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  • 1. Crowds & CommunitiesUser Participation in the Archives
    Alexandra Eveleigh
    UKAD Archives Discovery Forum
    The National Archives
    3 March 2011
  • 2. What is ‘User Participation’?
    Image: Online Communities 2 (2010) http://xkcd.com/802/
  • 3. What is ‘User Participation’?
  • 4. User Participation (a working definition):
    Designed to make use of users’ skills, knowledge or creativity
    User-focused, perhaps user-led
    Focused upon description & resource discovery (metadata creation & re-use)
  • 5. Postmodernist Utopia or Professionalism At Risk?
    Cartoon: Peter Steiner, The New Yorker (Vol.69 (LXIX) no. 20), 5 July 1993
  • 6. Serious Leisure: Amateurs or Experts?
    “I hope there always will be, room for the Amateur, and in large numbers…the Local Official or other enthusiast whose Archives do not need and cannot claim the whole of his time; but who can find enough to undertake their listing or repair or photographing and wishes to acquire, within those limits, something of a professional technique.”
    Hilary Jenkinson, October 1947.
    Inaugural lecture for a new course in Archive
    Administration at University College London.
  • 7. Communities: Volunteers and Professionals
  • 8. Revolution or Evolution in Archival Practice and Professionalism?
    Crowds or communities - is user participation a new phenomenon, or similar to previous outreach and volunteering initiatives?
    Do user participation initiatives really attract ‘new’ users or do current design models effectively limit the participant pool to existing ‘experts’?
    What are the implications of collaboratively authored descriptions for archival authority and control?
    What role does the professional archivist have to play in the moderation of user-contributed metadata?
  • 9. What motivates participation?
    What are the optimal frameworks for participation?
    How can systems be designed to motivate and reward contributions?
    How effective are contribution rate statistics as a motivational tool?
    Do contributors value acknowledgement?
    Is competition ‘healthy’ as a means to motivate contribution?
  • 10. ‘Crowdsourcing’
    Extended control
    Predefined tasks
    Wide range of potential participants
    Quantitative incentive mechanisms
    Gaps & errors highlighted
  • 11. Crowds & Communities(Adapted from Haythornthwaite, 2009)
    • Specialist knowledge or skills (novice to expert)
    • 12. Sustained commitment
    • 13. Intrinsically motivated
    • 14. Group norms; social rewards
    • 15. Attribution & reputation
    • 16. Shared responsibility for product & process
    Open membership: low barriers to entry
    Dip-in, dip-out
    Extrinsically motivated
    Granular task, predefined by external authority
    Quantitative recognition mechanisms eg contribution rate
  • 17. Alexandra Eveleigh
  • 18. List of Examples
    Ancestry World Archives Project - http://community.ancestry.co.uk/wap/download.aspx
    Exploring Surrey's Past - http://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/
    Family Search Indexing - http://indexing.familysearch.org/
    flickr Commons - http://www.flickr.com/commons/
    FromThePage - http://beta.fromthepage.com/
    Living the Poor Life - http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/living-poor-life.htm
    Militieregisters - http://militieregisters.nl/
    My Brighton and Hove - http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/
    Old Weather - http://www.oldweather.org/
    Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections - http://polarbears.si.umich.edu/
    Revisiting Archives – available from http://www.collectionslink.org.uk/
    The Visible Archive - http://visiblearchive.blogspot.com/
    Transcribe Bentham - http://www.transcribe-bentham.da.ulcc.ac.uk/td/Transcribe_Bentham
    Waisda - http://waisda.nl/
    Your Archives - http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk