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The potential for crowdsourcing in libraries and archives of the city of Zagreb

Jurković, Sanja (2022) The potential for crowdsourcing in libraries and archives of the city of Zagreb. Vjesnik bibliotekara Hrvatske, 65 (1). pp. 363-380. ISSN 0507-1925

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Purpose. Crowdsourcing has been used in libraries and archives all over the world for more than a decade, but it has not yet become popular in Croatia. The aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent the Croatian professional community is familiar with this concept of work in heritage institutions, and also if there is any potential for implementing crowdsourcing in Croatian archives and libraries.Approach. The answers to these questions were obtained through a mixed research approach with predominantly quantitative characteristics on a random sample of 201 pa-trons and 23 employees of libraries and archives in the city of Zagreb. The research was conducted in situ with surveys for the patrons consisting of 17 questions and semi-struc-tured interviews with the employees. In addition to examining the overall interest for participation in crowdsourcing projects and the employees’ desire to supervise them, the respondents were questioned about their familiarity with the term “crowdsourcing”, and their own thoughts and ideas on this topic.Findings. According to their answers, although patrons were not familiar with the term ‘crowdsourcing’ and its meaning before, they have shown interest for participating and gave positive feedback on crowdsourcing projects after reading a short explanation. They generally opted out for participating in purposeful games and projects of text cor-rection and/or transcription. The results of this research have shown that, in addition to the willingness of patrons to participate as potential volunteers, there is also certain interest among employees as potential organizers of such projects. The employees have expressed concerns about the quality of that kind of amateur work, and emphasized the necessity of project supervision and work results monitoring as key elements for a suc-cessful project. In conclusion, a successful crowdsourcing project needs to be organized with the content and activities that would be appealing to potential volunteers and target the enthusiastic patrons who have shown interest in participating in various heritage institutions’ activities and projects.Research limitations. This research was conducted only in the city of Zagreb, and although it included a number of city’s archives and libraries, its results cannot be ge-nerally applied to other regions of Croatia. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct further research in order to gain more insight into the potential and possibilities for implement-ing crowdsourcing in heritage institutions in all parts of Croatia.Originality. This paper provides better insight into the potential for implementation of crowdsourcing projects in Croatia based on findings of the research conducted among users and employees of archives and libraries in the city of Zagreb. There has not been research in this area prior to this paper, focusing on the interest of the respondents in organizing and participating in such activities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: archives; crowdsourcing; libraries
Subjects: SOCIAL SCIENCES > Information and Communication Sciences
Divisions: Centre for scientific information
Depositing User: Sanja Jurković
Date Deposited: 17 May 2023 14:11
DOI: 10.30754/vbh.65.1.909

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