This section is for you if you want to sign up and become part of Crowdfight.
We accept requests from scientists who need help with very specific tasks. We will send you those that fall near your field of expertise, and will ask you to recommend an expert who can help with each one. You may recommend yourself if your are properly qualified, but more often you A small group of coordinators receive requests from researchers, and identify other scientists who can fulfill those requests. You can be one of those scientists (or become a coordinator, if you have the right skills and are willing to make that commitment). What kind of tasks will I perform? It depends a lot on your skills and availability. We may contact you to ask a very specific question related to your discipline, or to ask if you know someone else who can answer it. Other tasks are time intensive, such as manually curating or transcribing data. How many emails will I receive if I sign up to the list? For now, very few (perhaps none). We will try to contact only those volunteers most suited for each task, and we may not use the general task distribution list at all. Depending on the amount and types of requests, we will use it more or less often. Will I get credited for my work? We consider this as a donation to humankind at a difficult time, so you must expect receiving less credit than for your usual scientific work. However: · Most researchers will acknowledge your support in their papers once they are published (although we will not enforce it). · For complex and open-ended tasks, standard scientific collaborations may emerge, and they will be governed by the standard scientific practices. · We can issue certificates to all volunteers who complete a task. · You can ask for any recognition, reward or compensation, and we’ll try to accommodate all reasonable requests, especially for particularly complex tasks (even if you don’t ask, we’ll try to make the process fair). But these details must be clear before committing to the task. If we don’t discuss anything explicitly beforehand, then no credit or compensation is to be expected. Can I be paid? Not by us (we have no money). In special circumstances in which the task requires funding or infrastructure, we may work with the requesting team and/or funding bodies to secure funding. But in general, your time will not be paid. Is anyone making money out of this? Certainly not us, and probably nobody. The researchers benefiting from your work belong to non-profit organizations (universities, research institutes, etc.). If any for-profit organization approaches us, we will discuss the terms explicitly (and you will know). Patents emerging from the research may give money to the researchers you’re helping and their institutions. Unless explicitly discussed beforehand, we (and this “we” includes you) will have no part in that. Who owns the results I generate? The researcher who requested the task. This must be 100% clear. We just donate our time and expertise to help them with their project, which remains fully under their control (unless explicitly agreed beforehand). Can I be liable for anything? What if I make a mistake? No, you’re not liable. The responsibility to check the correctness of the results will remain with the researchers assigning the task, and/or with other sufficiently skilled researchers. Also, we will double-check critical results before sending them back. Do I need any specific equipment? None you don’t already have. I don’t think my skills can be useful… Please, sign up anyway. One of our aims is to facilitate collaborations with distant disciplines, which would be the most difficult to organize without our help. So it’s important to have you in our database in case you’re needed. Also, many tasks may not require specialized skills. I’m not a scientist. Can I still help? Yes, you can fill in the form and sign up. Some tasks may require volunteers with non-scientific skills. Do I need to commit? What if I get busy and cannot contribute as much as I thought? There is no commitment right now. If we ask you to perform a specific task, then we may ask you for a commitment (different tasks will require different levels of commitment). I have another question You can ask us directly at email@example.com
This section is for you if you want to make a request. Important: If your request is related to covid-19, go here. You will have priority and can ask for a much wider set of services. This FAQ is only for non-covid requests.
We will locate an expert in any field you need, and will put you in contact with them, so that they can help you via videoconference, e-mail or any other means.
The general rule is that the request would require no more than 1-2 hours of another researcher’s time, and will benefit you greatly. Any request that can be addressed remotely and fulfills these conditions is eligible, but some examples are the following:
Any scientist in the biomedical sciences who has received a token from us. Scientists at any career stage can make a request, but they must be affiliated to an active research lab within a professional scientific institution.
So far we are distributing tokens to members who contribute actively to Crowdfight. To do so, you can sign up here
No. You can tell us about it if you think it helps, but there is no need. Just tell us the specific need you have, and we’ll look for the right expert for it.
You, 100%. This is not a collaboration, but an expert helping you with a particular need. Some cases become long-term collaborations, but that’s up to you.
Not for us. Just let us know if you send us any confidential information. Most of the interaction will be directly with the expert, and at that point you should discuss any confidentiality issues.
No, and that’s not for us to say. Again, the research is still 100% yours.
Any kind whatsoever. We are particularly focused on fostering cross-disciplinary collaborations, so you can request the help from an expert in any discipline.
No. This service is only for scientists doing professional work.
Acknowledgment is appreciated. Experts will dedicate up to 1-2 hours to help you without any specific compensation (we document the process so that experts can show this activity as part of their CV). However, acknowledging the help of the expert in eventual publications would be nice. We will also appreciate if you acknowledge our platform. For example, you can use the sentence “The authors acknowledge the help of name_of_expert, contacted through Crowdfight (https://crowdfight.org)”.
Only if you want. We usually document every request publicly, but we only disclose the requester’s institution. In some cases we give publicity to papers and other results of our requests, but we will always ask for your permission beforehand.
Some requests become longer-term collaborations, often leading to papers co-authored by expert and requester (if this happens you should discuss the terms with the expert). This is a great outcome, but all cases must start with a brief (1-2 hours) interaction, which is useful in itself. The reason is that we cannot ensure that a given expert will be willing to embark on a longer-term collaboration; we can only ask initially for a couple of hours of the expert’s time, and we need to know that they will be useful. If later you keep collaborating, then even better.
Make the request anyway, and explain your doubts. We will tell you whether we can handle it or not.
You should get our first answer within hours, including a feasibility estimate, and you should be in touch with the expert within a week.
Recommending an expert is totally optional, and only applies for a minority of the requests. Besides finding the experts and contacting them, our mission is to provide the right incentives by documenting the whole process so that the experts get credit for helping you. For this and other reasons, it makes sense to contact certain experts through our platform even if you could do it directly.
Crowdfight is a non-profit, run by volunteer scientists and engineers. We started to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are doing this because we believe that it will benefit science and will make scientists’ lives easier. While most of the team members are scientists, Crowdfight is independent of our institutions.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This section is for you if you have received an email from us inviting you to act as expert.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i3qZiYZZZdmpX9n2XvzXKaJGO-YI-WNYkyn5pH-hNe8/edit