Principle 9. Present reasons to contribute

Websites for crowdsourcing cultural heritage support participation by presenting reasons for visitors to contribute.

Explanation: Reasons given should align with likely motivations to contribute, such as the significance of the project goal, the size of the challenge, the necessity for volunteer contributions, and how project output will be used. Other common motivations include interaction with interesting content, the opportunity to learn something new, joining a community, collaboration with prestigious institutions, personal recognition, forthcoming events, and the ease and enjoyment of participation.

Benefits: Presenting reasons to contribute helps visitors to quickly and easily determine whether the project entails mutual benefit, and reflects their motivations to participate.

Examples of compliance with this principle: The website may use positive and emotive terms to describe the nature of the collection, emphasize the value of project output, and describe the contributor experience. Specific examples include:

  • Using headers such as “Why this matters” and “How your contributions help”;
  • Describing the type of people who will benefit from project output;
  • Presenting scenarios illustrating how people will be able to use project output, or linking to evidence of how project output is being used;
  • Describing a forthcoming event related to the project, such as a centenary, and specifying the number of assets to be processed before that time;
  • Being explicit about connecting and collaborating with the host institution;
  • Explaining the necessity for contribution;
  • Inviting visitors to join the community;
  • Listing the kind of research questions that contributions will help to answer, and explaining how contributors are part of the research process;
  • Describing the types of people who will find it interesting to contribute;
  • Promoting accessibility and enjoyment;
  • Explaining how¬†contributions will be recognised.

Your Paintings Tagger slideshow
Image: Your Paintings Tagger. An example of presenting reasons to contribute is using a slideshow on the homepage to explain the value of the project output, how easy it is to contribute, how users can be part of a community and work on collection items that reflect their interests.