Crowdsourcing as Public  Engagement
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Crowdsourcing as Public Engagement






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Crowdsourcing as Public  Engagement Crowdsourcing as Public Engagement Presentation Transcript

  • 20th September 2011
    Ithaka Sustainable Scholarship Conference, New York
    Crowdsourcing as Public Engagement
    Alastair Dunning Digitisation Programme Manager
  • Crowdsourcing as Public Engagement
    a.dunning (AT)
  • JISC – Network, Services, Innovation,
    Includes Content (
  • imagine ten thousand members of the general public outside the entrance to your library ....
  • qualms?
    but you would
    not just dismiss them out of hand
  • this is crowdsourcing/
    community content.
    about how we engagepublic(s) with collections, research, onlineresources
  • contributions to the oxford english dictionary
  • wikipedia - a massive
    crowdsourcing project
  • Since 2008, Australian digitised newspapers invited transcriptions, very popular with local and family historians – 47,168,258 lines of c.3m pages of newspapers corrected
  • eBird since 2002 – 1.5m observations in one month!
  • World Archives Project - Commercial publishers involved in crowdsourcing as well
    98.4 million records indexed
  • how do you engage publics in some of the academy’s most boring and labourious tasks?
  • engaging, slick interfaces, innovative games, and good communications will help exploitpublic(s) interest
  • exploit?
    • exploit?
    • do we want users exploited?
    • will they get bored?
    • how do we sustain their interest?
  • “it will be essential to avoid developing
    intellectual capital from others’ resources without helping them to grow their cultural capital.”
  • hmm. what project do this?
  • volunteers have their own timescales
    sustaining that engagement via recognition
  • need to think of crowdsourcing as part of larger public engagement mission; not a single project but culturally embedded
  • universities, cultural heritage institutions, and other related bodies need to ...
    • increase numbers
    • raise awareness
    • inform, but listen and respond
    • get donations
    • create community cohesion
  • those ten thousand cataloguers are part of your broader remit. And maybe helpful for more than cataloguing
  • References
    JISC ( and portal to JISC Content (
    Trove – Australian Newspapers -
    eBird -
    Leaf Watch (Conkers) -
    World Archives Project - -
    Digital Koot -
    Digitisation, Curation and Two Way Engagement
    RunCoCo -
    Great War Archive -
  • Sources of Big Numbers
    Wikipedia – Wikimedia Strategic Plan up to 2015, p 4-8
    Trove – Trove Statistics (as of 14th September 2011)
    eBird – About eBird (accessed 14th September 2011)
    World Archives Project – Public Tweet (14th September 2011)