Help contribute to crowdsourcing research



My name is Donelle McKinley and I am a PhD student in the School of Information Management at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The aim of my research is to develop and evaluate a design theory for crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage domain to support website design and evaluation practice. As part of the study I am conducting a brief online questionnaire, and I need your help.

Crowdsourcing refers to a participative online activity in which an organisation openly invites the public to voluntarily undertake a task, such as transcribing or correcting text, contributing collection content, or tagging images. Cultural heritage collections are collections predominantly held by libraries, archives, museums and galleries.

The results of the questionnaire will help to determine the aspects of website design that influence volunteer participation and the quality of their contributions in this context. By taking part, you will be making a valuable contribution to crowdsourcing research and practice in the cultural heritage domain.

The questionnaire is strictly anonymous, and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. This project has been granted ethical approval by the Victoria University of Wellington Human Ethics Committee. Should you have any questions regarding this questionnaire, please contact me at (04 463 6597) or email primary supervisor Dr Sydney Shep.

To take part in the survey please visit

Thank you for your time, and please feel free to share this invitation with colleagues or friends who may be interested in participating.

Best wishes,


GLAM crowdsourcing projects

NYPL Building Inspector

Just a heads up on a site update that might come in handy…

I’ve reorganized my list of GLAM crowdsourcing projects by task type. I’ve used the categories proposed by Dunn & Hedges (2012) for crowdsourcing in the humanities.

Happy browsing!

You might also like to check out a few of my recent reads…

Eveleigh, A., Jennett, C., Blandford, A., Brohan, P., & Cox, A. L. (2014). Designing for dabblers and deterring drop-outs in citizen science (pp. 2985–2994). ACM Press. doi:10.1145/2556288.2557262

Noordegraaf, J., Bartholomew, A., & Eveleigh, A. (2014). Modeling Crowdsourcing for Cultural Heritage. Presented at the MW2014: Museums and the Web 2014, Baltimore, MD.
Bozzon, A., Aroyo, L., & Cremonesi, P. (2014).

First International Workshop on User Interfaces for Crowdsourcing and Human Computation. In Proceedings of the 2014 International Working Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (pp. 398–400). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2598153.2602225

Dunn, S., & Hedges, M. (2013). Crowd-sourcing as a Component of Humanities Research Infrastructures. International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, 7(1-2), 147–169. doi:10.3366/ijhac.2013.0086

Michelucci, P. (Ed.). (2013). Handbook of human computation. New York: Springer.
(Warning: at 1060 pages it’s the heftiest handbook I ever did see)

Oosterman, J., Nottamkandeth, A., Dijkshoorn, C., Bozzon, A., Houben, G.-J., & Aroyo, L. (2014). Crowdsourcing Knowledge-Intensive Tasks In Cultural Heritage.

Design theory for crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage domain

My PhD project, as they tend to do, took a few unexpected twists and turns over the past few weeks, and we have now reached a happier place. For the precious few who care (and yes, that includes my mum), here’s the new and improved state of play…

Crowdsourcing is an online activity that involves outsourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to a group of people or community through an open call. The success of crowdsourcing initiatives relies on meeting two key objectives: sufficient participation and quality contributions. Meeting these objectives requires an understanding of contextual factors such as motivations to participate, as well as effective project and system design and evaluation to achieve optimal performance.

Non-profit crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage domain, which is performed by unpaid volunteers for the public good, is commonly seen as the continuation of a long-standing tradition of volunteerism. While an increasing number of crowdsourcing initiatives involve cultural heritage collections, crowdsourcing is still in an experimental phase and these initiatives have not always been cost-effective. In addition to common project constraints such as limited time, resources and expertise, project teams are challenged by a scarcity of empirically-based guidance to inform system design and evaluation.

Recent information systems (IS) and computing research on crowdsourcing has tended to focus on commercial crowdsourcing systems and paid little attention to non-profit crowdsourcing. In particular, research on the design and evaluation of websites for non-profit crowdsourcing is very limited, which is a knowledge gap this study addresses.

Non-profit crowdsourcing initiatives that involve cultural heritage collections encompass a wide range of crowdsourced tasks and provide a rich and diverse sample. The aim of this study is to develop and evaluate a design theory for crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage domain, comprised of heuristics, testable propositions, justificatory knowledge, examples, and guidance for application, to support website design and evaluation practice. The study is driven by two research questions: What are the aspects of website design that influence crowdsourcing project objectives in the cultural heritage domain, and how can a new design theory for crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage domain better support website design and evaluation practice than existing guidance?

The study adopts a design science approach and the framework for IS design theory (ISDT) proposed by Gregor and Jones (2007). The study investigates website design and evaluation from a human-computer interaction (HCI) perspective, which prior research has suggested could help to better meet crowdsourcing project objectives.