Using your computer as a volunteer

We have recently been told about a way of volunteering that may appeal to people with time on their hands, who are based at home and with access to a computer.

A large number of organisations throughout the world undertake work to assist academic research by entering written records onto computer, to create usable data. An example of this was when the Met Office needed to input rainfall data records from 1677 to 1960, a total of 66,000 pages. They wanted to do this so that they could analyse rainfall patterns from before the time of the industrial revolution onwards, to help understand our influence on climate change.

To do this, they asked for volunteers on Zooniverse, a website where volunteers undertake the work in what they call ‘people-powered research’. 16,000 people came forward and completed the work for them.

Zooniverse have a large number of projects available on subjects as diverse as the arts, science, history, medicine and language. For more information, see their website  .

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