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Online Museums: Citizen Science Projects

Ever want to participate in a research project? Does science interest you? Perhaps astronomy? Or do you find history fascinating? Well fortunately for us, there is an opportunity right at our finger tips to voluntarily assist with research projects!

According to Wikipedia, "citizen science" [projects] involve "public participation in scientific research".  A Google search for "citizen science projects" will reveal numerous projects needing volunteers.  You can volunteer for as little or as long a time as you like. A simple and free registration will be required asking for an e-mail address, username and password which will allow for your work to be saved. Even if you don't know much about the project, a tutorial will provide a "how-to guide".

Thanks to my fascination in history and the Great War, I chose Operation War Diary for my citizen science project. Operation War Diary according to their website (see below) "brings together original First World War documents from The National Archives" and uses the Zooniverse community to accomplish their three project outcomes:

  • to enrich The National Archives' catalogue descriptions for the unit war diaries.
  • to provide evidence about the experience of named individual in IWM's Lives of the First World War project
  • to present academics with large amounts of accurate data to help them gain a better understanding of how the war was fought

Using the website's tools, I spent an hour transcribing war diaries. The time flew as I simultaneously learned more about history and felt as though I was part of something greater and bigger.

I would highly encourage you, dear readers, to find your own citizen science project and volunteer an hour or even more of your time. You'll be amazed at the opportunity! And when you're done, please let me know which one you chose!
Screenshot from Operation War Diary: About

Screenshot from Operation War Diary