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Engaging Many Minds: Crowdsourcing in Academia

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Presenting a crowdsourcing approach that enables open brainstorming for the best research projects at the University of California, San Francisco. …

Presenting a crowdsourcing approach that enables open brainstorming for the best research projects at the University of California, San Francisco.


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  • Other Main Title Ideas Open Boundaries: Engaging Many Minds Engaging Many Minds in Idea Generation and Making New Connections Subtitle Ideas … to allow users to brainstorm ideas and share their expertise Enabling Idea & Expertise Sharing
  • technically still open, but the periods of active idea submission were Year 4: 2/11/09-3/25/09 (almost all by 2/13 – can that be right?) Stimulus: 3/4/09-4/2/09 Renewal: 7/9/09-11/25/10
  • technically still open, but the periods of active idea submission were Year 4: 2/11/09-3/25/09 (almost all by 2/13 – can that be right?) Stimulus: 3/4/09-4/2/09 Renewal: 7/9/09-11/25/10
  • technically still open, but the periods of active idea submission were Year 4: 2/11/09-3/25/09 (almost all by 2/13 – can that be right?) Stimulus: 3/4/09-4/2/09 Renewal: 7/9/09-11/25/10
  • technically still open, but the periods of active idea submission were Year 4: 2/11/09-3/25/09 (almost all by 2/13 – can that be right?) Stimulus: 3/4/09-4/2/09 Renewal: 7/9/09-11/25/10
  • technically still open, but the periods of active idea submission were Year 4: 2/11/09-3/25/09 (almost all by 2/13 – can that be right?) Stimulus: 3/4/09-4/2/09 Renewal: 7/9/09-11/25/10
  • technically still open, but the periods of active idea submission were Year 4: 2/11/09-3/25/09 (almost all by 2/13 – can that be right?) Stimulus: 3/4/09-4/2/09 Renewal: 7/9/09-11/25/10
  • Search Optimization: insert keywords into the filenames of the videos on their site, and even fewer use more advanced tactics like writing keyword-rich captions and annotations, or creating online video libraries.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Engaging Many Minds Katja Reuter* , Rachael Sak, Maninder Kahlon *Presenter: Manager, Online Communications, Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), University of California, San Francisco Crowdsourcing: Virtual Community Collaborations in Academia
    • 2. Expanding Communications ... to enable new ways for researchers to interact, communicate and collaborate.
    • 3. Website Resources, Databases E-Mail Service Presenting Information Online Research Networking Tools Crowdsourcing Tools Research Blogs Catalyzing and Enabling New Ways for Researchers to:
      • Communicate
      • Interact
      • Collaborate
      ...
    • 4. Using a crowdsourcing approach to enable idea generation as a collaborative endeavor. Transforming the types of research questions that are generated and how teams are convened.
    • 5. What is Crowdsourcing? “ the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor to an undefined, large group of people or community (a "crowd"), through an open call”. WIKIPEDIA
    • 6. Finding and leveraging the enormous potential of the “collective brain” has a history outside of research.
    • 7. Inspiration
      • Crowdsourcing models used in Industry
      • e.g. IBM, Netflix, InnoCentive
      • Bestselling books and articles
      • “ The wisdom of crowds” (James Surowiecki, 2005)
      • “ The rise of crowdsourcing” (Jeff Howe, Wired, 2006)
      • “ We are smarter than me. How to Unleash the
      • Power of Crowds in Your Business” (Barry Libert
      • & John Spector, 2007)
    • 8. We launched 3 pilot projects at the University of California, San Francisco to crowdsource ideas for the best research projects.
    • 9. Feb 2009 March 2009 July 2009 Target Audience CTSI Leadership ~35 UCSF Research Community ~7500 people CTSI Communit y/ Affiliates ~300 Time Period 4 weeks 6 weeks 5 months ARRA: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Ideas for Economic ARRA Stimulus Funding Ideas for CTSI Year 4 Ideas for CTSI Renewal Grant Proposal
    • 10. What does the tool look like?
    • 11.
      • The tool provides the substrate to achieve several goals.
      • It supports:
              • 1. community building
              • 2. team assembly
              • 3. innovation management
              • 4. collaborative idea generation
              • 5. team work on proposals.
    • 12. Features (Built off Drupal Content Management System)
      • Submit ideas
      • Comment on ideas
      • Vote (Like or Dislike)
      • Filter by Idea Topics
      • Sort Ideas by popularity or commenting
      • Receive E-mail Notifications for updates on ideas of interest
      • Revise collaboratively to move idea forward
      • View Idea Status
    • 13. An Exemplary Discussion Thread
    • 14. As part of the process, the tool itself was iteratively improved based on user input .
    • 15.
              • The solicited ideas focused on
              • research infrastructure and novel approaches
              • to improve the translation of basic discoveries into health benefits for the community,
              • known as clinical & translational research.
      • known as clinical & translational research.
    • 16. Unique Page Views = # of sessions during which the forum was viewed one or more times Targeted Audience Ideas Submitted Comments Submitted Votes Submitted % Comments by Unique Page Views % Votes by Unique Page Views CTSI Year 4 ~35 18 41 31 19% 14% Economic ARRA Stimulus Funding ~300 27 39 75 8% 15% CTSI Renewal Grant Proposal ~7500 53 47 65 9% 12%
    • 17. The Process Initiative supported and promoted by CTSI leadership ... Initiative supported and promoted by CTSI leadership ... Initiative supported and promoted by CTSI leadership ...
    • 18. CTSI leadership evaluated and triaged submitted ideas, providing continual feedback online and via in-person meetings.
    • 19. Idea Development and Cross-Pollination among other Virtual Communities Promising ideas that could not be funded initially were transferred to the subsequent “Open Forum” initiative.
    • 20. What did our users say?
    • 21.  
    • 22. Takeaway 15
      • Crowdsourcing tools can help leverage the potential for collaborative generation
      • of new and better ideas and collaborator finding in academia.
      • Sharing ideas transparently between otherwise seemingly competitive
      • proposals was received well.
      • Highlight focused incentives and senior sponsorship to users
      • Integrate online with real-world communication opportunities
      • Future work will aim at reaching broader, more distributed audiences beyond
      • UCSF and applying the lessons learned to the crowdsourcing of ideas to
      • address pressing biomedical research questions.
    • 23.
      • Thanks to the Virtual Home Team at CTSI, University of California, San Francisco.
      • Cynthia Piontkowski , Web Producer
      • Kristine Moss , Web Manager
      • Brad Bulger , Technical Consultant for Web Application Development
      • Leslie Yuan , Director of Web Products