Mobilizing the Crowd To Create an Open Repository of Research Talks

Mobilizing the Crowd To Create an Open Repository of Research Talks

Rajan Vaish, Sharad Goel, and Amin Saberi

While most existing research knowledge is distributed in the form of papers, there has been a shift towards learning and consuming information through video. Limited time and resources, however, prevent individual researchers from making their work available in this format. Crowdsourcing this task is a promising alternative, but it requires solving complex coordination and collaborative video production problems. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end solution to crowdsource the creation of research videos. To assist coordination, we designed a structured workflow that enables efficient delegation of tasks, while also providing a collaborative learning environment to the crowd for motivation. To facilitate video production, we developed an online system through which groups can make micro audio recordings that are automatically stitched together to create a complete talk. We tested this approach with a group of volunteers recruited from 24 countries through an open call. This distributed crowd produced five video talks based on the best paper winners and nominees from WWW 2016. Evaluations from the authors of the papers and outside reviewers rated the talks "very good" (giving a median score of 4 out of 5). We further applied this method to translate these talks and produce 11 additional videos in Spanish, Romanian, and Catalan. These results suggest that our crowdsourcing approach has the potential to significantly increase learning and the accessibility of the scientific knowledge.