CLARIN Annual Conference 2019: Summary

Submitted by Linda Stokman on 24 October 2019

The CLARIN Annual Conference 2019 took place at the University of Leipzig, The Paulinum – Assembly Hall and University Church of St. Paul, Leipzig, Germany from 30 September to 10 October 2019. This year's event was organized by CLARIN in collaboration with the University of Leipzig and InfAI - Institut für Angewandte Informatik. CLARIN2019 was organized for the wider Humanities and Social Sciences communities in order to exchange ideas and experiences with the CLARIN infrastructure. This includes the design, construction and operation of the CLARIN infrastructure, the data, tools and services that it contains or should contain, its actual use by researchers, its relation to other infrastructures and projects, and the CLARIN Knowledge Sharing Infrastructure.

The conference was attended by 231 participants. The participants came from 32 countries and were authors of accepted papers, members of national consortia and representatives of CLARIN centres as well as representatives from partner organizations. 56 abstracts were submitted (74 in 2018, 37 in 2017) of which 44 were accepted (acceptance rate: 78,57 %) after three reviews per submission.



On Monday 30 September 2019 the conference opening ceremony took place in the afternoon with a welcome message from Franciska de Jong (Executive Director CLARIN ERIC), Maria Böhme (DLR, on behalf of the German Ministry of Research), Gerhard Heyer (Chair Local Organizing Team) and Kiril Simov (Programme Chair). The first keynote was given by Scott Rettberg (University of Bergen, Norway)

on Electronic Literature: Documenting and Archiving Multimodal Computational Writing


Opening ceremony with Franciska de Jong, Gerhard Heyer, Kiril Simov and Maria Böhme

Keynote speaker Scott Rettberg (University of Bergen, Norway)

Afterwards,  the thematic session: Humanities and Social Science research enabled by language resources and technology took place. The session was chaired by  Erhard Hinrichs and presented three thematic papers, Monica Berti on Named Entity Annotation for Ancient Greek with INCEpTION, Dirk Goldhahn, Thomas Eckart, Sonja Bosch on Enriching Lexicographical Data for Lesser Resourced Languages: A Use Case and Jan Odijk on CLARIN-Supported Research on Modification Potential in Dutch First Language Acquisition.

The welcome reception of the conference was held at the historical Moritzbastei in the city centre of Leipzig. The Moritzbastei is the only remaining part of the ancient town fortifications of Leipzig. The old fort looked absolutely stunning with its many different floor levels and contributed to the already great atmosphere of the evening! 


Welcome reception at the Moritzbastei


CLARIN-D kicked of the second day of the conference with a presentation on CLARIN Germany: the on-going activities in CLARIN-D and joint activities in CLARIAH-DE. 


Erhard Hinrichs presenting CLARIAH-DE 

During the round of pitches by CLARIN Committees, the chairs of each committee gave an overview of their current work and outlined the planned activities for the future. This was followed by a presentation about the State of the Infrastructure by the CLARIN ERIC Board of Directors filled with information and updates on the Infrastructure’s progress and development, the National Coordinator’s Forum and national activities. 


Committee chairs: Aleksei Kelli (Legal and Ethical Issues Committee), Lene Offersgaards (Centre Assessment Committee), Piotr Bański (Standards Committee), Steven Krauwer (Knowledge Sharing Committee)

During Bente Maegaards farewell, CLARIN ERIC and the whole CLARIN community thanked Bente very warmly for her role in CLARIN and the huge impact she made. Bente was involved in CLARIN from the early days onwards and she served as the first vice Executive Director of CLARIN ERIC after the ERIC's establishment in 2012 until September 2019. 

As part of her farewell,  a video was shown in which several CLARIN colleagues honour Bente for her many contributions to CLARIN. (Farewell video for Bente Maegaard)

Afterwards, Bente gave a presentation her own perspective on CLARIN (Slides).

An interview about Bente’s perspective can be watched here

Bente’s farewell

The second keynote of the conference was given by Elke Teich (University of the Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany) on Corpus-Driven Investigation of Language Use, Variation and Change - Resources, Models, Tools.


Keynote speaker Elke Teich

Thereafter, the first parallel sessions took place. The sessions were chaired by António Branco (parallel session 1: Design and Construction of the CLARIN Infrastructure​), Petya Osenova(parallel session 2: Use of the CLARIN Infrastructure​), Maciej Piasecki (parallel session 3: Use of the CLARIN Infrastructure​) and Marko Tadić (parallel session 4: Legal Issues). For more detailed information on the parallel session visit the conference programme page and Book of Abstracts

The parallel sessions where  followed by the 6th edition of the Steven Krauwer Award ceremony. The 2019 Steven Krauwer Award for CLARIN Achievements was awarded to Menzo Windhouwer (Meertens Institute, KNAW Humanities Cluster, Digital Infrastructure) and the 2019 Steven Krauwer Young Scientist Award was 

awarded to Jakob Lenardič  (Dept. of Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana). Both Menzo and Jakob received the award for their outstanding contributions toward CLARIN goals.

Maciej Piasecki, Jakob Lenardič, Menzo Windhouwer (on presentation slide)

After the award ceremony, the participants were treated to a beautiful musical intermezzo performed by the local chair Gerhard Heyer (Violin), Michael Gerlach (Cello) and Jürgen Manthey (Violin and Viola). The intermezzo started with a musical introduction (Beethoven Serenade Op. 8, 1st movement) followed by an Interlude (Boccherini Trio nr. 5, Andante & Rondo) and ended with a Musical finish (Beethoven Serenade Op. 8, 5th movement/Polacca).

Gerhard Heyer (Violin), Michael Gerlach (Cello) and Jürgen Manthey (Violin and Viola)

The last session of the day was CLARIN Bazaar, which provided an informal setting for conversations between CLARIN people and a space to showcase ongoing work and exchange ideas. The Bazaar consisted of 29 presentations covering a wide variety of project and research topics, e.g. enhancing European parliamentary data for Digital Humanities research, how to share and access sensitive datasets with language and speech disorders via CLARIN (DELAD) and many more. This year’s Bazaar also included presentations on CLARIN committees and initiatives ... Click here to read more about the Bazaar.

At the end of the second conference day, all participants gathered for a nice relaxing dinner with fine foods and drinks at Restaurant "Ratskeller"


The last day of the conference started with two more parallel sessions: CLARIN in Relation to Other Infrastructures and Applications​ chaired by Koenraad Desmedt and CLARIN in Relation to Other Infrastructures and Metadata chaired by Lars Borin, each consisting of four papers (for the abstracts, full papers and slides please visit the conference programme page). This was followed by a Poster slam session chaired by Darja Fišer, a fast paced presentation of 19 posters (you can read abstracts of the posters here) and then a more relaxed part of the conference: poster and demo session, where people could chat and exchange ideas.

After a lunch break the State of the Technical Infrastructure was presented by Dieter Van Uytvanck followed by an invited talk by CLARIN Ambassador Toine Pieters (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) on Towards a Universe of Local Time Machines - building an open eco-system for applied heritage fuelled by common language resources and existing infrastructure.


CLARIN Ambassador Toine Pieters

The last part of the conference included final remarks and a ‘Looking forward’ message from the Board of Directors, presented by Franciska de Jong and Darja Fišer, and followed by acknowledgments and goodbye from the Programme Chair, Kiril Simov.


CLARIN2019 group photo  


For more detailed information about the event visit the CLARIN2019 Annual Conference page, where you can find links to the programme, abstracts, full papers and more.

Visit the CLARIN 2019 IN PICTURES album of photographs taken during the conference to see familiar faces and smiles!

To follow up on CLARIN2019 activity on Twitter see our 'Twitter Moment' here.

Accepted papers were published in the conference Book of Abstracts, and the Proceedings. Selected full papers will be published in a digital conference proceedings volume at Linköping University Electronic Press within about 6 months after the conference. Once available, a direct link to the publication will be added to the conference page.

More information about previous CLARIN Annual Conferences can be found here.