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Engaging the Crowd with Humanities Research

'Engaging the Crowd with Humanities Research' is a report recently written by Stuart Dunn and Mark Hedges of the Centre for e-Research in DDH, funded by the AHRC under its 'Connected Communities' programme.
It provides an overview of the current state of the art of crowd-sourcing approaches in the humanities. Academics in the humanities domains undertake crowd-sourcing projects for a variety of reasons: to digitize content, to create or process content, to provide editorial or processing interventions, and so on. This report asks what the humanities have learned from other disciplines, where crowd-sourcing is being exploited, what the results are, why academics are motivated to undertake such activities, and why members of the public are willing to give up their time, effort and knowledge for free. It includes a review of academic publications of direct relevance to the field, and a detailed study of contributors’ motivations gleaned from a survey and two workshops. It builds on previous work by proposing a four-facet typology of different kinds of crowd-sourcing activity, which seeks to articulate ways in which crowd-sourcing can be of most use to the academic community.

The full report is available from the project website.