New article – An epistemology for democratic citizen science

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More than ever, humanity relies on robust scientific knowledge of the world and our place within it. Unfortunately, our contemporary view of science is still suffused with outdated ideas about scientific knowledge production based on a naive kind of realism. These ideas persist among members of the public and scientists alike. They contribute to an ultra-competitive system of academic research, which sacrifices long-term productivity through an excessive obsession with short-term efficiency. Efforts to diversify this system come from a movement called democratic citizen science, which can serve as a model for scientific inquiry in general. Democratic citizen science requires an […]

Postdoc creative diary – oct22 / june23

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This Zenodo repository contains collateral content from my postdoctoral research on collaborative ethnographies, conducted from fall 2022 to early 2024, and paused due to a shift in grant funding, a revised research plan and a transition to a new university. Despite these later changes, initial nine months (oct22-june23) of consistent engagement in this project allowed for a quite consistent yet highly experimental / pseudo-artistic daily practice of (mainly) self-reflective writing. The primary language of these notes is (mother language) Spanish, with occasional entries in (sister language) Catalan and in (friendly language) English. They reflect a period rich in planning, evolving […]

New article – “One button in my pocket instead of the smartphone”: A methodological assemblage connecting self-research and autoethnography in a digital disengagement study

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In this article we present a “methodological assemblage” and technological prototype connecting autoethnography to the practices of self-research in personal science. As an experimental process of personal data gathering, one of the authors used a low-tech device for the active registration of events and their perception, in a case study on disengaging from his smartphone. For the visualization of this data the other author developed a novel treatment of fieldnotes in analytic autoethnography through an open source, interactive notebook. As a proof of concept, we provide a detailed description of the corresponding protocol and prototype, also making available the notebook […]

New article – Co-creation applied to public policy: a case study on collaborative policies for the platform economy in the city of Barcelona

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This paper addresses how far co-creation methodologies can be applied to policy-making innovation in the platform economy. The driving question is how co-creation collaboration-based policy-making can increase diversity and strengthen the participation of actors. The analysis is based on a three-year case study on the platform economy in Barcelona, describing how co-creation dynamics contributed to the participatory definition of local public policies and agenda. The methodology is based on participatory design techniques, involving participant observation and content analysis. Results indicate that co-creation can increase participation diversity aligning academic, economic, and social viewpoints in policy innovation from a quadruple helix perspective. […]

New article – Messing with Merton: the intersection between open science practices and Mertonian values

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Although adherence to Mertonian values of science (i.e., communism, universalism, organized skepticism, disinterestedness) is desired and promoted in academia, such adherence can cause friction with the normative structures and practices of Open Science. Mertonian values and Open Science practices aim to improve the conduct and communication of research and are promoted by institutional actors. However, Mertonian values remain mostly idealistic and contextualized in local and disciplinary cultures and Open Science practices rely heavily on third-party resources and technology that are not equally accessible to all parties. Furthermore, although still popular, Mertonian values were developed in a different institutional and political […]

New article – Shared motivations, goals and values in the practice of personal science: a community perspective on self-tracking for empirical knowledge

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Some individuals do not limit their self-tracking efforts to passively collecting and observing gathered data about themselves, but rather develop it into forms of self-research and self-experimentation, also called “personal science”. This type of N-of-1 research is relevant to the fields of personal informatics, patient-led research and social studies of science, but as a knowledge generation practice is still poorly understood. To fill this gap, we conducted 22 semi-structured interviews to investigate the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of individuals engaging in personal science activities, as well as shared goals and values present in self-research communities. Our analysis is based on […]

New article – Manifesto sprint on biocultural diversity: an experimental approach to knowledge co-creation, discourse design and collaborative writing

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New methodological and co-creation approaches are needed in Digital Humanities (DH) for cross-disciplinary collaboration oriented to sustainability. More specifically—in the context of Environmental Humanities and regarding biocultural diversity—a key challenge is to set effective and engaging ways of rapid knowledge generation for public awareness and policy-making. According to the 2019 United Nations report on biodiversity, the world will lose one million species in the upcoming years. In parallel, it is acknowledged that the degradation of biological diversity also threatens cultural and linguistic diversity, as declared by UNESCO. In an attempt to contribute to knowledge safeguarding this diversity, a hybrid approach […]

New article – Using an individual-centered approach to gain insights from wearable data in the Quantified Flu platform: netnography study

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Background: Wearables have been used widely for monitoring health in general, and recent research results show that they can be used to predict infections based on physiological symptoms. To date, evidence has been generated in large, population-based settings. In contrast, the Quantified Self and Personal Science communities are composed of people who are interested in learning about themselves individually by using their own data, which are often gathered via wearable devices. Objective: This study aims to explore how a cocreation process involving a heterogeneous community of personal science practitioners can develop a collective self-tracking system for monitoring symptoms of infection […]

A digital minimalism self-intervention

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Inspired by the concepts of self-experimentation and quantified self, some time ago I decided to re-try something that I had attempted in the past but in a very piecemeal way: put my smartphone aside and instead use a Nokia feature phone or “dumbphone”. Why do something like that? First of all, I must clarify that it is not a question of neo-luddite philosophy or aspiring to a way of life without technology. It is clear that our current lifestyle in “developed” societies cannot be separated from digital tools. And among these disruptive tools, the smartphone is the one that has […]

Personal science, community learning and the quantified self – Interview with Gary Wolf

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Text originally published at Peer-Produced Research Lab on 18/05/2021 Gary Wolf, journalist, researcher and contributing editor at Wired magazine since its beginnings, is the co-founder of Quantified Self, an international community of users and makers of self-tracking tools who share an interest in self-experimentation and “self-knowledge through numbers”. Gary is also one of the board directors of the Open Humans Foundation, and active contributor of the Open Humans self-research community. We interviewed Gary during a data collection process for a study on motivations, learnings and peer support in self-research communities (more info here), and since Gary gave permission to use his non-anonymized data (“I’m a journalist!”) we reproduce […]