This is from the introduction of a new article in the Spring 2012 issue of the journal, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.
Science and Technology Resources on the Internet – Open Science and Crowd Science: Selected Sites and Resources by Diane (DeDe) Dawson, Natural Sciences Liaison Librarian, University of Saskatchewan
From the Introduction:
The collaboration of many researchers on a project can enhance the rate of data-collection and analysis, and ignite new ideas. In addition, since there are more eyes to spot any inaccuracies or errors, collaborative research is likely to produce better quality results. Openness early in the research process alerts others to the work resulting in less duplication of efforts. Later on in the process, openness can amplify the visibility and impact of the research results and create more opportunities for future collaborations. An increase in both openness and collaboration has the potential to significantly accelerate the progress of science.
The Internet makes these trends possible and allows discussion across space and across disciplines. Indeed, it facilitates connections between scientists and the general public. Although citizen science is not a new phenomenon, the Internet is enabling more science enthusiasts to participate in the discourse than was previously feasible and more scientists are beginning to recognize the valuable contributions collaborations of this kind can make.