Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

CitSci Association Conference 2017 - Digitising Dinosaurs - Crowdsourcing at the Natural History Museum London


Published on

Natural sciences collections around the world comprise more than one billion specimens, representing a vast source of information on the natural world.

Natural History Museums and similar institutions hold and care for these collections on behalf of us all - they are an international public resource. Mobilising these data for research, conservation and public use is a formidable task - and one that is ideally suited to citizen science.

Using the power of the crowd to extract, transcribe, interpret and/or analyse data from handwritten labels brings the scale of the task within reach within our lifetimes.

My talk 'Digitising Dinosaurs' focused on the crowdsourcing of specimen label transcriptions as part of the Digital Collections Programme at the Natural History Museum London.

This Crowdsourcing symposium in which my talk was one out of four, brought together international examples of crowdsourcing platforms, and highlights practical tools and advice for setting up and running a crowdsourcing project.

We shared innovative ideas for engaging broad global audiences in this endeavour and tips for supporting and nurturing an online community of citizen scientists including the similarities and differences to face-to-face engagement and training.

Crowdsourcing by its nature is a big data movement, and we will demonstrate existing tools and new ones under development that can facilitate open data sharing and the onward use of data for education, conservation and ongoing research.

Finally, such a task doesn't come without significant challenges and opportunities! We shared our lessons learned, highlight issues we are still facing and invite suggestions and collaborations from the audience to overcome these.

Published in: Science
  • Be the first to like this

CitSci Association Conference 2017 - Digitising Dinosaurs - Crowdsourcing at the Natural History Museum London

  1. 1. Digitising Dinosaurs
  2. 2. 80m specimens …30m insects …7m fossils …5,000 meteorites
  3. 3. The Digital Collections Programme • 80 million specimens • Collected over 250 years • Representing 50 billion years of life
  4. 4. • Pioneering digi pilots • DCP Comms & events • Crowdsourcing • Programme & project mgt. • Seeking external funding • Digital policies & culture • Data portal run & improve • Collections Management System run & improve • Data architecture inc. Join the Dots analysis
  5. 5. DCP main mass digitisation Grey areas… Many research projects Depth Reach
  6. 6. Slide digitisation ~ 1,000 per day
  7. 7. Image capture for labels on pins
  8. 8. Madagascan Lepidoptera types pilot
  9. 9. DCP highlights 2016-17 >1bn Portal records downloaded, in >6,000 events >3.5m specimen records on portal* >3,000 Fossil explorer app downloads c.99,000 External portal users *Approx 0.5m added during 2016-17 >1,100 Twitter followers, up from c.250 >3,500 Reads of 12 blog posts 42 Digital Visiteers & 1500 waiting >30 Events & tours inside and outside NHM >26,500 Slides digitised, @ up to 1,000 per day >2,500 Crowdsourced Transcriptions by >600 people >1m Records onto EMu, and de- duplications etc £27,000 External funding & more in discussion
  10. 10. Miniature Lives Magnified on Notes from Nature In our first tranche of mass slide digitisation, we imaged 100,000 microscope slides of tiny insects, barely visible to the naked eye. Of these, we have selected 6,000 to form our first collection for crowdsourcing – focusing on a group of wasps called chalcids (pronounced 'kal-sids'). These tiny wasps are parasitoids, meaning they lay their eggs inside other insects. When chalcid eggs hatch the emerging larvae eat the inside of their host. They then grow and pupate until mature enough to burst out as adults, finally killing the host. This unique life cycle makes chalcids an important biological control agent, protecting crops and reducing invasive species.
  11. 11. Miniature Lives Magnified, on Notes from Nature The Notes from Nature platform has been developed by a team from the University of Florida and SERNEC, supported by funding from the NSF, using the Panoptes open project-building tool on the Zooniverse platform.
  12. 12. Progress to Date The first batch of 2,000+ chalcid slides were launched on Notes from Nature in mid-August 2016 and completed in mid-January, 2017. The second batch of 2,000+ chalcid slides were launched at the end of January, 2017 and are currently 52% complete – a marked rise in completion rate compared to the first set.
  13. 13. Participation Statistics Our statistics show a class long-tail pattern of engagement, whereby 14 out of 600+ participants were the most active contributors, and 2 volunteers in particular were ‘super-classifiers’.
  14. 14. The impact of Visiteering events on classifications October 20th, 2016 - as part of WeDigBio March 2nd, 2017
  15. 15. Miniature Lives Magnified
  16. 16. @NHM_Digitise @NfromM
  17. 17. @NHM_Digitise @NfromM
  18. 18. Miniature Fossils Magnified
  19. 19. Exploring Tropical Sweden