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Tour de CLARIN: CLARIAH-NL Workshops on Linked Data

On 12 September 2016, CLARIAH-NL organized the first in a series of workshops on Linked Data, which is a technological initiative that aims to ensure a greater degree of dynamic interoperability between language resources provided by the infrastructure. For instance, when Linked Data is applied to parliamentary corpora, as was the case in the CLARIN project Talk of Europe, the debates are enriched with extra layers of information in the sense that they are linked to their respective speakers, who are in turn annotated with biographic information, such as gender and political affiliation.

The workshop was attended by 40 researchers and primarily served two roles. On the one hand, it was an introduction to Linked Data and how it fares with respect to the CLARIAH-NL infrastructure, both in terms of successful applications (click here for a demonstration on databases that have already been successfully enriched with Linked Data by the CLARIAH-NL team) and future challenges primarily related to bridging the gap between technological experts and humanities users who are not necessarily technologically savvy. On the other hand, the workshop directly involved Arts and Humanities researchers so that they could present their experiences of using Linked Data. For instance, Kaspar Beelen and Liliana Malgar from the University of Amsterdam gave a talk on the Digging into Parliamentary Data project, whose aim was to enrich the parliamentary records of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada with Linked Data so as to give researchers the opportunity to easily investigate the complex socio-historical aspects of politics.

On 6 and 7 February 2017, CLARIAH-NL organized a follow-up international workshop that focussed primarily on the application of Linked Data to linguistic research. It involved a number of international experts on Linked Data as well as prominent Dutch linguists who presented their current research topics in the fields of lexicology, phonetics and syntax in relation to using Linked Data. Among the speakers was Sjef Barbiers from the University of Leiden, who gave a talk on how Linked Data can benefit comparative syntax by ensuring interoperability between various databases of Dutch dialects, such as SAND and DiDDD, which can be accessed through the tool MIMORE (read Tour de CLARIN’s introduction of the tool here). Jan Odijk together with Sjef Barbiers concluded the workshop by envisioning that the next step for CLARIAH-NL is to work on further stimulating the use of Linked Data in the fields of linguistic research where it is not yet widely applied, such as general lexica, and thereby reach out to a broader group of linguists.

CLARAH-NL Workshop on Linked Data, 12 September 2016. (Image: CLARIAH-NL website)

Blog post written by Darja Fišer and Jakob Lenardič 

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