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The evaluation of crowdsourcing projects

Although it has proven difficult to collect figures in the literature except for [CAU 12], it seems that crowdsourcing projects are far from all being profitable in the sense that the profits in harvested data are not always on the level of the costs for project management, platform development, administration, maintenance, hosting, communication, community management and reintegration of produced data.

In a previous study [AND 15a], we had estimated that the California Digital Newspaper Collection project gathered more than 1,500 € of OCR correction work per month, the Digitalkoot project more than 2,000 € per month, the TROVE project nearly 35,000 € per month and the reCAPTCHA more than 12 million euros per month.

The projects that seem to work the best are those that have clear end goals, lead an efficient communication campaign, and have managed and motivated communities at their disposal. Those that fail generally call on overly complex tasks, overly specialized knowledge requiring too great an investment in training, do not communicate sufficiently with the volunteers [RID 13], and sometimes neglected internal change management.

 
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