Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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CANCELLED: Enabling interoperability to support targeted transcribing and motivational feedback
Paul Kenneth Flemons

Last modified: 2016-11-30


Online crowdsourcing websites such as DigiVol, Notes from Nature and the Smithsonian Transcription Centre all operate under similar principles of offering transcription tasks for online volunteers to complete. A common experience for the managers of such websites is that volunteers or citizen scientists are selective in regards to contributing their time and skill and that this is largely driven by factors such as interest in a particular taxa or geographic area and what goal they will be contributing to.

With this in mind we have developed the DigiVol crowdsourcing platform for transcription of biodiversity specimens to enable collection owners to submit themed expeditions which provides these owners with a means of packaging transcription tasks in such a way as to lure transcribers to contribute their time and skill to transcribing tasks for them. However because of the nature of biodiversity collections being organised by taxa rather than geographically this theming of expeditions has been relatively limited in terms of geographic localisation.

At DigiVol we have also sought to provide feedback to our transcribers in terms of what their contribution means from a scientific perspective. This however has been limited also due to the nature of biodiversity collections being captured have not been directly related to a specific scientific question.

So imagine for a moment being able to offer our transcribers demand-based filtering of the tasks they get offered as well as scientific outcome focused feedback on what the data they capture is being used for. Is this something we can offer them now? If not, what do we need to put in place in the form of standards and protocols to enable it?