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Exploring the impacts of Planet Hunters TESS


With the help of the Public Engagement with Research team at the University of Oxford, we’re conducting a short survey in order to explore the impacts of Planet Hunters TESS and to better understand who takes part and why. We’d love to hear your thoughts at

Thank you to those who have already taken the time to complete the survey.

Evaluating Planet Hunters

By Annaleise Depper

To date, thousands of volunteers worldwide have contributed their time to classify millions of light curves on Planet Hunters in the search for extrasolar planets. With the help of citizen scientists, the Planet Hunters team have been able to find out more about the diversity of planets and to understand what kind of solar systems exist.

But what we don’t know is… What impact does Planet Hunters have on its volunteer community? Who and why do people take part? What are the benefits and barriers?

I’ve been given the task of exploring these questions.

As Public Engagement with Research Evaluation Officer, my role is to support researchers at the University of Oxford to evaluate the impact of their public engagement with research activities.

I was particularly interested in collaborating with the Zooniverse Planet Hunters team as they are working on an innovative citizen science project that is constantly expanding and making scientific research more accessible. I have been inspired by the work the Planet Hunters team are doing to involve, engage and collaborate with citizen scientists worldwide in a very unique way.

Over the coming months I will be working with the TESS team to launch our evaluation survey in order to explore the views and experiences of volunteers engaging with Planet Hunters. Our aim is to find out:

  1. what impact does the platform have on its volunteer community?

  2. what are the benefits and potential challenges?

  3. how can Planet Hunters become even more inclusive of its growing, diverse community?

Please share your thoughts about Planet Hunters by completing our short online survey:

This should take no longer than 5-10 minutes to complete and your responses will be anonymised. We will share our overall findings with the Planet Hunters community on this blog and the University of Oxford webpages.

If you would like to add any additional comments or thoughts please feel free to email me

We look forward to sharing the results!


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