Citizen science approaches to research


Sunbelt 2019: Learn to Design and Build Network Experiments

Date: June 18th, 2019
Time: 8:30am-3:00pm
Location: Montreal, Québec

Are you interested in testing your theories using experiments? It’s much easier than you think! At Volunteer Science, we’ve been running experiments on social networks for more than a decade. We'll be sharing our experience in creating high-powered network experiments and recruiting participants at a workshop at Sunbelt 2019. If you've ever been interested in doing online experiments, now is the time to learn the tricks of the trade.

The first half of the workshop is the Design Session. There you will:

  • Learn the basic design trade-offs for network experiments and their impact on study quality and feasibility.
  • Learn methods for prototyping your study to ensure you build it right the first time.
  • Learn what works for recruiting groups of participants both for free and from paid pools like Mechanical Turk.
  • Receive our guide for designing and conducting online experiments you can refer back to.

In the second, Build Session of the workshop, you will:

  • Learn the basics of interactive web-design using html, css, and javascript.
  • Learn how to create interactive interfaces for single and multi-player experiments.
  • Receive an account on Volunteer Science to create your own studies.

You do not have to attend both sessions. If you are not ready to code your own study, you can just attend the first half. If you’re just looking to take your human subjects research online, you can attend the second half.

Register Now! at Ours is the workshop titled "Designing and Conducting Online Lab Experiments on Social Networks"

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Jason Radford at

Web Science 2019: Build your own Online Lab with Volunteer Science

Date: June 30th, 2019
Time: 8:30am-3:00pm
Location: Boston, MA Register

New information technologies allow for new modes of data collection and provide unparalleled access to people across the globe. Human beings are producing more and more digital data about themselves that can be used for research. Programs like Galaxy Zoo, Fold.It, and ReCAPTCHA demonstrate the power of recruiting people online to participate in and contribute to research. However these projects require extensive technical expertise and funding to create and maintain. Volunteer Science is a platform built to help researchers create their own online studies and recruit participants of all kinds. In this tutorial, we will teach participants how to use Volunteer Science to build their own online research using pre-built study templates or their own custom studies. We will also teach attendees the best ways to recruit participants for different studies, including volunteers, paid workers, and groups of participants. Participants will come away ready to conduct online studies and recruit their own panel of participants.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Jason Radford at


Harvard: Build Your Own Online Lab with Volunteer Science

We will be offering a training workshop on using Volunteer Science to create online studies on Friday, April 21st from 1-4pm at Harvard University in CGIS South S010 Tsai Auditorium. This workshop will demonstrate how online studies are conducted, demo the Volunteer Science system, and provide hands-on guidance to help researchers get studies up and working. Please register so we can keep a headcount and provide enough support services.

Volunteer Science is a platform for creating online studies and recruiting participants. The training workshops will feature a review of approaches to online research with human subjects, including serious games, lab experiments, and citizen science. This overview will be followed by guided walkthroughs of how to set up both a survey-based study and a game-based study. You will receive access to a research team where you can add any number of collaborators, create any number of experiments, and recruit any number of subjects.

ICWSM: 2017Tutorial - Build Your Own Lab!

Proposal: one-page summary of experiments you want to design, one must be survey-based (Qualtrics), one game-based study

This tutorial workshop will provide attendees with an overview of the resources in the field, provide them with access to cutting edge lab technology, and then sustained help in creating their own online studies. In the first half of our workshop, we will host presentations and discussions on performing online studies with human participants in different scientific fields. These talks will focus on the process of conducting online lab studies, including designing experiments and human-in-the-loop studies, the types of studies that can be conducted online, and how to recruit participants and validate subject behavior.

In the second half of the workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to work with developers and researchers to create their own experiments using Volunteer Science. Attendees will be given access to the experiment development system, system documentation, experiment templates, and testing platform. The workshop participants will be able to develop and test their own experiments or link survey-based experiments into Volunteer Science and, when possible, pilot their study. Attendees will have their own experiments/mygames pages where they can post and recruit without going through us.

For registration details and more information, please click HERE.

CSCW 2016: Designing Online Experiments

At this workshop, we hosted presentations from researchers performing online experiments and spent a half day helping attendees create experiments using the Volunteer Science platform. During the workshop, a group of scholars with a breadth of relevant experience discussed existing and emerging approaches to online experimentation. Participants learned about designing and running online studies and were given access to the Volunteer Science research platform, where they were able to work with researchers to develop, test, and deploy their own online studies.