The first version of The Collective Wisdom Handbook: Perspectives on Crowdsourcing in Cultural Heritage is now available to read online. And not just to read – we're also asking for comment from people with expertise and experience in the topics we cover, from crowdsourcing to citizen science and history, to online volunteering and digital engagement with museum, library and archive collections. Your knowledge might be drawn from academic practice, from volunteering as a crowdsourcing participant, or from helping run, develop, or analyse outcomes of participatory projects.
We are excited to open up our work for review and comment from the wider community from now to mid-August 2021. Community review is a vital part of the overall process of documenting the 'state of the art' in this field, particularly as our book was written in two intensive week-long 'sprints'. Our writing team already represents perspectives from a range of disciplines. However, we believe that the book would benefit from additional connections to related fields, practitioners and scholarship. We particularly welcome comments that complicate or add nuance to our text. We encourage you to suggest example projects, case studies, blog posts and publications we might have missed.
There are a few ways that readers can leave a trace on documents on the pubpub platform – you can highlight text, comment on specific lines, or comment on a document as a whole. You'll need to create a free pubpub account to do this – full details on how to set up an account and comment are available.
So how do we imagine comments or highlights might help our readers improve the book?
- You can let us know what resonates – you can highlight text, or comment on specific lines of text with any language appropriate to you, from '+1' to 'yassssssss!'.
- Did we get something wrong? You can offer a correction in a comment.
- Would the book be better if we included additional references to other projects or publications? Please let us know!
- We'd also love to hear about how you might use the text – you could comment on chapters that might be particularly useful for specific uses, and let us know how they could be even more useful for you.
Please bear in mind that your comments will be read by the authors as is, and that some generalisations are necessary when covering such a broad topic in just two weeks. To put it another way, please try to avoid being the dreaded 'Reviewer 2'.
How this process affects the book is as yet unknown. It might lead to minor edits or more substantial updates – it depends on the response to this community review process.
We will of course credit and thank any commenters who make a substantial contribution. We're also thinking about peer review models for specific chapters, perhaps something like a 'respondent' to a talk or panel discussion. If you're interested in exploring that with us, please email email@example.com and include 'Collective Wisdom' in the subject line.
We are lucky to work in a field with a generous, thoughtful and passionate community of practitioners, academics and volunteers in crowdsourcing and digital participation around museum, library and archive collections. We look forward to learning from your comments, questions and suggestions.
The review period for this publication will close on August 9, 2021. After this, we’ll begin re-editing to incorporate feedback (and fix oddities in referencing etc.) and produce our final version of the book. We hope to find a 'traditional' publisher to help distribute and position the book where it can best reach our readers.