Citizen Scientists Needed to Digitize Scientific Collections!

Citizen Scientists Needed to Digitize Scientific Collections!

Generally reserved for experiential projects centered around data collection or observation, citizen science offers to public a means of becoming part of the world of scientific discovery. Two unique projects offer citizen scientists a language-based means of engaging with the world of science: by transcribing field notes, journals, and specimen labels, volunteers can help make over a century’s worth of scientific information accessible to the world!

Citizen science projects offer powerful opportunities for amateur scientists of all ages to participate in meaningful scientific research. Whether for anecdotal observation-based evidence or collection of specific data, citizen science opens up the world of scientific discovery to people of all backgrounds. Generally, citizen science projects involve experiential scientific work, such as tracking bird sightings, identifying constellations, or measuring snowfall – making them ideal for science-minded folks who love to learn in a hands-on fashion.

Amongst the myriad opportunities available through citizen science projects lie two unique language-based ways of engaging with scientific topics, Notes From Nature and  Smithsonian Transcription Center – both soliciting digital volunteers to transcribe field notes, journal entries, and other hand-written works so as to create digital archives of over a century’s worth of scientific information. Such projects are ideal for both science-lovers and those whose skills lie in language-based activities, and blend scientific thinking with language arts skills. Additionally, transcription-based citizen science seeks to accomplish an incredibly important goal: making decades of data and specimens to become easily accessible to researchers all over the world. Easy access to many years’ worth of data can help scientists to look at a bigger picture of changes in habitat and species populations – making transcription projects essential to gaining a deeper understanding of the changes that take place in nature over time.  Read the rest of this entry »

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