July 6 – 9 , 2014, Dagstuhl Seminar 14282

Crowdsourcing and the Semantic Web


Abraham Bernstein (Universität Zürich, CH)
Jan Marco Leimeister (Universität Kassel, DE & Universität St. Gallen, CH)
Natasha Noy (Google Inc. – Mountain View, US)
Elena Simperl (University of Southampton, GB)


Cristina Sarasua (Universität Koblenz-Landau, DE)

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The aim of the Dagstuhl Seminar 14282: Crowdsourcing and the Semantic Web, which was held in July 2014, was to gain a better understanding of the dual relationship between crowdsourcing and Semantic Web technologies, map out an emerging research space, and identify the fundamental research challenges that will need to be addressed to ensure the future development of the field.

The seminar focused on three categories of topics: first and foremost we looked into existing crowdsourcing approaches and how these could or have been applied to solve traditional semantic data management tasks. Particular attention was paid to core components of a crowdsourcing-enabled data management and processing system, including methods for quality assurance and spam detection, resources, task and workflow management, as well as interfaces, and the way these components can be assembled into coherent frameworks. A second category of topics that was addressed during the seminar reached out to other disciplines such as economics, social sciences, and design, with the aim to understand how theories and techniques from these fields could be used to build better crowdsourcing-enabled data management systems for the Semantic Web. Last, but not least, we discussed the usage of semantic technologies within generic crowdsourcing scenarios, most notably as means to describe data, resources and specific components.

The seminar, in its community-formative role, represented the starting point for the emergence of working groups that will in the future jointly address the identified scientific challenges. Participants were asked to provide a 1-page position statement reflecting on why they think it makes sense to consider the two topics -- crowdsourcing and Semantic Web (or Web of Data) -- at the same seminar. Specifically, participants were asked to write a statement reflecting on one of both of the following questions:

  1. What are the Semantic Web tasks where you felt you needed crowdsourcing? Why? What were the challenges?
  2. What are the crowdsourcing tasks where using semantics might help? Why? What are the challenges?

The first two days of the seminar were dedicated to presentations of topics related to position statements and working groups on use case scenarios and challenges identified during the talks and Q&A sessions. The third day focused on the consolidation of the results of the working groups and the definition of next steps and follow-up activities.

In the following sections we present the position papers written by the researchers of the crowdsourcing and the Semantic Web community, who took part in the seminar. We will publish a more complete research roadmap for crowdsourcing and the Semantic Web at a later stage.

Summary text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Abraham Bernstein and Jan Marco Leimeister and Natasha Noy and Cristina Sarasua and Elena Simperl


  • Artificial Intelligence / Robotics
  • Semantics / Formal Methods
  • Society / Human-computer Interaction


  • Crowdsourcing
  • Human computation
  • Games with a purpose
  • Semantic Web
  • Linked Data
  • Quality assurance
  • Crowd management
  • Workflow management
  • Interfaces
  • Gamification
  • Incentives


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


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Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.