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Crowdfunding Campaigns Help Researchers Launch Projects and Generate Outreach

    Authors: Katherine Dahlhausen1, Bethany L. Krebs2, Jason V. Watters2, Holly H. Ganz1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Evolution and Ecology & Genome Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616; 2: Wellness and Animal Behavior, San Francisco Zoological Society, San Francisco, CA 94132
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 March 2016
    • ©2016 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Evolution and Ecology & Genome Center, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616. Phone: 510-207-4408. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 32-37. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1051
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    Abstract:

    Organizers of participatory research (citizen science) projects can generate funds and outreach through crowdfunding. Here we provide insights from three successful science crowdfunding campaigns recently completed on Indiegogo, Experiment, and Kickstarter. Choosing a crowdfunding platform that fits the project is just the beginning; a successful campaign reflects its content, management, and marketing, and some researchers may need to acquire new skills. In addition, the growing trend of crowdfunding for science reinforces the importance of academic engagement with social media.

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References & Citations

1. Barmann J 19 August 2015 SF Zoo Rhino’s Twitter Account Is Trending SFist, Gothamist [Online.] http://sfist.com/2015/08/19/sf_zoo_rhino_has_popular_twitter_ac.php
2. Cameron P, Corne DW, Mason CE, Rosenfeld J 2013 Crowdfunding genomics and bioinformatics Genome Biol 14 134 10.1186/gb-2013-14-9-134 24079746 4054678 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2013-14-9-134
3. Edmunds S 26 May 2015 Community microbiomes: chatting cat scat with kittybiome’s Holly Ganz BMC Gigablog [Online.] http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/gigablog/2015/05/26/community-microbiomes-chatting-scatkittybiomes-holly-ganz/
4. Holmes D 2013 Infographic: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo [Online.] https://pando.com/2013/10/14/infographickickstarter-vs-indiegogo/
5. Hood C, Watters JV, Halverstadt B, Hood K 2015 What happens when animals tweet? A case study at Brookfield Zoo, 1930–1939 Proceedings of the 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) Kauai, Hawaii
6. Johnson L 18 August 2015 S.F. Zoo’s new Twitter sensation has thick skin (and a horn) San Francisco Chronicle [Print and online.] www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/S-FZoo-s-new-Twitter-sensation-has-thick-skin-6451656.php?t=46f189d058baa6eec6&cmpid=twitter-premium
7. Knight M 29 May 2015 Mysteries of cat, human health revealed through microbiome Generic Literacy Project Blog [Online.] www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/05/29/mysteries-of-cat-and-human-health-revealed-throughmicrobiome/
8. NSF DEB Science Staff 11 March 2013 DEB Numbers: Revisiting performance of PI demographic groups, Part 1 DEBrief Blog of the Division of Environmental Biology, National Science Foundation [Online.] https://nsfdeb.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/deb-numbers-revisitingperformance-of-pi-demographic-groups-part-1/
9. Oskin B 18 May 2015 Kitty Kickstarter: see the microbes that live inside your cat’s poop Live Science [Online.] www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-science/kittybiome-kickstartersee-microbes-your-cats-poop-n360911
10. Ossola A 15 May 2015 Decode your kitty’s microbiome. Participate in some cat-izen science Popular Science [Online.] www.popsci.com/decode-your-kittys-microbiome
11. Rockey S 5 March 2014 Comparing success rates, award rates, and funding rates Rock talk: helping connect you with the NIH perspective [Online.] https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2014/03/05/comparing-success-award-funding-rates/
12. Rockey S, Collins F 24 September 2013 One nation in support of biomedical research? [Online.] http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2013/09/24/one-nation-in-support-ofbiomedical-research/
13. Science Magazine 20 May 2015 ‘Kittybiome Kickstarter’ to fund research on cat microbes Science Magazine [Online.] http://news.sciencemag.org/sifter/2015/05/kittybiomekickstarter-to-fund-research-on-cat-microbes
14. Strong KL 27 July 2015 Science researchers turn to crowdfunding for projects The Sacramento Bee [Print and online.] www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article28879354.html
15. Wheat RE, Wang Y, Byrnes JE, Ranganathan J 2013 Raising money for scientific research through crowdfunding Trends Ecol Evol 28 71 72 10.1016/j.tree.2012.11.001 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2012.11.001
16. Wired.co.uk 15 May 2015 Find out why your cat is grumpy by sequencing its DNA [Online.] www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-05/15/kittybiome-cat-dna-sequencing

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1051
2016-03-01
2019-07-22

Abstract:

Organizers of participatory research (citizen science) projects can generate funds and outreach through crowdfunding. Here we provide insights from three successful science crowdfunding campaigns recently completed on Indiegogo, Experiment, and Kickstarter. Choosing a crowdfunding platform that fits the project is just the beginning; a successful campaign reflects its content, management, and marketing, and some researchers may need to acquire new skills. In addition, the growing trend of crowdfunding for science reinforces the importance of academic engagement with social media.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Geographic locations of page views of the Kickstarter campaign for kittybiome from Google Analytics. The colors and bubble sizes represent numbers of sessions out of a total of 20,997 page views. New users account for 82.4% (17,304) of the page views. Geographic location was not determined for 4.6% of views.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 32-37. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1051
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Why do people give to crowdfunding campaigns?

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 32-37. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1051
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Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Friends, family, and colleagues provide a kickstart in two successful crowdfunding campaigns. Proportion of donations from different sources for each quarter of the campaign for A. kittybiome and B. The Koala Project. In the figure legend, “No known connection” means that means that the project backer wasn’t in our primary or secondary social networks.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 32-37. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1051
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