I've been toying with options for this. Assuming an acceptable interface is produced, I don't code so I don't know what is feasible, then how about organising it something like this.
1. Newbie contacts us - goes through tutorial
2. Newbie does trial transcription of one of a small number of previously transcribed pages - answers known so someone produces a way of computer checking transcription and highlighting errors.
3. Option of more trial pages or choosing ship
4. Newbie then chooses ship. A brief biography of ship and example log page can be seen for each available ship. Newbie selects and is given access to a smallish block of pages which have already been transcribed once by experienced transcriber. Computer match as above to 'Ship's captain' who reviews and if appropriate advises.
5. When block finished Newbie given option of more logs on same ship or trying different ship or leaving project.
6. To start with Newbies are 2nd or 3rd transcribers - Since we do '2 out of 3 transcriptions mean agreement' I would also suggest that if we have this computer matching system we work on pages being finished with 2 transcribers agreeing. The third transcriber, if required, would be experienced and act as 'referee' on those pages which have disagreements.
7. Each ship would have a 'Captain' who would be a sort of moderator for that ship, part of the role would be to send out blocks of pages, I think the blocks would be fairly short, maybe a month for a Newbie, and could rise to 3 or even 6 months with experience. If no response after a suitable time then transcriber would be contacted as the Naval History team will eventually do with editors. The pages could be reallocated if a satisfactory reply is not received.
Obviously this is very much open to adjustment and depends on experienced transcribers being prepared to act as captains and the really critical bit, someone producing the transcription interface and computer checking program.
I think we have to work on events. If the log will be edited then text search may produce matches, I suggest that a quick way would be keywords so that the pages containing material of potential interest could be highlighted by a simple tick box against a keyword. It would cut down the searching for researchers and when combined with edited logs would be quite powerful. It would also be quick for people mainly interested in weather, unlike transcribing and box drawing. Items which we know are of immediate interest, like volcanoes, meteors etc could be highlighted on the forum as now. But we wouold need our style of forum not talk which is basically unstructured.
Just some thoughts - when it comes to this system I think I would count myself as a Newbie.