What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing refers to a set of methods that can be used to motivate a community to contribute ideas, information, or content that would otherwise remain undiscovered. Its rapidly growing appeal stems from its effectiveness in filling gaps that cannot be bridged by other means. The global expansion of the internet and its permeation into everyday activities has led to an increase in the use of crowdsourcing as a method of gathering information. One of the most well known models of this is Wikipedia, where volunteers provide information and definitions for subject matter of their expertise. Crowdsourcing generates what is known as the explicit form of collective intelligence. Knowledge is constantly refined through the contributions of thousands of authors. Today, news outlets are the most prominent examples of crowdsourcing. Stations are leveraging social media outlets, such as Facebook’s live stream and Twitter’s Periscope, as sources of real-time updates and information via text, images, and video. Additionally, crowdsourcing is often a way for researchers to draw on public knowledge to provide missing historical or other specific details related to communities or families, complete large-scale tasks, or solve inherently complex issues.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • helping cataloguing and describing our medias and collections - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Oct 17, 2016 .... from a user's perspective/vernacular- lchabot lchabot Oct 31, 2016
  • identifying new user communities - franziska.regner franziska.regner Oct 31, 2016
  • communicating with new user communities (see e.g. crowdsourcing blog of ETH Library https://blogs.ethz.ch/crowdsourcing/en/) - franziska.regner franziska.regner Oct 31, 2016 - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Nov 11, 2016
  • Get much better data that isn't possible through automated processes as well as engage new users with our collections. Libraries could also use things like Twitter and Facebook data to inform collection development and services provided for their students.- mheller1 mheller1 Nov 3, 2016
  • development of technology brings an increasing demand for content (e. g. by automated research methods like data mining): crowdsourcing supports libraries to meet that demand for quality content / meta data - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016
  • crowdsourcing can help balance diminishing resources / funding of libraries - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016
  • community and trust building - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016- vacekrae vacekrae Nov 12, 2016
  • crowdsourcing is a powerful way to keep customers engaged with own brand - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016
  • libraries can operate as facilitators of exchange within specific interest communities (network facilitator) - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016
  • establishing a broader sense of public ownership and responsibility within society regarding cultural heritage - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016 - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 12, 2016
  • Support researchers with the description of research data, support for engaging students with research. (Student sourcing) - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 12, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016Two heads are better than one. crowdsourcing can take advantge of collective intelligence.
  • Crowd funding is much popular in China these couple of years, but one needs to be careful about the red line of legal operations.
  • We have so much content in our archives and collections that we are gradually trying to put online and make available to the public. It becomes a kind of quid pro quo--we give the world access to our content and ask/hope for the collective knowledge of the online community to help identify that which we cannot. It is amazing how a variation of "six degrees of separation" comes into play. However, it remains a bit of a challenge for librarians to let go of being the ones with all the (access to) knowledge.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016
  • Crowdsourcing also will help improve our catalog records, especially in areas that have not be traditional areas to collect. Already, libraries are relying on the APIs of various niche data sites that are user driven, such as https://boardgamegeek.com for board game information and http://www.giantbomb.com for video game information.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • big Impact (short to middle term) for involving our customers in the process of producing our products - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Oct 17, 2016 - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 12, 2016
  • diverse and distributed expertise of the crowd (or specific parts of the crowd) can be used that are not available among staff in libraries - franziska.regner franziska.regner Oct 31, 2016- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016
  • It could theoretically enable us to shift the bias away from resources that are easily captured via OCR toward materials that resist OCR. As researchers become more reliant on digital archives and as more researchers pursue DH-style text corpus work, the latter materials--manuscripts, specific languages, etc.--become even more invisible even though they are often the richest and rarest potential sources. Human transcription is invaluable, yet very expensive. - askeyd askeyd Nov 2, 2016- mheller1 mheller1 Nov 3, 2016 Agree, with the engagement of students in these kind of activities, students could learn skills about digitising a collection and meanwhile enhance the OCR quality of a collection. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 12, 2016
  • new skills are needed within the libraries to do effective and efficient community management - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016
  • learning how to utilize IT to manage crowds (e. g. through open source software) - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016
  • Gamification of crowd sourcing. A game could attract a crowd of people who might not be interested in the material itself but could help by means of a game to georeference maps and other material. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 12, 2016 - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 12, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016Crowdsourcing could encourage more users involvement with library activities.| Agree. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 13, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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