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Crowdsurcing research questions in science

Crowdsourcing research questions in Science – why?

New research ideas and questions are usually generated by researchers specialized in their respective fields. As such, they are limited to the capability of researchers and their scientific communities to identify potential gaps in current literature. However, opening up this process to potential beneficiaries of the research (e.g., crowds of patients or medical professionals in the case of health sciences) holds the potential of identifying novel and relevant research questions that have previously not been considered. This bottom-up approach may provide important inspiration for individual researchers and research communities, and benefit the general society by linking societal challenges more closely to scientific research.

What is Tell Us?

“Crowdsourcing” describes the way in which individual problems or an organization’s tasks can be solved or addressed with the help of crowd-based, external knowledge carriers. This includes (but is not limited to) the use of various online platforms. Generating research questions is a key step within the scientific research cycle. To move science forward, researchers typically generate hypotheses based on the scientific literature and the knowledge currently available within their disciplinary silos.

But this can potentially mean overlooking important societal needs of which researchers should be aware.

By applying Open Innovation in Science methods, we aim to create an environment in which knowledge that does not originate from within this discourse can be incorporated into research. With this approach, we aim to change conventional research and open up new avenues to improve science.