Distributed Proofreaders

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Official logo for Distributed Proofreaders
Screenshot of the proofreading interface on Distributed Proofreaders.

Distributed Proofreaders (commonly abbreviated as DP or PGDP) is a web-based project that supports the development of e-texts for Project Gutenberg by allowing many people to work together in proofreading drafts of e-texts for errors. By 2013, over 25,000 texts had been digitized.

History[edit]

Distributed Proofreaders was founded by Charles Franks in 2000 as an independent site to assist Project Gutenberg.[1] Distributed Proofreaders became an official Project Gutenberg site in 2002.

On 8 November 2002, Distributed Proofreaders was slashdotted,[2][3] and more than 4,000 new members joined in one day, causing an influx of new proofreaders and software developers, which helped to greatly increase the quantity and quality of e-text production. Distributed Proofreaders posted their 5,000th text to Project Gutenberg in October 2004, in March 2007, the 10,000th DP-produced e-text was posted to Project Gutenberg, in May 2009, the 15,000th DP-produced e-text was posted to Project Gutenberg, and in April 2011, the 20,000th DP-produced e-text was posted to Project Gutenberg. DP-contributed e-texts comprised more than half of works in Project Gutenberg, as of January 2012.

On 31 July 2006, the Distributed Proofreaders Foundation was formed to provide Distributed Proofreaders with its own legal entity and not-for-profit status. IRS approval of section 501(c)(3) status was granted retroactive to 7 April 2006.

Proofreading process[edit]

Public domain works, typically books with expired copyright, are scanned by volunteers or sourced from digitization projects and the images are run through optical character recognition (OCR) software. Since OCR software is far from perfect, often a large number of errors appear in the resulting text. To correct them, pages are made available to volunteers via the Internet; the original page image and the recognized text appear side by side.[4] This process thereby distributes the time-consuming error-correction process, akin to distributed computing.

Each page is proofread and formatted several times, and then a post-processor combines the pages and prepares the text for uploading to Project Gutenberg.

Besides custom software created to support the project, DP also runs a forum and a wiki for project coordinators and participants.

Related projects[edit]

DP Europe[edit]

In January 2004, Distributed Proofreaders Europe started, hosted by Project Rastko.[5] This site had the ability to process text in Unicode UTF-8 encoding. Books proofread centered mainly on European culture, with a large proportion of non-English texts including Hebrew, Arabic, Urdu and many others. As of October 2013, DP Europe had produced 787 e-texts, the last of these in November 2011.

The original DP is sometimes referred to as "DP International" by members of DP Europe. However, DP servers are located in the United States, and therefore works must be cleared by Project Gutenberg as being in the public domain according to U.S. copyright law before they can be proofread and eventually published at DP.

DP Canada[edit]

On 1 December 2007, Distributed Proofreaders Canada launched to support the production of e-books for Project Gutenberg Canada and take advantage of shorter Canadian copyright terms. Although it was established by members of the original Distributed Proofreaders site, it is a separate entity. All of its projects are posted to Faded Page, an associated site. In addition, it supplies books to Project Gutenberg Canada (which launched on Canada Day 2007) and (where copyright laws are compatible) to the original Project Gutenberg.

In addition to preserving Canadiana, DP Canada is notable because it is the first major effort to take advantage of Canada's copyright laws which may allow more works to be preserved. Unlike copyright law in some other countries, Canada has a "life plus 50" copyright term. This means that works by authors who died more than fifty years ago may be preserved in Canada, whereas in other parts of the world those works may not be distributed because they are still under copyright.

Notable authors whose works may be preserved in Canada but not other parts of the world include Clark Ashton Smith, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Carl Jung, A. A. Milne, Dorothy Sayers, Nevil Shute, Walter de la Mare, Sheila Kaye-Smith and Amy Carmichael.

Milestones[edit]

Milestone Date e-text Link to Project Gutenberg
1st 1 Oct 2000 The Odyssey, Homer, Lang tr. (first pages for proofreading) etext 3059[6]
1,000th 19 Feb 2003 Tales of St. Austin's, P. G. Wodehouse etext 6980
2,000th 3 Sep 2003 Hamlet — the 'Bad Quarto', William Shakespeare etext 9077
3,000th 14 Jan 2004 The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton etext 10800
4,000th 6 Apr 2004 Aventures du Capitaine Hatteras, Jules Verne etext 11927
5,000th 24 Aug 2004 A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, John William Cousin etext 13240
6,000th 2 Feb 2005 The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, Sir Walter Scott etext 14860
7,000th 23 Jun 2005 Opúsculos por Alexandre Herculano (Vol. I), Alexandre Herculano;
Viage al Parnaso, Miguel de Cervantes;
Leabhráin an Irisleabhair-III, Various.
etext 16111
etext 16110
etext 16122
8,000th 8 Feb 2006 The Suppression of the African slave-trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, W. E. B. Du Bois etext 17700
9,000th 8 Sep 2006 History of the World War for Human Rights, Kelly Miller;
Poems, Christina Rossetti;
Hey Diddle Diddle and Baby Bunting, Randolph Caldecott
etext 19179
etext 19188
etext 19177
10,000th 9 Mar 2007 (See list below)
11,000th 12 Sep 2007 Northern Nut Growers Association Thirty-Fourth Annual Report 1943, Northern Nut Growers Association etext 22587
12,000th 26 Jan 2008 Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens, Sigmund Freud etext 24429
13,000th 24 Jun 2008 A World of Girls, L. T. Meade etext 25870
14,000th 1 Dec 2008 The Art of Stage Dancing, Ned Wayburn etext 27367
15,000th 12 May 2009 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Vol 1 - 1666, Various. Henry Oldenburg (editor) etext 28758
16,000th 1 Oct 2009 ABC Petits Contes, Jules Lemaître etext 30117
17,000th 4 Mar 2010 The Position of Woman in Primitive Society, C. Gasquoine Hartley etext 31500
18,000th 15 Jun 2010 Area Handbook for Romania, Eugene K. Keefe, et al. etext 32700
19,000th 10 Nov 2010 Vanden Vos Reinaerde Uitgegeven en Toegelicht (anonymous) etext 34261
20,000th 10 April 2011 (See list below)
22,000th 2 January 2012 "The Nibelungenlied", William Nanson Lettsom's translation etext 38468
25,000th 10 April 2013 The Art and Practice of Silver Printing, H. P. Robinson and Capt. Abney etext 42547

10,000th E-book[edit]

On 9 March 2007, Distributed Proofreaders announced completing more than 10,000 titles. In celebration, a block of 15 titles was published:

20,000th E-book[edit]

On April 10, 2011, the 20,000th book milestone was celebrated as a group release of bilingual books:[7]

  • The Renaissance in Italy–Italian Literature, Vol 1, John Addington Symonds (English with Italian)
  • Märchen und Erzählungen für Anfänger; erster Teil, H. A. Guerber (German with English)
  • Gedichte und Sprüche, Walther von der Vogelweide (Middle High German (ca. 1050-1500) with German)
  • Studien und Plaudereien im Vaterland, Sigmon Martin Stern (German with English)
  • Caos del Triperuno, Teofilo Folengo (Italian with Latin)
  • Niederländische Volkslieder, Hoffmann von Fallersleben (German with Dutch)
  • A “San Francisco”, Salvatore Di Giacomo (Italian with Neapolitan)
  • O’ voto, Salvatore Di Giacomo (Italian with Neapolitan)
  • De Latino sine Flexione & Principio de Permanentia, Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932) (Latin with Latino sine Flexione)
  • Cappiddazzu paga tuttu—Nino Martoglio, Luigi Pirandello (Italian with Sicilian)
  • The International Auxiliary Language Esperanto, George Cox (English with Esperanto)
  • Lusitania: canti popolari portoghesi, Ettore Toci (Italian with French)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lessig, Lawrence (2009). Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. Penguin. p. 109. ISBN 0-14-311613-4. 
  2. ^ "Gutenberg:Volunteers' Voices". Project Gutenberg. 
  3. ^ "Distributed Proofreading's slashdotting". Boingboing. 
  4. ^ Gentry, Craig; Ramzan, Zulfikar; Stuart Stubblebine (February 28 – March 3, 2005). "Secure Distributed Human Computation". In Andrew S. Patrick, Moti Yung. "Financial cryptography and data security: 9th International Conference". Lecture notes in computer science 3570. Roseau, The Commonwealth of Dominica: Springer. p. 329. doi:10.1145/1064009.1064026. ISBN 3-540-26656-9. 
  5. ^ Lebert, Marie (November 4, 2010). "Distributed Proofreaders, producteur des livres du Projet Gutenberg, a 10 ans". Actualitté (in French). Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Distributed Proofreaders celebrates 20,000 books posted, Distributed Proofreaders, April 10, 2011

External links[edit]