Amateur researchers and science enthusiasts have aided in scientific research projects for quite a long time. For example, members of the John James Audubon society have participated in bird counts to aid in conservation efforts for over a century.
This method called 'citizen science,' or 'crowdsourcing,' is the systematic collection and analysis of data. It can work in several different ways, like citizens collecting data for researchers to analyze or citizens analyzing the data that researchers have collected.
Below are some web applications that let you be the guinea pig and help science--consider it micro-volunteering!
Solve puzzles by shaping RNA nucleotides and help scientists unlock the secrets of genetics.
This one is for all you math-letes out there. This project posts mathematical equations and relies on the crowd to solve them.
Encyclopedia of Life
We looked at EOL in Tip #15. Now you can help by contributing or checking the accuracy of species photos.
This science-project-turned-gamed aims to study the nature of protein structures with the hope of classifying new virus-fighting or CO2-cleaning proteins.
Here you will find more than a dozen research projects broken into the following categories: space, climate, humanities, nature, and biology.
As a sneak peak, Facebook will soon release an app that let's members 'like' a certain whale shark and track conservation efforts.
Hope that helps.