StudyCrafter aims to transform how we conduct research and teach it. It seeks to accomplish this by inviting EVERYONE who is 18 years and older to participate – not just professional researchers and students. Here we provide information on how you can get started as a citizen scientist.
What is Citizen Science?
Involving the public with scientific research is referred to as “citizen science.” This is not a new idea. In fact, members of the public have volunteered for centuries in contributing to science, by recording observations of plants, animals, weather data, and astronomical phenomena. They helped discover new species and solve difficult scientific puzzles. With StudyCrafter, we seek your help to better understand who we are. With your help, we can take the social and behavioral sciences to the next level and discover new scientific insights.
How Can I Help?
Explore what projects exist. You can see what projects need the most help by looking at their end date and the number of participants they still need. You can also search for projects that match your interest. When you find a project you like, start playing! At the end of each project you will be debriefed about the project and are able to look at its results thus far, including yours.
After each project you have the opportunity to provide comments to the creators. Tell them what you thought of it. Your feedback will help these studycrafters to interpret their results and to iterate on their project. Some projects will be labeled as “pilots,” which means that they are specifically looking to find out how to improve their project.
Have an idea of how to change an existing project? Want to work on a suggestion provided by another studycrafter? Or maybe you have an idea of your own you want to study? Try it! Our editor is easy to use. You can get a project up and running quickly and start collecting data. If you run into problems, ask the community or see our Wiki page.
You can join discussions and community labs to tackle research questions. Or you can start your own community lab and invite others to join you. When you have completed your research, you can write up your results and share this with the rest of the community.
What Is in It for Me?
StudyCrafter aims to make science more accessible and engaging for everyone. We are all curious about something, and this platform allows you and others to explore your curiosity. While you are having fun, you may learn more about yourself and human behavior in general as you receive feedback and study the resulting data from projects. As you become more engaged with StudyCrafter, you will learn more and more about research. You may even make a discovery! You may approach topics in a fresh and creative manner that professional researchers have not thought of and make a direct contribution to science.
Where Do I Start?
The first step is to sign up. Once you have a profile, you can play projects or play with the editor. We recommend that you play a number of projects first. Then, when you feel you want to start making your own projects, complete our ethics training. When completed, you can copy a project you like to get started. Try to understand how it works and change something small that you think would be interesting to explore. You can also make a project from scratch. Keep it short and simple at first and use our Wiki and Forum if you are having trouble with something.