The Chronicle of Higher Education's Jeffery Young says crowd science is taking hold in several scientific disciplines as researchers pool their resources and collaborate to make sense of their data and discoveries. When it comes to bioscience, Young says, researchers are finding that decoding entire genomes means a shift in the culture that previously dictated that data was never to be shared. For example, researchers are now using wikis to create "a genetic road map," like GenMAPP, Young says. Researchers hesitated to participate, at first, because they had no incentive to add their data to the pile. But in 2007, the GenMAPP developers added certain features allowing researcher to keep data private until it was published in a journal, and made adding data to the wiki easier and less time consuming, Young adds, which pushed participation rates up. "More researchers — and even some pharmaceutical companies — are realizing that genetic information is truly useful only when aggregated," Young says.
Following the Crowd (Science)
May 28, 2010