Libraries, crowdsourcing, and social meta-data

Pauline Moirez outlines the principles behind crowdsourcing – the practice of calling on the collective skills and knowledge of users, contributing in this case to descriptions of holdings in libraries and archives. Such projects can be as straightforward as inputting bibliographical data, but now that vast quantities of digital material are being moved online, they can also involve collaboratively correcting, transcribing, and identifying content produced by OCR. The author concludes by looking at the implications and duties for libraries involved in such projects, which have a responsibility to participants to ensure that the content they contribute is indeed integrated into the library’s own catalogues.