Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Crowdsourcing, is it a good option for your collection digitization?
expand article infoQuentin Groom, Ann Bogaerts, Sofie De Smedt, Sarah Phillips§
‡ Meise Botanic Garden, Meise, Belgium
§ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey, United Kingdom
Open Access


Globally there are a number of citizen science portals to support digitisation of biodiversity collections. Digitisation not only involves imaging of the specimen itself, but also includes the digital transcription of label and ledger data, georeferencing and linking to other digital resources. Making use of the skills and enthusiasm of volunteers is potentially a good way to reduce the great backlog of specimens to be digitised.

These citizen science portals engage the public and are liberating data that would otherwise remain on paper. There is also considerable scope for expansion into other countries and languages. Therefore, should we continue to expand? Volunteers give their time for free, but the creation and maintenance of the platform is not without costs. Given a finite budget, what can you get for your money? How does the quality compare with other methods? Is crowdsourcing of label transcription faster, better and cheaper than other forms of transcription system?

We will summarize the use of volunteer transcription from our own experience and the reports of other projects. We will make our evaluation based on the costs, speed and quality of the systems and reach conclusions on why you should or should not use this method.

Presenting author

Quentin Groom

Funding program

H2020-INFRADEV-2017-1 grant agreement 777483

Grant title

ICEDIG: Innovation and Consolidation for large-scale Digitisation of natural heritage

Hosting institution

Meise Botanic Garden

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