Foldit usernames and data analysis
We'd like to share Foldit usernames when we talk about the analysis of Foldit player solutions! Please respond to the questions below to let us know how you feel about this. We will not share individual responses, and you do not have to provide your username to participate!
Normally, when we discuss specific solutions from Foldit players, like in blog posts and in published papers, we omit the usernames of those Foldit players (unless we get explicit permission from the players in advance).
This is laid out in our Terms of Service, section (d) : "... We will contact you for permission before externally associating data analysis with your account name. ..." (See
We do this in the interest of players' privacy. We respect that some players just want to play Foldit, without being dragged into all of the analysis and lecturing on the website.
We also censor usernames because our discussions can include failures and negative results. As scientists, we tend to focus on what can be learned from failures—but negative results can also be personally discouraging, and we don't want players to feel like we are exposing their "failures" to the rest of the community.
However, we've noticed that many Foldit players are proud of their work, even when faced with criticism and failure. We also know that many players would appreciate more feedback (good and bad) about their work.
We would like to develop a more open, public dialog between Foldit players and scientists; your responses will help to inform how we can do this!
Would you opt in, if we created this option for players: "Yes, please credit my Foldit username in all communications about my work"?
Should we change the Terms of Service so that new players are "opted in" by default? (With the ability to opt out, for those who prefer anonymity.)
In the mean time, would you like to "opt in" informally, so that we can credit your username in future discussions? If yes, please provide your Foldit username:
Do you have any additional thoughts on this subject?
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