How to organize a challenge

For Challenge Coordinators

The Challenge Coordinator(s) should take the following steps the when organizing a TFC Challenge:

4-6 weeks before Challenge start-date:

  1. Propose a text or source. The most successful Challenge texts follow these criteria: 
    1. It exists in multiple copies; 
    2. It is relatively short (c.1200-2000 lines); 
    3. Manuscript copies are digitized and available in IIIF; 
    4. Bonus: Organizers can demonstrate how multiple transcriptions of the text will contribute to a(ny) scholar’s ongoing research agenda.
    5. Identify which copies of the text are appropriate for the Challenge.
  1. Once the project has been chosen, assemble the image materials
    1. Collect the IIIF manifests.
    2. Communicate materials to the FromThePage instantiation.
  1. Prepare the Challenge webpages on the TCF home page (see templates for each type listed below). Each Challenge will need: 
    1. A landing page with an introduction to the text and dates of the Challenge;
    2. Individual team pages with links to the transcription portal, team log, and Challenge guidelines;
    3. A page for bibliography and resources associated with the chosen text.
    4. A page with Challenge rules and guidelines. 

2-4 weeks before Challenge start-date:

  1. Recruit at least one captain per team
    1. Inform potential captains of attendant responsibilities and ask for commitment by a fixed date.
    2. Once confirmed, provide captains access to individual team pages to post updates and participant rosters on team web pages.
    3. Answer incoming questions and allay misgivings.
  1. Coordinate participant recruitment 
    1. Team captains should bear the brunt of recruitment efforts by contacting their networks, but coordinators should serve as a center point for questions, concerns, to balance teams and interests, and to ensure all teams have a positive experience.
    2. Help with recruitment by soliciting participation via social media.
    3. Answer incoming questions and allay misgivings.
  1. Publicize the event
    1. Use social media.
    2. Reach out to holding repositories to inform them their items are being used in the Challenge.
    3. Call upon institutional outlets to publicize the event in which their community members are participating.
  1. Recruit the Panel of Judges. Panels might contain a combination of the following:
    1. A specialist in digital editing, digital scholarship, or IT;
    2. An expert in the language in which the text is written;
    3. A manuscript specialist or paleographer;
    4. An expert in the history and culture of the time during which the manuscript was created.

1 week before Challenge start-date

  1. Support Captains 
    1. Send a reminder email about captains’ responsibilities.
    2. Help to balance teams when needed.
    3. Provide cover for decisions about last minute needs for team-building.
    4. Answer incoming questions and allay misgivings.
  2. Publicize!
  3. Begin to gather documentation for post-challenge archiving.

During the Challenge 

  1. Monitor Challenge progress for any anomalies; offer help to captains if needed.
  2. Promote participant contributions on social media.
  3. Receive team submissions upon completion, organize, and send to judges. (see sample spreadsheet)

Once the Challenge is Over

  1. Coordinate with judges to facilitate adjudication, and announce winners when complete.
  2. Communicate with participants about second phase projects.
  3. Archive all web pages, data, digital objects and social media materials in a digital repository (guidelines and resources available).
  4. Round-trip data to the holding repository.