Notes From Nature Talk

Tweaking Transcription Numbers blog post

  • am.zooni by am.zooni

    In reference to this blog post, I wonder if volunteers are sometimes more accurate than trained transcribers might be because the volunteers can do as much as they like and stop whenever they are distracted or tired, while the trained people have to do it as professional or perhaps student work, so they have less freedom to step away when they need a break.

    I found quite early on that I start making errors after 20 or 30 minutes. Now I nearly always do 6 transcriptions and then leave for at least an hour, whether it took 8 minutes or 48 (about the min-max for 6 for me, although I've spent 10-20 on a single poor-quality image a few times).

    Probably they also don't have time to cross-check plant and place names, spelling and definition of words, etc., as some of the volunteers do. While spending time on that means I produce less output, it also keeps me interested (and at least in some cases does improve my accuracy).

    A professional or student wouldn't have the time-luxury to take these kinds of breaks or 'side trips around the web'.


  • HelenBennett57 by HelenBennett57

    Interesting post 😃 Being able to work at your own pace is a real plus for me. I mostly use doing a few transcriptions as a slightly zenny thing in between chunks of work, kind of like a palate-clearing sorbet for the brain.


  • md68135 by md68135 scientist

    I think you both are on to something, though I am just a simple biologist : )

    I suspect doing something for fun at your own pace has a lot to do with it. That certainly resonates with me.