In a first for the burgeoning field of citizen cyberscience, the Proceedings of the 3rd Citizen Cyberscience Summit, held in London in February 2014, have been published on the Web. The journal in which they are published, Human Computation, is a new open access initiative, dedicated to publishing original scientific articles about the “design or analysis of information processing systems in which humans participate as computational elements”.
The Proceedings contains research articles, briefs and opinon pieces on subjects as wide-ranging as archaeology, deforestation and quantum mechanics. The use of citizen cyberscience in higher education, the psychological motivations of participants and the real cost of achieving reliable results in online participatory projects are subjects addressed by some of the authors.
The Proceedings form the second issue of Human Computation, which fills a unique niche in the world of scientific publishing. As guest editor for the issue Greg Newman points out in his editorial, citizen cyberscience – itself a subset of the field of citizen science – overlaps with many areas of growing interest in Internet Science, such as crowdsourcing, collective intelligence and social information processing.
However, there is still a lot of citizen science that falls outside of the remit of this journal. And in a sign that the academic importance of citizen participation in science is rapidly growing, this week saw the announcement of a new open access journal, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, which “focuses on advancing the field of citizen science by providing a venue for citizen science researchers and practitioners […] to share best practices in conceiving, developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining projects that facilitate public participation in scientific endeavors in any discipline.”
This new journal, which is inviting authors to submit papers for its inaugural issue, targets a broader range of contributors, including conservation biologists, community health organizers and urban planners, for whom the digital aspects of citizen science may be secondary to establishing the social and environmental impact of their research.
The Citizen Cyberscience Centre is actively engaged with the editorial board of both of these journals, and we look forward to seeing both professional and amateur scientists share their insights and results in these two complementary journals.