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Crowdsourcing and Collaboration in Digital Humanities

Special issue call for papers from Aslib Journal of Information Management

This special issue, to be published in 2020, is guest edited by Yuxiang (Chris) Zhao (Nanjing University of Science & Technology, China, Email: [email protected]), Xiao Hu (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong S. A. R., China, Email: [email protected]) and Kangning Wei (Shandong University, China, [email protected]).

What is the focus of this special issue?

To date, many crowdsourcing projects have been conducted in the business domain, which facilitate the idea of open innovation and leverage the wisdom of crowds to solve real-world problems. In recent years, crowdsourcing has also been leveraged  in the field of GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) to improve the collection, organization, and evaluation of valuable resources. Crowdsourcing initiatives of GLAMs strive to offer citizens the opportunity of being deeply involved in the production, utilization, communication and curation of digital collections in the cultural heritage domain. For example, there have been some attempts to crowdsource complex tasks traditionally only handled by academics or domain experts to the general public. At the same time, there is a growing trend within the field of digital humanities to develop platforms and tools for the purpose of enhancing technology-mediated social participation, collaboration, and innovation. In this regard, there is a pressing need to explore and understand theoretical, methodological, and practical issues of crowdsourcing and collaboration in digital humanities. 

For this special issue, we welcome submissions from different disciplinary backgrounds such as information studies, information systems, sociology, media and communication studies, cultural studies, anthropology and history, among others. Interdisciplinary papers are particularly welcome. All theoretical and methodological approaches are equally appreciated. Potential topics of interest could include (but are not limited to):

Task design and assignment of crowdsourcing projects in digital humanities

Collaborative information seeking in cultural heritage domains

Participatory design of crowdsourcing or collaboration platforms for digital humanities

Recruiting qualified volunteers for digital humanities projects

Quality evaluation methods for crowdsourcing initiatives in digital humanities

Cross-cultural, inter-cultural, and trans-cultural issues in crowdsourcing or collaborative practices of digital humanities

Gamification design in crowdsourcing platforms for digital humanities

Platforms or tools for social participation, collaboration and innovation in digital humanities


The aim of this special issue is to deepen the current understanding of crowdsourcing and collaborative projects and approaches in the domain of digital humanities. Especially, we would like to focus on investigating the engagement between online communities, collaborative technologies, and crowdsourcing practices in digital humanities projects.

Opinion pieces and literature review will not be considered for the special issue.

Papers should be 6,000 to 9,000 words in length (including references) and formatted following the journal's author guidelines, see

About the Journal

Aslib Journal of Information Management (AJIM; ISSN: 2050-3806) is a peer-reviewed international journal providing key insights into the latest international developments in the research and practice of information management and information science.

Information about the journal can be found at

Scheduled date and submission deadlines

Paper submission: 31 August, 2019

Notice of review results: 31 October, 2019

Revisions due: 30 November, 2019

Publication: Aslib Journal of Information Management, volume 72, issue 3, 2020