Crowdsourcing Raises Host of Methodological and Ethical Questions

Crowdsourcing offers researchers ready access to large numbers of participants, while enabling the processing of huge, unique datasets. However, the power of crowdsourcing raises several issues, including whether or not what initially emerged as a business practice can be transformed into a sound research method. Isabell Stamm and Lina Eklund argue that the complexities of managing large numbers of people mean crowdsourcing reduces participants to one faceless crowd. Applied to research, this is inherently problematic as it contradicts the basic idea that we control who participates in our studies. This not only challenges scientific rules of representativeness but also leaves methodological designs vulnerable to researchers’ implicit assumptions about the crowd.

Categories: Big Data, Editorial

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