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Open Access Citizen scientist community engagement with the HiggsHunters project at the Large Hadron Collider

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The engagement of citizen scientists with the HiggsHunters. org citizen science project is investigated through analysis of behaviour, discussion and survey data. More than 38,000 citizen scientists from 179 countries participated, classifying 1.5 million features of interest on about 39,000 distinct images. While most citizen scientists classified only a handful of images, some classified hundreds or even thousands. Analysis of frequently used terms on the dedicated discussion forum demonstrated that a high level of scientific engagement was not uncommon. Evidence was found for an emergent and distinct technical vocabulary developing within the citizen science community. A survey indicates a high level of engagement and an appetite for further citizen science projects related to the Large Hadron Collider.

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Keywords: CITIZEN SCIENCE; ENGAGEMENT; LHC; PHYSICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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  • Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    Research for All is supporting the 16th International conference for Public Communication of Science and Technology being held in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, 26–28 May 2020. Authors of contributions presented at the conference are invited subsequently to submit papers to Research for All for a special feature on Public Communication of Science and Technology.

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