WeDigBio is a global event where citizen scientists help digitize the billions of observations and specimens that are stored in museums and field stations world wide. Check out some of the projects involved on SciStarter – Smithsonian Transcription Center, Herbarium@home and Notes from Nature.
Guest post by Meghan Ferriter
You probably know that scientists have explored and documented the natural world for centuries; in their expeditions, they have collected billions of specimens which are now stored in museums, universities, and field stations worldwide.
You may not realize just how important you might be to the next substantial scientific discovery. Scientists are facing challenges of sustaining and improving our life on this planet. Now they need your help in transforming the data in collections around the world to find the solutions.
This Thursday through Sunday, 22-25 October, we’re going global as the Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) – this event of mass digitization is our next step toward making handwritten and typewritten data more useful by liberating it from the labels on which it is written. We’re bringing together collections and programs from the US, UK, France, Australia, and more.
You can help by finding a project and getting started in the comfort of your own living room with any of the WeDigBio partners and transcription platforms: the Atlas of Living Australia’s DigiVol, Herbaria@Home, Les Herbonautes, Notes From Nature and Smithsonian Transcription Center. You might even find an transcription party event near you! For example, you can join entomologists at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. to transcribe and learn more about the current research on 24 and 25 October. Look for events in your area here.
This one-of-a-kind event invites citizen scientists to team up with scientists and other volunteers around the world to transform digitized biodiversity specimens and liberate their data for scientific research. The best part is what you’ll learn along the way; the second best thing is that there are so many ways to participate. Anyone can join us at any point from any place fromThursday to Sunday. No experience is required – you’ll learn from project-specific instructions as you join any of these projects. Participants can pick a single project or join all of them at different points in the 4-day event, whether online or in-person at museums and universities around the world. Join the fun with #WeDigBio; follow and like WeDigBio on Twitter and Facebook for event updates.
Dr. Meghan Ferriter is a Project Coordinator at the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Tweet her @TranscribeSI