Terminology work and crowdsourcing

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In the traditional work approach, a terminologist researches and defines concepts, determines terms and appellations, and documents the results in a terminology management system (TMS). In crowdsourcing, a group of people that are not 100% of their time focused on a particular task takes on work usually performed by designated professionals. When crowdsourcing strategies are applied appropriately to terminology tasks, the opportunity is remarkable. Contribution, feedback and voting mechanisms can produce valuable input for many terminology scenarios. Tasks, such as term or appellation formation or choosing a designator for a concept, may greatly be enhanced when terminology experts work together with the right crowd.This article examines crowdsourcing in the framework of terminology tasks. The goal is to enable terminologists and terminology project managers to make use of crowdsourcing strategies. While these strategies can be applied to any subject areas, of course, examples are taken from the IT industry. Computer companies are more likely to apply crowdsourcing techniques because they often have access to necessary infrastructures, such as polling platforms or user forums.Nevertheless, platforms for terminology crowdsourcing are generally still lacking. The analysis in this paper might therefore also allow those creating tools to improve usability. Today’s crowds are used to voting, sharing knowledge, or providing feedback. Terminologists often need precisely that and they need it in a machine-readable format and attached to the appropriate terminological information. The technical aspects are not difficult to identify. The result of good technology for the right crowd under the guidance of experienced terminologists would be improved terminology.


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