Smithsonian staff members recently presented a poster at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, 11-15 February, 2016. The poster, entitled “The Impact of Coordinated Social Media Campaigns on Online Citizen Science Engagement” by Lesley Parilla (Cataloging Coordinator, The Field Book Project) and Meghan Ferriter, Ph.D. (Project Coordinator, Smithsonian Transcription Center), highlighted the impact of a coordinated social media campaign on crowdsourced transcriptions of field notes.
The poster outlined the details and outcomes of the #FWTrueLove campaign, a collaboration involving The Field Book Project, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Smithsonian Transcription Center, Pyenson Lab, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The event challenged volunteers to fully transcribe a selection of field notes by Frederick W. True, held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives and uploaded to the Smithsonian Transcription Center, by the end of the campaign period. Materials for the challenge were identified and selected with Smithsonian Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals Dr. Nick Pyenson and the Smithsonian Field Book Project, a joint initiative of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Institution Archives. The field notes are an important source of natural science data that is difficult to utilize, since they are often handwritten and fragile due to age.