Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CLARIN-PLUS Report Summary

Project ID: 676529
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CLARIN-PLUS (Strengthening the CLARIN Infrastructure.)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

CLARIN-PLUS is dedicated to enhancing the Research Infrastructure known as CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure). CLARIN-PLUS aims to accelerate the implementation and to strengthen and consolidate CLARIN in the following areas:
1. The central (technical) hub
2. The central office
3. Partnerships with other infrastructures
4. Outreach
5. Governance
CLARIN's reinforced single sign-on platform will give more easy access to all available language data and analysis tools. The CLARIN research infrastructure can provide researchers of a variety of disciplinary fields from the social sciences and the humanities with instruments to answer questions about societal issues such as migration, cultural dynamics, education, endangered languages, etc.
Through the reach-out to new communities of use that include scholars as well as citizen scientists, the project will enhance the potential for impact of language (text and speech) as societal and cultural data. Through collaboration with established CLARIN centres the project will contribute to the development of human capital in more European countries. In this way CLARIN will contribute to the emerging Open Science policies, fostering sharing, re- use and re-purposing of language data. A stronger and more sustainable language resource research infrastructure will also benefit the furthering of computer-assisted educational tools for scenarios of use in language teaching and learning.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The actual work in CLARIN-PLUS is divided over five work packages (WP2-WP6) for which the results thus far are summarized below. In addition WP1 addresses the financial, administrative and legal execution of the project in accordance with the grant agreement and ensures that the results are in line with the efforts already planned for the CLARIN construction phase, both in organizational and technical sense. Communication instruments were set up to facilitate a good exchange of information between the partners. In accordance with the work plan and budget, staff was recruited to work on the project for CLARIN ERIC on secondment basis.

*WP2* – Central Hub
The coverage of CLARIN’s Service Provider Federation has been extended. An enhanced monitoring system for federated login is in place, as well as redesigns for advanced “gateway applications” that demonstrate the added value of the distributed infrastructure: the Federated Content Search Engine, the Virtual Language Observatory and the Virtual Collection Registry. CLARIN now also offers improved discoverability and support for reuse of language resources and technology due to an enhanced metadata harvesting workflow. Several web services and web applications have been integrated into the CLARIN ecosystem of tools, with a specific focus on web applications that can process language data at the receiving end of the newly specified Language Resource Switchboard.

*WP3* – Central Office
To provide a more effective and useful user experience for visitors to the CLARIN ERIC website the work of WP3 was to redesign the central CLARIN website. The new website went online in June 2016 and serves as an information hub for both internal and external purposes, that is in line with the usability guidelines delivered as part of D3.1. The work in the reporting period also included an update of the Virtual Language Observatory (metadata search). In addition a new house style has been developed for which the documentation is available via the website.

*WP4* – Infrastructure Partnerships
CLARIN aims to strengthen the ties with other research infrastructure initiatives, inside and outside the EU and to obtain a higher degree of synergy, by re-using other infrastructural services within CLARIN and by promoting the usage of CLARIN services in different contexts. Work towards these objectives for Year 1 focused on coordination and collaboration with other infrastructure initiatives, such as DARIAH, EUDAT, Europeana, RDA and the LAPPS Grid. In addition a CLARIN-specific risk analysis for e-Infrastructure was conducted as part of WP4. For each risk, this analysis names possible causes, suggests preventive actions, and also outlines contingency plans in case the preventive actions were to fail plans (D4.1).

*WP5* – Outreach
Two deliverables were completed as part of WP5 : an overview of the interest in joining CLARIN in non-CLARIN countries and the status of the national roadmaps in those countries (D5.1), and a re-definition of the CLARIN Value Proposition (D5.4).
CLARIN-PLUS organized two training workshops for new countries and countries preparing themselves for joining. A best practice paper for newcomers was completed, and a workshop was organized that brought together researchers from a number of disciplines who create and make use of a specific data type: oral history interviews archives. Outcomes of the workshop include requirements for the CLARIN infrastructure and a resource discovery initiative to build a registry of oral history datasets.

*WP6* - Governance & Sustainability
The work conducted as part of WP6 covered the analysis of the governance and management issues based on (i) the experience gathered by using the CLARIN statutes since 2012, and (ii) the recommendations by the AEG as mentioned in the objectives. The analysis was presented at a workshop held in June, to which all General Assembly members and all National Coordinators had been invited. Presented and discussed were the challenges, questions and proposed changes. This work will be continued in Year 2. Also a first overview of current and future needs for technical development and the cost involved in a number of scenarios has been made. the analysis and discussion about priorities, central vs. decentral development, etc. will be continued in Year 2.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

*Progress beyond the state of the art*
The CLARIN Research Infrastructure integrates services for several language and data processing functionalities, and various of them are highly innovative, but the development of these services is taking places outside CLARIN-PLUS, and therefore cannot be attributed to the project.

CLARIN stimulates the reuse and repurposing of available research data, thereby enabling scholars in SSH (including digital humanities) to increase their productivity and, more importantly, open new research avenues in and across disciplines that address one or more of the multiple societal roles of language: as a carrier of cultural content and information, both synchronically and diachronically, as a reflection of scientific and societal knowledge, as an instrument for human communication, as one of the central components of the identity of individuals, groups, cultures or nations, as an instrument for human expression, or as an object of study or preservation.
Through the access and discovery services, CLARIN increases the potential impact of data and tools produced with publicly funded projects. Working with CLARIN data and tools will increase the skill levels for data analysis tasks among the new generations of SSH students, which is likely to be welcomed by the data science sector.

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