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Crowdsourcing Ukrainian Folklore Audio Project

Megan Sellmer, Geoffrey Rockwell, Natalie Kononenko, MarynaChernyavska';this.style.color = '#ff0000';" onMouseOut = "this.innerHTML = 'Megan Sellmer, Geoffrey Rockwell, Natalie Kononenko, MarynaChernyavska';this.style.color = '#000000';">Megan Sellmer, Geoffrey Rockwell, Natalie Kononenko, MarynaChernyavska

Crowdsourcing is a popular method for getting a large project done by using a ???crowd??? of volunteer participants. Scholars are using crowdsourcing to complete large-scale projects, and involving the larger community of the humanities. Most humanities uses of crowdsourcing have been focused on textual materials like the Suda On Line project, which applies the power of the crowd to translating a Byzantine Encyclopedia. [1] The Ukrainian Folklore Audio Project with support from SSHRC is experimenting with crowdsourcing, or as we call it, groupsourcing, for the tagging, translating and transcribing of audio. In this paper we will do the following:

  • 1. Discuss the uses of crowdsourcing in the humanities.
  • 2. Demonstrate our audio folklore groupsourcing tool.
  • 3. Talk about the challenges we face involving a community ofUkrainian speakers in research.

1. Uses of crowdsourcing in humanities research';this.style.color = '#ff0000';" onMouseOut = "this.innerHTML = 'Uses of crowdsourcing in humanities research';this.style.color = '#000000';">Uses of crowdsourcing in humanities researchInvolvingparticipants in research is not a 21st century invention. TheOxford English Dictionary could be considered an early example ofcrowdsourcing. The Internet, however, provides us with acommunications channel that facilitates the distribution of smallresearch tasks and automatic integration of volunteercontributions. There have therefore been a number of digitalhumanities projects that use crowdsourcing starting including TheDictionary of Words in the Wild <http://lexigraphi.ca>, Suda On Line < http://www.stoa.org/sol/>, and Transcribe Bentham <http://www.ucl.ac.uk/transcribe-bentham/>.

2. Demonstrate the Ukrainian Folklore Audio Site';this.style.color = '#ff0000';" onMouseOut = "this.innerHTML = 'Demonstrate the Ukrainian Folklore Audio Site';this.style.color = '#000000';">Demonstrate the Ukrainian Folklore Audio SiteHow cangroupsourcing help folklore studies. Dr. Kononenko has gatheredhundreds of hours of recordings of songs, narratives and beliefs inUkraine community. These materials have been available onlinethrough a research site, but there is no transcript to search andonly a topical index for navigation. [2] To enhance this site thisproject has developed a custom tool that can handle audiotranscriptions so that volunteers in the community can sign outclips, tag them and then either transcribe or translate them.People who are interested in and understand Ukraine language andfolklore will test the tool, geography does not play a role inselecting participants.

3. Design and Motivation Challenges';this.style.color = '#ff0000';" onMouseOut = "this.innerHTML = 'Design and Motivation Challenges';this.style.color = '#000000';">Design and Motivation ChallengesAn important issue forus is motivating and supporting community members. The design ofthe website was kept simple to meet the needs of the user.Participants may be elderly members of the Ukrainian community whohave limited technology experience, so we designed the website tobe accessible for everyone. In the presentation we will discuss thedesign decisions in terms of our engagement with a uniquecommunity. This project also explores the influence of ethnicity ona community and the emotions that surface when working with theaudio clips that reflect a specific culture. We theorize that notonly are these aspects unique and important to the project but thatthey are the behind participant motivation. We hope a group ofcommunity researchers will form around the project that can enhancethis important folklore resource.


[1] Mahoney, Anne. ???Tachypaedia Byzantina: The Suda On Line as Collaborative Encyclopedia.??? Digital Humanities Quarterly. 3.1 (2009).

[2] Ukrainian Folklore Sound Recordings. <http://projects.tapor.ualberta.ca/UkraineAudio/>.

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