How Linguistics Can Shed Light on Citizen Science Communities
This edition of the University of Portsmouth's Interdisciplinary Webinar Series sees Leïla Choukroune, Professor of International Law and Director of the University of Portsmouth Thematic Area in Democratic Citizenship, host a presentation by Claudia Viggiano, Research Assistant, Democratic Citizenship Research Theme.
Citizen science is a rising form of crowdsourced research that harvests the contributions of volunteers for the advancement of science, especially with regards to collecting or classifying large bodies of data. While extensive, research on citizen science has mainly focused on quantitative metrics such as success and motivations, rather than on the language used on the virtual platforms that host CS projects.
This presentation uses corpus linguistics to analyse the Zooniverse CS community, exploring the linguistic devices and communication strategies used by members to signal their participation, expertise, and membership within the community. By analysing linguistic interactions, this work argues in favour of integrating approaches from linguistics into the wider study of CS communities, which can help gain better understanding of issues such as motivation, engagement, success, learning and access to science in CS, while also informing the design and maintenance of CS platforms in general.
Claudia Viggiano has just passed her PhD viva in Corpus Linguistics, is a part-time Lecturer in Italian, and a Research Assistant with the Democratic Citizenship research theme. Her research focuses on online citizen science communities and specifically on the ways users create and employ language to self-identify as members of a community.