Commons at the Intersection of Peer Production, Citizen Science, and Big Data: Galaxy Zoo

Governing Knowledge Commons, Brett M. Frischmann, Michael J. Madison and Katherine J. Strandburg, eds., Oxford University Press, 2014

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-35

47 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2014 Last revised: 14 Oct 2014

See all articles by Michael J. Madison

Michael J. Madison

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: September 12, 2014

Abstract

The knowledge commons research framework is applied to a case of commons governance grounded in research in modern astronomy. The case, Galaxy Zoo, is a leading example of at least three different contemporary phenomena. In the first place Galaxy Zoo is a global citizen science project, in which volunteer non-scientists have been recruited to participate in large-scale data analysis via the Internet. In the second place Galaxy Zoo is a highly successful example of peer production, sometimes known colloquially as crowdsourcing, by which data are gathered, supplied, and/or analyzed by very large numbers of anonymous and pseudonymous contributors to an enterprise that is centrally coordinated or managed. In the third place Galaxy Zoo is a highly visible example of data-intensive science, sometimes referred to as e-science or Big Data science, by which scientific researchers develop methods to grapple with the massive volumes of digital data now available to them via modern sensing and imaging technologies. This chapter synthesizes these three perspectives on Galaxy Zoo via the knowledge commons framework.

Keywords: commons, common pools, governance, public goods, information, knowledge, intellectual property, patent pools, Big Data, data-intensive science, crowdsourcing, citizen science, Galaxy Zoo, Zooniverse

JEL Classification: D23, H41, K11, L22, L23, O31, O32, O33, O34

Suggested Citation

Madison, Michael J., Commons at the Intersection of Peer Production, Citizen Science, and Big Data: Galaxy Zoo (September 12, 2014). Governing Knowledge Commons, Brett M. Frischmann, Michael J. Madison and Katherine J. Strandburg, eds., Oxford University Press, 2014, U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-35, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2495404

Michael J. Madison (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

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Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
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