The New Data Frontier," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1629-1632.
    14. repec:kap:sbusec:v:50:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9830-x is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Eleftheria Vasileiadou, 2014. "Crowd science: it is not just a matter of time (or funding)," Working Papers 14-05, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Mar 2014.
    16. McLinden, Daniel, 2017. "And then the internet happened: Thoughts on the future of concept mapping," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 293-300.
    17. Sascha Friesike & Bastian Widenmayer & Oliver Gassmann & Thomas Schildhauer, 2015. "Opening science: towards an agenda of open science in academia and industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 581-601, August.
    18. Sabine Brunswicker & Sorin Adam Matei & Michael Zentner & Lynn Zentner & Gerhard Klimeck, 2017. "Creating impact in the digital space: digital practice dependency in communities of digital scientific innovations," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(1), pages 417-442, January.
    19. Carolin Haeussler & Henry Sauermann, 2016. "The Division of Labor in Teams: A Conceptual Framework and Application to Collaborations in Science," NBER Working Papers 22241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Täuscher, Karl, 2017. "Leveraging collective intelligence: How to design and manage crowd-based business models," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 237-245.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:43:y:2014:i:1:p:1-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.