Jakob Lenardič awarded the 2019 Steven Krauwer Young Scientist Award

The 2019 Steven Krauwer Young Scientist Award to Jakob Lenardič (Dept. of Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana).

Motivation of the jury

Jakob Lenardič is a PhD student at the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, where he is completing his PhD on the interface between natural language syntax and semantics. Since 2016, he has been a Research Assistant to Darja Fišer, the CLARIN Director of User Involvement. He also cooperates in the Slovenian basic research project J7-8280 „Resources, methods and tools for the understanding, identification and classification of various forms of socially unacceptable discourse in the information society“ (2017―2020), and in the research programme P6-0215 “Slovene language – basic, contrastive and applied research”. 

In his role as the assistant to Darja Fišer, Jakob has been extremely active in several fundamental CLARIN outreach activities: 

Together with Darja, they have initiated the CLARIN Resource Families campaign, a systematic and comprehensive overview of the state of the infrastructure, which is highly valuable for internal use, but also directly useful for the users of the infrastructure. So far this initiative encompasses eight resource families, with the next one (Lexical resources) under preparation. The information on the resource families is available on the CLARIN website, where they are becoming increasingly popular: in April 2019, the Resource Families account for over 10% of all page views on the website with most visitors arriving directly to a specific resource family, often after a Google search. For specific queries, such as spoken corpora or parallel corpora, the CLARIN resource families are now the first hit on Google. Jakob was instrumental in the preparation of the resource family overviews, and with his help a number of problems with the functionalities and the resource metadata were discovered, e.g. he is the author of over 100 issues at https://github.com/clarin-eric/resource-families-issues. These were subsequently corrected, leading to a much-improved findability of the resources and an overall better user experience. Furthermore, this exercise helped in community building of researchers congregating around specific data types in the CLARIN network, and even in compiling new corpora inspired by the surveys. 

Another important area of his work is the Tour de CLARIN initiative, which highlights the work of individual national consortia and their researchers. So far, Tour de CLARIN has covered 13 countries, and this year the initiative has been extended to highlight the work of K-Centres, two of which have already been featured on CLARIN’s website. On this basis the book „Tour de CLARIN, Vol. 1“ (2018) has also been published and is currently one of the key instruments to increase the visibility of the consortia, reveal the richness of the CLARIN landscape, and display the full range of activities throughout the network that can not only inform and inspire other consortia, but also show what CLARIN has to offer to various stakeholders, ranging from funding bodies and sister research infrastructures to researchers, teachers, students, professionals as well as the general public interested in using and processing language data in various forms. In the Tour de CLARIN initiative, Jakob has conducted all the interviews with the researchers, and has coordinated and edited the presentations of the national consortia, their resources, tools and outreach activities, and has also co-edited the book. This initiative helped in strengthening ties between CLARIN ERIC and national consortia, as well as in in improving internal communication within CLARIN. 

Jakub has also been active in the scope of CLARIN.SI, where he performed much of the research and co-authored the paper „Citing linguistic data in Slovene scientific publications: the current state and recommendations“, resulting in CLARIN.SI now being a partner in the project „ Node Slovenia“ lead by the Faculty for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana and with a focus on open data access in Slovenia. 

Finally yet importantly, during his work for CLARIN, Jakob has become familiar with corpus linguistics methods and using the corpora available through the CLARIN.SI infrastructure, and as a result he has successfully combined corpus based investigations with his PhD work on generative syntax. 

The award ceremony

The 6th edition of the award ceremony took place at the annual CLARIN Annual Conference in Leipzig, Germany.

The Steven Krauwer Young Scientist Award was initiated in 2014 and is awarded to an outstanding young scientist or engineer for major contributions to building language resources, developing tools and sharing knowledge. Apart from the honour the prize includes a certificate and an amount of 500 euro. 

An overview of all the winners can be found here.