[open-humanities] crowd-sourcing in the humanities

Stuart Dunn stuart.dunn at kcl.ac.uk
Thu Jun 14 05:15:15 UTC 2012

The increasingly networked nature of the academic world is raising 
important questions about how the humanities can interact with wider 
communities outside the academy. 'Crowd-sourcing' is a term that has 
come to encompass a range of activities involving such interaction. It 
has been used in the past by physical scientists, principally to process 
very large datasets. It also relates - in different ways - to humanities 
data, including, but not limited to, transcribing, classifying, 
proofreading, tagging and commenting. More recently, some humanities 
researchers have begun to experiment with ways of crowd-sourcing 
interpretative and creative material. This is a complex and 
partially-understood area, and to investigate it, the Centre for 
e-Research in KCL's Department of Digital Humanities has received 
funding from the AHRC's Connected Communities programme to conduct a 
research review of crowd-sourcing in the humanities. We hope this will 
uncover a range of ways in which the academy-based humanities can 
collaborate with wider audiences. The project website can be found at 

We are currently seeking to identify contributors to crowd-sourcing 
contributors, and are conducting a survey. If you make use of 
crowd-sourcing in any project in the humanities, we would like your help 
in publicizing this link: http://humanitiescrowds.org/survey/. This asks 
some questions about contributors' backgrounds, the nature of the 
crowd-sourcing work they undertake, and about their motivations for 
doing so. Please forward this link to anyone who may have relevant 
experience or knowledge to share.

We are also aware that research and other relevant information in an 
area such as this is often to be found outside traditional academic 
publications, in blogs, tweets, project sites etc. We would welcome the 
contribution of any such links to our Delicious stack: 
http://delicious.com/stacks/view/KMzXC2 so that they can be included in 
our review.

Along side the project, we have set up a general purpose discussion 
forum, which all are welcome to join: 

Mark Hedges and Stuart Dunn

Dr Stuart Dunn
Centre for e-Research
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London


Tel +44 (0)207 848 2709
Fax +44 (0)207 848 1989
stuart.dunn at kcl.ac.uk

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