VOLCROWE is a research project funded by the EPSRC in collaboration with the NEMODE network and involving collaboration between the University of Portsmouth, University of Oxford, University of Manchester and University of Leeds. The project is running from September 2013 to September 2016.

The project is generating new economic models and empirical evidence in response to the changing nature of volunteering in the digital economy and is helping to understand the motivation to volunteer for online citizen science initiatives. The project is generating quantitative and qualitative evidence to demonstrate how managers of crowdsourcing initiatives can optimise both the user experience and their management approaches in order to enhance and sustain levels of voluntary participation. By exploring volunteering as a positive collective and content building activity, the project is developing models that will help to illustrate how volunteering can contribute positively to the creation of sustainable engagement and interaction within the much overlooked third-sector of the digital economy.

Along with advancing academic understanding of volunteering and crowdsourcing in the digital economy, the output from this research project will make a valuable contribution to scientific endeavours that are reliant on crowdsourcing to overcome the challenges associated with the use of big datasets. The optimisation of these processes will help to increase the likelihood of important future scientific breakthroughs in areas such as astronomy, climate change and cancer treatment.