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AFS Review: Calls for Submissions

Zooniverse Invites Audio Transcription Project Proposals

Thursday, January 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rosalind V. Rini Larson
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Would your research benefit from the involvement of hundreds or even thousands of volunteers? is the world’s largest and most successful online platform for crowdsourced research, with over 1.6 million registered volunteers currently working in collaboration with professional researchers on more than 70 research projects across a range of disciplines, from astronomy to biology, climatology to humanities subjects.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Zooniverse is currently seeking proposals for two new custom audio transcription projects in the humanities or from GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), to be developed as part of the Zooniverse platform.


Project Selection

This call will be limited to research teams with audio recordings of spoken language (not limited to English) which would benefit from transcription into digital text formats and/or classification tasks like metadata tagging. Zooniverse is particularly keen to work on projects where the resulting data can be incorporated into an existing content management system (CMS) and used for research purposes.

Audio compatibility is currently not available on the free Project Builder tool. One aim of this effort will be to use these projects to help test and expand the functionality of audio tools.


Selection Criteria

Zooniverse is looking for projects that harness crowdsourced audio transcription for the purposes of unlocking data currently trapped in sources that cannot be transcribed through automation, and for which human effort is truly necessary. Therefore, proposals should address any previously-attempted methods of automated speech to text transcription.

The data extracted must have an audience or usefulness, be this to academic researchers, members of the public or both.

Audio clips for transcription should feature one speaker at a time (per audio clip), as the current Zooniverse research effort does not include speaker diarization.

Project teams need clear plans for how to make the crowdsourced data openly and publicly available, ideally through a CMS or site hosted and maintained by your institution.

Audio material must be digitized; Zooniverse does not have funds to support digitization of audio material.

Zooniverse will not accept projects if the material for transcription has previously been edited or published as text.


Further Notes

The two selected audio transcription projects will be part of an ongoing Zooniverse effort, Transforming Libraries and Archives through Crowdsourcing. Applications from marginalized or underrepresented groups are particularly welcome, as well as projects which utilize content about or generated by underrepresented groups.


Deadline for Audio Project Proposals

Project proposals are due by February 28, 2018. If you have questions or require any further guidance, please contact Samantha Blickhan, IMLS Postdoctoral Fellow,


To view the full call for proposals and to apply, visit:

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