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Title: Crowdsourcing as a Tool for Research: Methodological, Fair, and Political Considerations
Crowdsourcing platforms are powerful tools for academic researchers. Proponents claim that crowdsourcing helps researchers quickly and affordably recruit enough human subjects with diverse backgrounds to generate significant statistical power, while critics raise concerns about unreliable data quality, labor exploitation, and unequal power dynamics between researchers and workers. We examine these concerns along three dimensions: methods, fairness, and politics. We find that researchers offer vastly different compensation rates for crowdsourced tasks, and address potential concerns about data validity by using platform-specific tools and user verification methods. Additionally, workers depend upon crowdsourcing platforms for a significant portion of their income, are motivated more by fear of losing access to work than by specific compensation rates, and are frustrated by a lack of transparency and occasional unfair treatment from job requesters. Finally, we discuss critical computing scholars’ proposals to address crowdsourcing’s problems, challenges with implementing these resolutions, and potential avenues for future research.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1936968
NSF-PAR ID:
10286990
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Volume:
40
Issue:
3-4
ISSN:
0270-4676
Page Range / eLocation ID:
40 to 53
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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