This is Mike and the Mechanics. They sang the words “looking back over my shoulder” which I have had stuck in my head since I started this post.
Happy New Year!
I thought I would take this opportunity to recap on the past year, as a way to take stock and realise that I maybe actually did achieve some stuff (hello impostor syndrome, my old friend), and lay out some of the things I have coming up in 2020.
2019 was the first year of the 2 year research project ReEnTrust, which I spend half my time working on. It is a collaboration between the Universities of Nottingham, Edinburgh, and Oxford, and focusses on issues on user trust in algorithmically mediated platforms. I work mostly on the part of the project that focuses on identifying the things that affect people’s trust in the websites they use, and how this might affect their behaviour and general wellbeing. In 2019 we ran 9 workshops with 75 participants in 2 age groups – 16-25 and over 65s. Other areas of the project have run stakeholder and policy engagement workshops, created mockups and prototypes of online tools, and ran public engagement events. The project followed on from the previous UnBias project, which we continue to publish results from. Four of my 2019 papers led directly from these projects:
I have had an abstract accepted to Ethicomp which will take place in Logroño, in La Rioja, Spain in June. It describes the preliminary creation of a scale to measure Online Wellbeing and trust. I will also be submitting a full paper for publication in an accompanying book/proceedings. We also submitted a journal paper on the impact of algorithmic decision-making processes on young people’s wellbeing just before Christmas, so hopefully that will be successful too. This year will also see a large online study with the Online Wellbeing Scale and Trust Index to investigate how using the Internet affects general wellbeing and trust. We are also working on papers on online transparency, age appropriate content moderation, and the results of the workshops with both the older and younger adults so I’m going to be kept pretty busy writing!
The rest of my time is spent working on various other projects, some of which will hopefully also bare fruit in 2020. The ‘In My Seat’ project aimed to look at using technology to engage users of public transport in their journeys, and just before Christmas we submitted a paper detailing the co-creation of a prototype app. Also towards the end of the year we released our final online study for our project on Personal Understanding of Data, which is still running, and will be written up into a journal paper later this year.
Finally, last year I spent quite a bit of time pursuing my own research interests in citizen science and crowdsourcing. This led to the following papers:
I also published a working paper on SSRN, resulting in work which will take up half of my time for at least the first part of this year, looking at the psychological basis of motivation to take part in online citizen science on the Zooniverse, including basic psychological needs and psychological distance. This is a result of years of useful chats (me rambling on to people who smile politely), and I am hugely excited about it.
I also have some pretty exciting life changes coming up this year, so there may well be a part two of this blog. But for now, Happy New Year and good luck to us all for 2020.
Remember, DO GOOD RECKLESSLY.