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Survey Results – Crowdsourcing Opinions & Insights

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Crowdsourcing Crowdsortium for Libraries and Archives (CCLA)

The questions in the survey covered a variety of topics, including the challenges faced by institutions in implementing crowdsourcing applications as well as personal media usage habits. Analyses of the responses (N = 157) revealed several noteworthy findings, summarized below.

  • A majority (69%) of respondents self-identified as library/information specialists, rated themselves at an “intermediate/casual user” level of technical savviness (68%), and reported a moderate level of familiarity with crowdsourcing (62%).
    • Among the most often cited crowdsourcing sites or apps respondents reported using were:
      • The New York Public Library’s What’s on the Menu? project
      • Zooniverse
      • Wikipedia
      • The Smithsonian’s transcription and digitization projects
    • When asked what games they played outside of work, respondents most often listed Words with Friends, Sodoku, Scrabble, Solitaire, and Candy Crush.
  • Less than 10% of the 157 reported that their institution had incorporated Linked Open Data to their collections, with an additional 24% reporting that their institution is currently in the planning stages to do so.
  • When asked to rate the extent to which a number of factors were challenges to their institution’s use of crowdsourcing, the following emerged as the top 5 most highly rated obstacles:
    • Lack of sufficient staff to attempt new initiatives
    • Funding allocations that do not prioritize crowdsourcing
    • Hiring processes that preclude adding essential staff to assist with crowdsourcing
    • Staff allocations that do not prioritize crowdsourcing
    • Lack of in-house opportunities for developing requisite technical expertise

To see the full results of the survey (with demographic and institutional affiliation information deleted to protect the privacy of the respondents), click on the link to download the PDF below:

CCLA Full Survey Results [PDF]