The NZ-RED and AUS-RED teams will meet at the University of Queensland on 2 October 2013 for an ontology workshop. The Finnish team from Helsinki will be attending via Skype and we encourage online participation from other RED team members.
In February 2013 Wai-te-ata Press hosted a two-day history of reading workshop at Victoria University of Wellington. Participants included academics, digital technology professionals, and postgraduate students from VUW, and visiting book historians from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Day One included a series of research presentations, and Day Two focused on discussion about the methodological and technical considerations of a Reading Experience Database.
There were many exciting challenges, opportunities and questions raised in the course of discussion. Some of these questions included:
How could a Reading Experience Database best capture a recorded reading event, which includes rich contextual information that the current UK-RED wouldn’t effectively represent?
How could a Reading Experience Database best represent several recorded instances of reading a text over time, which may come from multiple sources such as letters and diaries?
How could a Reading Experience Database best represent re-reading over time?
How could a database best represent a reading experience that is the outcome of a prior reading experience?
Much food for thought! We also discussed various possibilities for RED enhancements, such as:
- Multi-lingual data entry
- Geo-tagging reading experiences
- Linking to digitised texts (both the source of the reading experience and the text being read)
- Encouraging RED contributors to provide digital images of material held in personal collections
- Data visualization
- Involving students by integrating the project into curricula
- Engaging, interactive website design
The workshop concluded with a discussion about collaborative development of a World-RED ontology.
Research project: Functionality and usability requirements for a crowdsourcing task interface that supports rich data collection and volunteer participation / A case study: The New Zealand Reading Experience Database
Researcher: Donelle McKinley
Department of Information Studies & Wai-te-ata Press Research Team
Victoria University of Wellington
Completion: Feb 2013
Research problem: The New Zealand Reading Experience Database (NZ-RED) is a crowdsourced history of reading project based on the UK-RED launched in 1996. The purpose of this study is to produce high-level functionality and usability requirements for a NZ-RED task interface that supports volunteer participation and rich data collection, and to determine the extent to which the UK-RED task interface meets these requirements.
Methodology: The case study takes a mixed-methods approach informed by grounded theory. Data was collected from RED project documentation and research, a usability inspection of the UK-RED task interface using evidence-based heuristics developed by Petrie & Power (2012), an online questionnaire of 112 current and potential RED contributors, an examination of recent crowdsourcing projects, and literature on crowdsourcing and human-computer interaction.
Results: This study established seven functionality and usability requirements for a NZ-RED task interface that supports volunteer participation and rich data collection: minimize user effort; support integration of the task with research processes; enable new visitors and contributors to understand what the task involves quickly and easily; support accurate and controlled data entry; be easy to use for people reasonably confident with the Web; support flexible, structured data entry; and support bilingual data entry. The UK-RED task interface partially meets four of the seven requirements.
Implications: Evidence-based requirements that inform project development and evaluation contribute to the social sustainability of crowdsourcing projects driven by academic and cultural heritage institutions. Future research could review the requirements produced by this study and consider their impact on the social sustainability of the NZ-RED and, potentially, World-RED partners. An increase in published requirements documentation could help to inform the requirements activity of other crowdsourcing projects, thereby reducing the time and expertise required. Future research could also investigate the value of studies like this one for other crowdsourcing projects.