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Fields Changed


Field Before After
Study Withdrawn No
Intervention Completion Date October 31, 2017
Data Collection Complete Yes
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization) 197
Was attrition correlated with treatment status? No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations 197
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms 61 control, 72 output motivation treatment, 64 input motivation treatment
Public Data URL
Is there a restricted access data set available on request? No
Program Files Yes
Program Files URL
Data Collection Completion Date October 31, 2017
Is data available for public use? Yes
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Field Before After
Paper Abstract Digitization has facilitated the proliferation of crowd science by lowering the cost of finding individuals with the willingness to participate in science without pay. However, the factors that influence participation and the outcomes of voluntary participation are unclear. We report two findings from a field experiment on the world’s largest crowd science platform that tests how voluntary contributions to science are affected by providing clarifying information on either the desired outcome of a scientific task or the labor requirements for completing the task. First, there is significant heterogeneity in the motivations and ability of contributors to crowd science. Second, both of the information interventions lead to significant decreases in the quantity and increases in the quality of contributions. Combined, our findings are consistent with the information interventions improving match quality between the task and the volunteer. Our findings suggest that science can be democratized by engaging individuals with varying skill levels and motivations with small changes in the information provided to participants.
Paper Citation Lyons E, Zhang L (2019) Trade-offs in motivating volunteer effort: Experimental evidence on voluntary contributions to science. PLoS ONE 14(11): e0224946.
Paper URL
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