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Do’s and Don’ts of Crowdsource Transcription

The concept is simple– long-term projects that need an extensive amount of transcription put their documents online, open to the public to transcribe. After looking through some successful transcription projects, here are my tips and tricks to creating a positive project.

1. Give credit, not compensation.
Though there are crowdsource transcription projects that offer compensation, it is my experience that these tend to be complicated to say the least, and projects tend to see more success when they’re unpaid, although results may take longer. However, giving credit to where credit is due is certainly important, especially towards the end of a project.

2. Make sure you can reach the widest audience.
Account for users who may be visually or hearing impaired, and ensure your page works for all abilities! This means at the very least ensuring plugins that provide support for sight and hearing work with your site.

3. Provide an element of choice.
In my opinion, it’s not necessary to completely “gamify” your site to attract users, but transcriptions do tend to seem more appealing when different options are given. It definitely makes for a more interesting experience!

4. Do your research.
There’s no shame in seeing what works, and then using that for your own page. Some recommendable sites are the Library of Congress page and the New York Times.

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