Donating Context Data to Science: The Effects of Social Signals and Perceptions on Action-Taking

Yong Liu, Denzil Ferreira, Jorge Goncalves, Simo Hosio, PRATYUSH PANDAB, Vassilis Kostakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


It is becoming increasingly easy for researchers to develop context-aware applications for smartphones. A perennial challenge, however, is to convince a large number of people to install them and donate contextual data for scientific purposes. Our empirical study seeks to address this challenge by investigating how people's perception and attitude affect their willingness to donate context data to researchers and quantifies the effects of social signals on donation action-taking. Our findings indicate that the perceived need for donation and perceived organization reputation are key determinants in deciding whether to donate: people with altruistic personality do not necessarily donate if they cannot see the need to take an action. Furthermore, we provide evidence that even if people indicate a willingness to donate, they are hesitant to take action towards donating data unless catalysts like social signals (hints about the actions of others) are present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-146
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • empirical study
  • HCI
  • data collection
  • data donation
  • context-aware applications
  • privacy


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