The fundamentals of policy crowdsourcing

John Prpić, Araz Taeihagh, James Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


What is the state of the research on crowdsourcing for policymaking? This article begins to answer this question by collecting, categorizing, and situating an extensive body of the extant research investigating policy crowdsourcing, within a new framework built on fundamental typologies from each field. We first define seven universal characteristics of the three general crowdsourcing techniques (virtual labor markets, tournament crowdsourcing, open collaboration), to examine the relative trade-offs of each modality. We then compare these three types of crowdsourcing to the different stages of the policy cycle, in order to situate the literature spanning both domains. We finally discuss research trends in crowdsourcing for public policy and highlight the research gaps and overlaps in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-361
Number of pages22
JournalPolicy and Internet
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • crowdsourcing
  • crowdsourcing trade-offs
  • open collaboration
  • policy cycle
  • policy processes
  • policy stages
  • tournament crowdsourcing
  • virtual labor markets


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