Crowdsourcing; Collaboration; Teams; Methodology; Metascience;
Most scientific research is conducted by small teams of investigators who together formulate hypotheses, collect data, conduct analyses, and report novel findings. These teams operate independently as vertically integrated silos.Here the authors argue that scientific research that is horizontally distributed can provide substantial complementary value, aiming to maximize available resources, promote inclusiveness and transparency, and increase rigor and reliability. This alternative approach enables researchers to tackle ambitious projects that would not be possible under the standard model.Crowdsourced scientific initiatives vary in the degree of communication between project members from largely independent work curated by a coordination team to crowd collaboration on shared activities. The potential benefits and challenges of large-scale collaboration span the entire research process: ideation, study design, data collection, data analysis, reporting, and peer review.Complementing traditional small science with crowdsourced approaches can accelerate the progress of science and improve the quality of scientific research.