Research experiences today are limited to a privileged few at select universities. Providing open access to research experiences would enable global upward mobility and increased diversity in the scientific workforce. How can we coordinate a crowd of diverse volunteers on open-ended research? How could a PI have enough visibility into each person’s contributions to recommend them for further study? Crowd Research is a crowdsourcing technique for coordinating a large group of people in an open-ended research exploration, and a system for decentralized credit distribution to aid upward mobility and recognize contributions in publications.
Originally launched as the UC Santa Cruz+Stanford: The Aspiring Researcher Challenge in early 2015, the effort has provided access to over 1,500 people from 62 countries — 74% from institutions with low access to research — to work on three computer science research projects, led by professors from Stanford, UC Santa Cruz and Cornell Tech. Together, the crowd helped design the world's largest wisdom of crowd experiment, built hybrid human-computer vision algorithms, and developed a new pro-social crowdsourcing marketplace (Daemo). During this time, the crowd co-authored multiple papers at top-tier conferences and have gone on to undergraduate and graduate schools including MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.