Catalogue | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Catalogue

This search interface gives access to the reference database of VLIZ, an extensive collection of (inter)national marine scientific literature references.

You can limit your search to the Belgian marine literature only or to the VLIZ Library catalogue only by checking the 'VLIZ Library' box.

New search
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

Crowdsourcing the identification of organisms: a case-study of iSpot
Silvertown, J.; Harvey, M.; Greenwood, R.; Dodd, M.; Rosewell, J.; Rebelo, T.; Ansine, J.; McConway, K. (2015). Crowdsourcing the identification of organisms: a case-study of iSpot. ZooKeys 480(480): 125-146. https://hdl.handle.net/10.3897/zookeys.480.8803
In: ZooKeys. Pensoft: Sofia. ISSN 1313-2989, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Crowdsourcing, Identification, Learning, Learning design, social networking

Authors  Top 
  • Silvertown, J.
  • Harvey, M.
  • Greenwood, R.
  • Dodd, M.
  • Rosewell, J.
  • Rebelo, T.
  • Ansine, J.
  • McConway, K.

Abstract
    Accurate species identification is fundamental to biodiversity science, but the natural history skills required for this are neglected in formal education at all levels. In this paper we describe how the web application ispotnature.org and its sister site ispot.org.za (collectively, “iSpot”) are helping to solve this problem by combining learning technology with crowdsourcing to connect beginners with experts. Over 94% of observations submitted to iSpot receive a determination. External checking of a sample of 3,287 iSpot records verified > 92% of them. To mid 2014, iSpot crowdsourced the identification of 30,000 taxa (>80% at species level) in > 390,000 observations with a global community numbering > 42,000 registered participants. More than half the observations on ispotnature.org were named within an hour of submission. iSpot uses a unique, 9-dimensional reputation system to motivate and reward participants and to verify determinations. Taxon-specific reputation points are earned when a participant proposes an identification that achieves agreement from other participants, weighted by the agreers’ own reputation scores for the taxon. This system is able to discriminate effectively between competing determinations when two or more are proposed for the same observation. In 57% of such cases the reputation system improved the accuracy of the determination, while in the remainder it either improved precision (e.g. by adding a species name to a genus) or revealed false precision, for example where a determination to species level was not supported by the available evidence. We propose that the success of iSpot arises from the structure of its social network that efficiently connects beginners and experts, overcoming the social as well as geographic barriers that normally separate the two.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors