Pathways4Life: Crowdsourcing Pathway Modeling from Published Figures [pathways4life]

What made previous crowdsourced science games succeed or not?

If I was considering funding this proposal one of the big questions I would be asking myself is: will users use the platform? Sometimes you build it and they don't come.

As you'll see from my annotations I think you've got a great plan for gamifying the experience — and it sounds like you've got good networks for reaching out to people as well. However, one of the things I'd really like to know is do you know exactly what made other platforms successful? I think it would be useful to do an analysis and have the summary in the proposal. What can you learn from those that have succeeded, and what can you learn from those that failed? Have you learned those lessons?

It would also be great to get those that have been involved in previous efforts commenting here on Thinklab as well!

Some thoughts on this. The biggest successes so far (Foldit, EteRNA, Eyewire, MalariaSpot, Galaxy Zoo) in this genre have focused on problems that are almost entirely visual. The work that has so far been done on non-visual problems (our lab: Dizeez, The Cure, mark2cure, VU Amsterdam/IBM: Dr. Detective, CMU: Verbosity, MIT/ISI: Learner) have met with less success - though haven't been total flops either. However, far less money and time have gone into the development of games for the non-visual problems which creates a chicken and egg problem. Have people not invested in other problem classes because its really just a bad a idea or have we just not seen the success because we haven't made the investment yet?

The wikipathways proposal is interesting in this sense because, though it does have a strong visual appeal, the tasks involved (e.g. making sure a node is correctly marked with the right gene identifier) are mainly linguistic in nature.

Cite this as
Jesse Spaulding, Benjamin Good (2015) What made previous crowdsourced science games succeed or not?. Thinklab. doi:10.15363/thinklab.d123

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