CFP: crowdsourcing conference Angers

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CFP: crowdsourcing conference Angers

Ioana Galleron

CFP: Crowdsourcing as a means to share, enrich and publish heritage sources

Conference organised by CIRPaLL, CERHIO (Angers University) and Litt&Arts (Grenoble Alpes University)

Organizers: Cécile Meynard, Florence Alibert, Valérie Neveu, Elisabeth Greslou, Thomas Lebarbé

October 18-20, 2017

Angers University, France

Location : Maison de la Recherche Germaine Tillion (Angers)

Whether they are called citizen sciences or participatory sciences, these practices are emerging, most often through collaborative online tools that invite a large number of people, expert or amateurs, to give some of their competences, knowledge, creativity and time to perform tasks that would require too much time for a single person or a small group of people. This crowdsourcing principle has been applied to many and various domains, from economy to contemporary culture (from design contest organisation to genealogy, through real-time information management in crisis). The phenomenon, already widespread in the Anglo-Saxon world, has taken in sciences for the past few years, including human and social sciences (history, ethnology, museology, …), lead by institutional partners, most often museums, libraries, archives and more recently universities and research centres.

The wide variety of these projects, their objects, and their contributing “crowds” is striking: “Transcribe Bentham” in philosophy, “Zooniverse” covering a wide range of projects and disciplines mainly in technical sciences, “Transcrire” by the ethnologists consortium, “Tela Botanica”, etc. not forgetting the most famous of all, Wikipedia. Facing this fact, it seems interesting to allow researchers from various disciplinary origins to gather and question crowdsourcing together.

A large number of questions are at stake, from a scientific point of view, but also sociologically and ethically: are there common practices to these projects that are so different in their objects, objectives, data, and contributors? Is this a continuity or on the contrary a discontinuity in the design of scientific projects? Is it relevant to oppose serious work to serious game? How can one raise interest in the crowd and associate it to scientific projects? In which way can their participation be recognized, enhanced, and perpetuated? What are the benefits, obstacles and limits of such collaborations? Is there a real difference between experts and amateurs? Can one call it a new slavery, as some do? Further more, is there room in crowdsourcing for literary sources edition (texts and manuscripts), a domain that is still very limited? De facto, in France, apart from Flaubertian projects in Rouen (Madame Bovary’s drafts, Bouvard et Pécuchet’s first volume, Flaubert’s correspondence), only a few projects are emerging, among which the edition of Benoîte Groult’s Mon Evasion in Angers. Does this imply that crowdsourcing is not necessarily the most adequate solution for online literary editions? Crowdsourcing is indeed very fashionable : indexations, transcriptions, paleography, corrections of OCR, the user is the consumer as well as the producer of informations.

This research conference is thought in the continuity of three research events: “Collaborative transcription and digital edition of manuscripts: issues, tools and perspectives” organised on march 16th 2016 by Emmanuelle De Champs (National Archives, Pierrefitte sur Seine), the forum of the archivists “Méta/morphoses, les archives bouillon de culture numérique (Troyes, 31 mars-2 avril 2016)” and “Crowdsourcing and edition” organised on October 26th 2016 by Cécile Meynard, Elisabeth Greslou and Thomas Lebarbé (Angers). This shall be the 3rd  scientific event in France on crowdsourcing, heritage, and edition.

This conference is organised within the research project NumEC that has been subsidised by Angers University for the design of a collaborative transcription platform in order to edit Benoîte Groult’s manuscripts, combines with an original collaborative digitization project, unheard of in France to this date (in partnership with Angers’ academic Library). It is organised by CIRPaLL (U. of Angers), in partnership with CERHIO (U. of Angers) and Litt&Arts (UMR, U. of Grenoble Alpes). It is supported by the CAHIER consortium (TGIR Huma-Num) and in particular its working group on crowdsourcing.

We thus wish, during this international and interdisciplinary conference, to confront theories, reflexions and sharing out of experiences on this subject, still fairly novel, that will raise interest in numerous institutions (libraries, archives, museums, universities, and research centres) and disciplines (ethnology, sociology, history, literature, linguistics, etc.).

Communication proposals, of about 15 lines, with author’s curriculum vitae (1 page), are to be addressed to the organisers to the following email [hidden email], before March 31st 2017.

Conference languages: French and English.


-        March 31st 2017: communication proposals deadline

-        April 30th 2017: notification to authors

-        October 18th, 19th, 20th 2017: International Conference

Ioana Galleron
Chair of ENRESSH
COST Action CA 15137