Crowdsourcing Scholarly Work
I’d like to be part of a session on crowdsourcing work that has traditionally been led by scholars in an institutional setting. My own effort along these lines has been FromThePage, a web-based tool for transcribing and annotating handwritten manuscripts.
I demoed FromThePage at THATCamp 2008 while it was still under development, in private alpha. At the beginning of this year, I started editing a transcription project in earnest and gained some passionate and talented users. These users have transcribed hundreds of pages, researched subjects mentioned within the texts, and even tracked down and scanned lost documents. At the same time, however, I’ve discovered that many of the anonymous viewers of the site are actually researching the same subjects that I am. Since even a passing comment can add valuable insights, I would love to be able to engage these fellow researchers, connect with them and draw upon what they know.
Would anyone be interested in a session on crowdsourcing; discussing how to motivate volunteers and engage with the online public to produce high-quality work?
Other conversations I’d like to have at THATCamp Austin are:
- How to integrate with standard exhibit management systems like ContentDM or Omeka, and whether OAI-PMH or OAI-ORE are at all useful for that.
- How to mine genealogy and census databases to identify connections between people in historic documents. (Sometimes this goal is described as a “FaceBook of the Dead”.)
- How to get from project to product — when a piece of software is good enough for in-house use, how much more needs to be done to fit it for release as OSS?
Date: August 3, 2009