Crowdsourced research: Many hands make tight work

This is an interesting article in a prominent venue (Nature) documenting that putting validation of research  findings in the hands of the people who produced the result isn’t as reliable as getting third parties to validate, and that crowdsourcing might provide an approach for doing this.

 

“Crowdsourcing research can reveal how conclusions are contingent on analytical choices. Furthermore, the crowdsourcing framework also provides researchers with a safe space in which they can vet analytical approaches, explore doubts and get a second, third or fourth opinion. Discussions about analytical approaches happen before committing to a particular strategy. In our project, the teams were essentially peer reviewing each other’s work before even settling on their own analyses. And we found that researchers did change their minds through the course of analysis.

“Crowdsourcing also reduces the incentive for flashy results. A single-team project may be published only if it finds significant effects; participants in crowdsourced projects can contribute even with null findings. A range of scientific possibilities are revealed, the results are more credible and analytical choices that seem to sway conclusions can point research in fruitful directions. What is more, analysts learn from each other, and the creativity required to construct analytical methodologies can be better appreciated by the research community and the public.”

More at Nature.
(Contributor: Hassan Haseeb)

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Crowdsourced research: Many hands make tight work

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