DIY Crowdsourcing & Museum Collections: Explore people-powered research with the Zooniverse Project Builder!

Workshop - register now

Samantha Blickhan, Zooniverse, USA

In this half-day workshop, participants will learn the basics of creating a crowdsourcing project from scratch using the Zooniverse Project Builder ( a free, do-it-yourself tool that lets anyone build their own project with a user-friendly interface. Zooniverse partners with hundreds of researchers around the world to unlock data through projects that range from classifying galaxies on Galaxy Zoo to transcribing abolitionist letters on Anti-Slavery Manuscripts to furthering biomedical research with Etch-a-Cell.

Participants will learn about the Zooniverse and how you and your learning community can participate. At this time, 1.7 million registered users have helped researchers by volunteering with Zooniverse, the leading online people-powered research platform with more than 90 active astronomy, nature, climate and humanities projects. Since its start in 2007, Zooniverse projects have led to over 140 peer-reviewed publications. Zooniverse also provides lists of articles for researchers interested in understanding volunteer motivations, pathways, and the evolution of crowdsourced research.

Aimed at GLAM (gallery, library, archive and museum) professionals and researchers from all backgrounds, the workshop will begin with a general introduction to Zooniverse and how crowdsourcing can be used to benefit museum collections (with examples from current Zooniverse projects featuring data from GLAM institutions). Afterwards, participants will receive step-by-step instruction in how to set up a crowdsourcing project of their own, using the Zooniverse Project Builder.

Participants should arrive for the workshop with a laptop, a basic project idea and some sample data (for example, ~50-100 images from a collection; an ideal dataset is one for which the same line of questioning can be applied to each image).


Project Builder:

V. Van Hyning, S. Blickhan, L. Trouille and C. Lintott, "Transforming Libraries and Archives through Crowdsourcing," D-Lib Magazine 23:5 (2017).

M. von Konrat, T. Campbell, B. Carter et al, "Using citizen science to bridge taxonomic discovery with education and outreach," Applications in Plant Sciences 6:2 (2018).