User Engagement for Public Participation in Digitization Working Group

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Public participation in the digitization of biodiversity research specimens can simultaneously grow awareness of the value of the specimens and close the communities' huge digitization backlog (in the 100's of millions of specimens). A number of public participation tools focused on digitizing specimens (particularly transcribing and georeferencing them) have sprung up in the last three years. Despite these promising efforts, the community does not have an adequate understanding of successful strategies for public engagement in digitization. This group works to develop and assess online and onsite strategies for user engagement in digitization. To express an interest in joining the working group, please contact Austin Mast or Libby Ellwood.


The working group seeks to enable the following activities:

  • Development of iDig'dBio@ Blitz Kits for onsite engagement of volunteers in digitization. To include (1) protocols, (2) relevant best practice and standards documents, (3) artwork for advertising and incentive gifts, (4) pre- and post-event surveys, (5) equipment lists, and (6) example PowerPoint presentations for recruitment and training.
  • Design alternative online strategies for public engagement in digitization and assess their efficiency and accuracy.
  • Design strategies to raise the baseline of participation onsite and online and assess their success.
  • Other activities identified as important for interoperability by members of the group.


  • The working group is currently developing an iDig'dBio@ Blitz Kit for digital imaging to be tested in Fall 2014.