Development, reuse, and repurposing of software artifacts in Digital Citizen Science: are we reinventing the wheel?
In the production of software artifacts, it is possible to start from scratch, reuse existing artifacts, or even repurpose artifacts produced with another purpose in mind. As an application domain matures, often developing from scratch and repurposing it leads to reuse. Reuse not only reduces time and costs but also acts as a mechanism to encapsulate and disseminate the knowledge of domain experts. With software being a central ingredient to mediate the participation of volunteers in digital citizen science, it would be expected to observe various developments with reusable devices. However, reuse is rare today. Through a systematic review, we study the software production strategies reported during the last decade in citizen science projects. We observe that there is still a high amount of development from scratch, so we open the debate on the usefulness of designing reuse processes focused on reusers to promote this strategy.