Biodiversity Heritage Library: What Makes a Citizen Science Project Successful?
On its blog BHL discusses what are the factors that lead to the success of the many crowdsourcing projects it supports by interviewing one of its most dedicated volunteers, Siobhan Leachman.


Siobhan lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She initially trained as a lawyer, but became interested in crowdsourcing and citizen science after she decided to stay home to raise her children. About two years ago, her sister, who works in a museum, introduced her to the Smithsonian Transcription Center, which offered just the sort of challenge that Siobhan was looking for.

At the time, the Transcription Center was still in its beta phase, and at first, Siobhan’s activity in the project was occasional. Then, Vernon Bailey’s field books were added to the site, and that all changed.

“I became hooked,” Siobhan enthused. “I helped transcribe the field book in about three days. I loved his spare writing style, his drawings and occasional lyrical prose mixed in with unfamiliar North American species names that forced me to investigate further and in turn learn about various birds and animals. His writing was also quite an intellectual puzzle that I found fun to solve.”

Read the full post with answers to questions like what motivates a citizen scientist, how they find new projects, and what arises engagement and interest in the community here.

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