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UK joins the CLARIN family

The UK is the latest addition to the fast-growing CLARIN family. On July 15th 2015 the General Assembly of the CLARIN European Research Infrastructure Consortium officially accepted the application from the UK to join as an Observer. Observer status allows a country which is not yet ready to apply for full membership to start to contribute to a number of CLARIN activities, projects and events.

A consortium of UK centres has formed the CLARIN-UK Consortium to lead UK participation in CLARIN infrastructure-building efforts and projects, and to pay the annual fees to CLARIN. The Arts and Humanities Research Council made the application on behalf of the UK. The consortium include a number of the most important academic centres in the UK involved in the creation, sharing and use of language resources and tools, and the British Library, which is keen to make its collections of media, language and historical sources more easily available for use in academic research.

  • British Library
  • Centre for Corpus Research, University of Birmingham
  • Centre for Translation Studies, University of Leeds
  • CRiLLS, University of Newcastle
  • Endangered Languages Archive, SOAS
  • ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) and UCREL, Lancaster University
  • Natural Language Processing Group, University of Sheffield
  • Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford
  • Research Group in Computational Linguistics, Wolverhampton University
  • School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
  • School of Humanities, Coventry University

As well as a depth and wide range of expertise in these centres, the resources curated by the consortium members include major contemporary, historical, literary and specialised language corpora (including the British National Corpus, Early English Books Online, Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech, UK Web Archive), annotation and processing tools and platforms (GATE, CLAWS, VARD), widely used online interfaces (CQPweb, BNCweb, WMatrix, Intellitext, CLiC, Metaphor Map, Wordtree), and a major archive for the documentation of endangered languages (ELAR). More information about the consortium and its activities will appear on the website http://www.clarin.ac.uk/.

The next steps will be to integrate these resources into the CLARIN infrastructure, and to explore ways in which the consortium members can get involved in CLARIN activities. There will also be a drive to expand the consortium to include new members, and to raise awareness across the UK. The consortium will work closely with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, JISC and the other infrastructure bodies to monitor the benefits to the UK research community, and to assess the potential benefits of full membership.