Montserrat Prats López

Prats, Montserrat
Information & Innovation Management

Dissertation title
Managing Citizen Science in the Humanities: The challenge of ensuring quality

Date and location
June 14, 2017 at 11:45 in the Aula of the Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Managing Citizen Science in the Humanities: The challenge of ensuring quality

Prats Lopez, Montserrat 

Nowadays, the organization of work and leisure time, the way we communicate and explore the world, are no longer subject to space and time constraints. The Internet has been essential in the emergence of new forms of organizing human activities. This dissertation examines the phenomenon of citizen science, a participative form of organizing and conducting scientific research that involves citizens in the collection and processing of data through the Internet. However, involving citizens, who are not necessarily experts and whose knowledge is diverse and unknown beforehand, raises concerns about the quality of citizen science outcomes. Since high-quality information is essential for scientific research, the question is how is the need for quality addressed in the organization of citizen science projects? This question is answered through a multiple-case study that follows and compares five citizen science projects in the field of the humanities. The research findings suggest that to ensure the quality of information resulting from citizen science, project leaders invest time and effort in managing knowledge work performed by citizens and supporting their learning process, even if this means using technology in unintended ways.

Short Biography
Montserrat Prats López (1974) is Assistant Professor of Information Science at the Open University of the Netherlands. She graduated in Business Administration at the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona in 1998. She received her MSc degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2012 and carried out her PhD project at this same university. Prior to that, she worked as market research manager at Philips Consumer Electronics and as information specialist at the VU Library. Montserrat’s research interests are knowledge management, organizational learning, technology and organizing.