Creating Crowdsourced Research Talks at Scale

Rajan Vaish, Shirish Goyal, Amin Saberi, Sharad Goel
Event WWW 2018
Research Areas Human Computer Interaction

Abstract: There has been a marked shift towards learning and consuming information through video. Most academic research, however, is still distributed only in text form, as researchers often have limited time, resources, and incentives to create video versions of their work. To address this gap, we propose, deploy, and evaluate a scalable, end-to-end system for crowdsourcing the creation of short, 5-minute research videos based on academic papers. Doing so requires solving complex coordination and collaborative video production problems. To assist coordination, we designed a structured workflow that enables efficient delegation of tasks, while also motivating the crowd through a collaborative learning environment. To facilitate video production, we developed an online tool with 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 52 countries through an open call. This distributed crowd produced over 100 video talks in 12 languages based on papers from top-tier computer science conferences. The produced talks consistently received high ratings from a diverse group of non-experts and experts, including the authors of the original papers. These results indicate that our crowdsourcing approach is a promising method for producing high-quality research talks at scale, increasing the distribution and accessibility of scientific knowledge.