First let's look at correlations existing between the hypothesized success factors and the actual success results (in the forms of overall popularity and scholarly references). But not for correlations between factors. I do not argue that many of my hypothesized factors may be correalted and co-indicative. As non-quantitative factors developed based solely on personal experience, thers is not a rigorous separation between the factors. I have also not systematically defined each instead relying on examples and a basic defintion. So the concepts may indeed overlap, as would the rankings. While there may be some use looking for unknown correlations thateffort probably would not be fruitful.
Our first set will be the combination of all interactive science citizen projects, which does not include any distributed computing projects which behave somewhat differently. But I do expect all the other interactive projects to have similar correlations; the differences between astronomy, ecology, and meteorology projects are not so different as to have different correlation factors. Or so I intiailly propose.
|Success (Google Scholar)||Success (Google Popularity)|
|Motivate the User||0.207464013||-0.03338748|
|Create a Community||0.146555214||-0.109951901|
|Interact in Real Time||-0.058822728||-0.202973033|
|Provide Data Access||-0.240809998||-0.212537934|
|Allow for Errors||-0.311429459||-0.117534344|
|Make it Convenient||-0.090581135||0.000771944|
|Make Learning Easy||-0.178545686||-0.015490161|
|Make Participating Easy||-0.16152641||-0.032260453|
As you can see, no matter how success is defined, the strongest positive correlation for all interactive citizen science projects is the availability of a reward. As you'll remember from my previous postings describing the success factors, the rewards are considered monetary rewards and not the many intangible rewards participants receive. These are highly important, but are covered separately in other success factors such as "Motivate the User".
In some ways this makes sense; this is the most beneficial to individuals by providing tangible rewards to people. Helping the community, saving the earth, or learning about sciecne are all noble and motivating benefits, but they don't provide the same incentive as cash rewards. I should also note that non-cash rewards such as prizes as bounties also count as rewards though pure cash is the most common. So there are a variety of ways project designers can choose to reward users and create a successful project without breaking the bank. They just need to be creative. Just check out my previous post on Citizen Science bounties to leran more and start the brainstorming.
Another item to note is that while Reward is a very powerful factor in success, it is not the only one and there are a large number of projects that offer no rewards. Many of these are also successful. In fact only 7 of 52 interactive projects received a non-zero ranking. So this reaffirms the earlier prediction that the "Keys to Successful Citizen Science Projects" would not be all-inclusive, but would instead be a useful guide to creating successful projects.
What more can the statistics tell us? Come back tomorrow and find out!