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Tour de CLARIN: Germany

Submitted by Jakob Lenardič on

Blog post written by Erhard Hinrichs, edited by  Nathalie Walker, Darja Fišer, and Jakob Lenardič

The national consortium CLARIN-D has been contributing to the European CLARIN research infrastructure since 2008. The institutions that are involved in the CLARIN-D consortium comprise members of the Leibniz Association, the German Academies of Arts and Sciences, and leading research universities with a focus on digital methods for Humanities research. CLARIN-D institutions offer research data and associated data services to support all stages of the research data lifecycle for scholars in the Humanities and in select disciplines of the Behavioral and Social Sciences, particularly in Psychology, Political Science and Sociology. The National Coordinator of CLARIN-D is Professor Erhard Hinrichs.

The CLARIN-D infrastructure

The backbone of the CLARIN-D infrastructure is an open and extendable network of certified data and service centres with complementary areas of expertise. Currently, there are eight data centres certified by the Core Trust Seal assessment for trustworthy data repositories. They are located at the following institutions:

In addition, four associated data centres contribute data and services to CLARIN-D. They are located at Cologne University, the University of Duisburg-Essen, Frankfurt University, and at the Georg Eckart Institute for International Textbook Research. CLARIN-D institutions are also contributing their expertise to the CLARIN Knowledge-Centre for Linguistic Diversity and Language Documentation.

From the very beginning, CLARIN-D has put strong emphasis on a close and continued interaction between infrastructure users and infrastructure providers. In order to foster this interaction, CLARIN-D working groups in different disciplines of the Humanities and of the Behavioral and Social Sciences were established. The main objective of these working groups is to aggregate and prioritize the data and service needs of the user communities that they represent and to help promote the use of CLARIN-D data and services in research and teaching. This agenda is greatly facilitated by a number of representative use cases that have been jointly developed by scholars from CLARIN-D working groups and by members of the CLARIN-D data centres. Whenever possible, CLARIN-D offers its data and services via easy-to-use web portals and web applications, such as WebLicht (automatic annotation and workflow engine), WebAnno (manual annotation), WebMAUS (signal and transcript alignment), the CLARIN Helpdesk, and the CLARIN Legal Helpdesk to name some examples. This strategy obviates the need for users to have to download and install software on their own computers. This seems particularly important for Humanities scholars, who often lack the necessary programming skills or technical expertise.

Members of CLARIN-D at the closing event of the CLARIN-D working groups in Tübingen

The CLARIN-D consortium actively contributes to community building and educational activities for members of its user communities. The CLARIN-D consortium regularly contributes courses to the annual European Summer University in Digital Humanities, which has been organized by Elisabeth Burr at Leipzig University since 2009. CLARIN-D has also built strong ties to DARIAH-DE and is currently engaged in CLARIAH-DE, which aims at unifying the data and services offered by the two research infrastructures.

Click here to read more about Tour de CLARIN