European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Strengthening the CLARIN Infrastructure.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CLARIN-PLUS (Strengthening the CLARIN Infrastructure.)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2017-12-31

The CLARIN-PLUS project is dedicated to enhancing the Research Infrastructure CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure). It aims to strengthen and consolidate CLARIN in the following areas:
• The central technical hub
• The central office
• Partnerships with other infrastructures
• Outreach
• Governance
CLARIN's single sign-on platform gives easy access to language materials and analysis tools. It serves a variety of disciplinary fields from the social sciences and the humanities and beyond with instruments to answer questions about societal issues such as language variation, migration, cultural dynamics, education, endangered languages, etc. The visibility and accessibility of the resources has increased and the user experience has become more consistent across platforms. The enhanced CLARIN infrastructure will also benefit the furthering of computer-assisted educational tools for scenarios of use in language teaching and learning scenarios. A series of workshops involving representatives of various scholarly and non-academic domains have demonstrated that there is a wide interest among researchers from various backgrounds to study and (re-)use language materials as societal and cultural data. Furthermore these events brought additional feedback on the design of the user interfaces.
The various aspects of the infrastructure’s sustainability have been thoroughly analysed, which has led to a proposal for the adjustment of the governance. Through the continued collaboration with established CLARIN centres in a growing number of countries and with other infrastructural initiatives, CLARIN will contribute to the emerging Open Science policies, and in particular to the fostering, sharing, re-use and repurposing of language data.
CLARIN-PLUS work was divided over five work packages for which the results are summarized below. WP1 addressed the financial, administrative and legal execution of the project in accordance with the grant agreement and in line with the efforts already planned for the CLARIN construction phase, both in organizational and technical sense.

*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: Federated Content Search and the Virtual Collection Registry. The enhanced Virtual Language Observatory workflow for metadata harvesting has led to improved discoverability of language resources and tools. Several innovative and user-friendly web services/applications have been integrated into the CLARIN ecosystem, among which Language Resource Switchboard: a brokering application that for a specific selection of data as input can suggest suitable analysis tools.

*WP3* Central Office
The central CLARIN website has been redesigned in order to provide a more effective and user-friendly experience and went online in June 2016. Usability guidelines guided the design for increased visibility and discoverability of data. In addition, a new house style has been developed that is suited for adoption by all CLARIN nodes. An analysis was carried out of the online communication instruments in use, such as websites, newsletters, social media platforms and video channels. This served as basis for future streamlining of the online communication.

*WP4* Infrastructure Partnerships
CLARIN aims to strengthen the ties with other research infrastructure initiatives, in the EU and beyond, to obtain a higher degree of synergy, by re-using their services within CLARIN and by promoting the external usage of CLARIN services. Models of coordination/collaboration were set up or extended with a.o. DARIAH, EUDAT, Europeana, RDA and the LAPPS Grid. A CLARIN-specific risk analysis for e-Infrastructures was conducted which led to an outline of preventive actions and contingency plans.

*WP5* Outreach
The articulation of the CLARIN Value Proposition yielded an instrument for informing various types of stakeholders and complements the overview of the interest in non-CLARIN countries in joining and the status of the national roadmaps in those countries. Four training workshops for new countries and countries preparing for joining offered crucial input for a series of best practice papers for newcomers. Another four workshops brought together researchers from various disciplines who create, maintain and/or make use of a specific data type: oral history interviews, newspaper archives, parliamentary data, and social media data. The events led to feedback on the user interfaces and follow-up initiatives for resource discovery. An online Digital Humanities course registry has been relaunched and will be maintained as a joint initiative of DARIAH and CLARIN.

*WP6* Governance & Sustainability
A thorough assessment of the CLARIN governance and management was conducted based on the experience since CLARIN was established as ERIC in 2012. The findings were discussed with the General Assembly (GA) and with the National Coordinators. An adjusted governance structure has been proposed and the corresponding changes in the statutes have been approved by the GA. Other topics of analysis concerned the current and future financial situation for CLARIN in various scenarios, as well the needs for technical development in relation to the financial budgets in a number of scenarios. Priorities for future development, central vs. de-central tasks, as well as a landscape analysis were also covered in the analysis.
*Beyond the state of the art*
In CLARIN-PLUS the focus was on the improvement of existing services as well as on the development of new functionalities. Examples of the latter include the innovative Language Resource Switchboard which brings a big boost for user-friendliness of the support for analysis workflows. Another outstanding contribution to the landscape of research infrastructure is the enlarged service provider federation, which now reliably connects researchers from over1700 institutions to CLARIN through login with existing accounts. Some of the new tools will be the starting point for CLARIN's contribution to the recently started H2020 project EOSC-hub.

CLARIN supports data-driven research based on language resources, thereby contributing to a truly multilingual European Research Area. The infrastructure stimulates the reuse and repurposing of available research data, and enables scholars to increase their productivity and to open new research avenues within and across disciplines that address one or more of the multiple societal roles of language: as a carrier of cultural content and information, as a reflection of scientific and societal knowledge, as an instrument for human expression and communication, as one of the central components of the identity of individuals, groups, cultures or nations. The increased visibility of data and tools coming from projects with public funding leverages the investments made. In addition to researchers' needs, CLARIN also serves the needs of citizen scientists, the public sector and industrial parties. 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.
Value Proposition (front page)
Visualization of a so-called wordnet for 'bread' (generated by the University of Copenhagen)
CLARIN objectives in schematic overview