POST: Scholar Sourcing, Crowdsourcing, and Community Sourcing

In a post to her website, Digital Humanities Librarian Laurien Taylor (University of Florida) discusses the use of community-sourcing and scholar-sourcing in her work. These terms, Taylor argues, are distinct from “crowdsourcing” because they are more targeted in scope, focusing not on “the entire online world” but on commitments at the institutional level, which in turn can  be scaled up for scholarly crowdsourced project. Taylor builds on an earlier article by Johanna Drucker (UCLA) that criticized academic crowdsourcing projects as using an approach that works only in a few highly limited and structured circumstances.

She writes: “some institutions have leveraged the technical infrastructure to engage with scholars on known problems, like limited metadata (or item information) for materials in their collections. This is the opening to a conversation on shared needs, goals, and concerns. Rather than the crowdsourcing model applied to a smaller scholarly ‘crowd’, the process itself changes in terms of collaboration for collaboration at scale.” Taylor credits technologies like SobekCM, a content management system developed at the University of Florida using a community source process, with providing a technical infrastructure that enables her focus on the “human infrastructure” elements of scholarly support systems, making her discussion relevant for librarians as DH project managers as well.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Joe Grobelny, Kristen Mapes, and Laura Scott (Editors-at-large for the week), Zach Coble (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Roxanne Shirazi and Caro Pinto (dh+lib Review Editors).