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Open Data, Crowdsourcing and Game Mechanics. A case study on civic participation in the digital age


The aim of this paper is to shed light on the dynamics of civic participation, media agency, and data practices. To do so we analyse an investigative journalism story run by The Guardian that combined open data, crowdsourcing and game mechanics with the purpose of engaging readers. The case study highlights how data can be made accessible to people who usually do not have access; how game mechanics can be deployed in order to foster civic participation by offering users a sense of autonomy, competence and relatedness; and how crowdsourcing can organise a large group of people into achieving a common goal. The combination of these three elements resulted in a case for civic participation in the digital era.

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Correspondence to Reinhard A. Handler.

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Handler, R.A., Ferrer Conill, R. Open Data, Crowdsourcing and Game Mechanics. A case study on civic participation in the digital age . Comput Supported Coop Work 25, 153–166 (2016).

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  • Civic participation
  • Civic technologies
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Game mechanics
  • Open data