CLARIN Annual Conference 2020: Summary

Submitted by Linda Stokman on 29 October 2020

CLARIN2020 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 techncial  infrastructure, the data, tools and services that is offered or for which there is a need, the actual use by researchers, the CLARIN knowledge infrastructure and the relation to other initiatives in the reserach infrastructure landscape.

The 2020 edition of the CLARIN Annual Conference was shaped as an online event. The virtual format enabled us to share quality content with almost 500 registered participants, including attendants of previous editions as well as newbies with an interest in getting familiarized with what CLARIN is about.



Day 1

On Monday 5 October 2020 the conference opened with a welcome message by Franciska de Jong (Executive Director CLARIN ), Maciej Piasecki ( National Coordinator CLARIN-PL) and Monica Monachini (National Coordinator CLARIN - IT ). 

The opening session, was followed by the 7th edition of the Steven Krauwer Awards . The 2020 Steven Krauwer Award for CLARIN Achievements was awarded to Francesca Frontini (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale "A. Zampolli" / CLARIN-IT & UniversitĂ© Paul-ValĂ©ry Montpellier 3 / CLARIN-FR) and Tomasz Walkowiak (WrocĹ‚aw University of Science and Technology / CLARIN-PL) for their outstanding contributions toward CLARIN goals.

The Invited talk was given by Dr. Antske Fokkens (Faculty of Humanities, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) on Language Technology & Hypothesis Testing. The session was chaired by Costanza Navaretta (Programme Committee Chair). 

The special appetizer of the first day CLARIN CafĂ©: “This is CLARIN. How can we help you?" was moderated by Ben Verhoeven (science communicator, trainer and improviser at ERLNMYR).

Afterwards, the first three sessions of the moderator led discussions on papers took place. The sessions were chaired by Jan Odijk and Jurgita VaiÄŤenonienÄ— (session on "Resources and Knowledge Centres for Language and AI Research"​), Koenraad De Smedt and Stelios Piperidis (session on "Annotation and Visualization Tools"​) and Mietta Lennes and Petya Osenova (session on"Research Cases" ). For more detailed information visit the conference programme page and Book of Abstracts

The moderator led sessions were followed by poster style discussions. During this session participants could visit the individual paper authors or the CLARIN Committees where the representatives of each committee gave an overview of their current work and outlined the planned activities for the future.

During the wrap-up session, the highlights of the day were presented by Stefania Scagliola and Maciej Eder with illustrations by Jolijn Van Eenooghe from


 CLARIN2020 Illustrations Day 1 by Jolijn van Eenooghe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Day 2

The second day opened with a presentation by the CLARIN 2020 Programme Committee Chair Costanza Navaretta and was followed by a presentation about the State of the CLARIN Infrastructure by Franciska de Jong and Dieter Van Uytvanck.

The special appetizer of the day was a Social Networking session, an informal virtual place where people could meet-up and chat.

The final three sessions of the moderator led discussions on papers were: "Repositories and Workflows"​ chaired by Jan HajiÄŤ and Martin Matthiesen, "Data Curation, Archives and Libraries"​chaired by Bente Maegaard and Maria Gavriilidou and "Metadata and Legal Aspects â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹" chaired by Henk van den Heuvel and Lene Offersgaard (for the abstracts, full papers and slides please visit the conference programme page and Book of Abstracts). Afterwards, participants could visit the individual paper authors of the session or have an informal visit with the CLARIN Board of Directors.

At the end of the day, the highlights of the day were presented by Martin Wynne and Steven Krauwer with illustrations by Jolijn Van Eenooghe from


 CLARIN2020 Illustrations Day 2 by Jolijn van Eenooghe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Day 3

The last day of the conference started with a Panel on Artificial Intelligence, Language Data and Research Infrastructures moderated by Ben verhoeven which was followed by the special appetizer of the day, the Theatre Show Improbotics, a tech-infused improvised theatre and comedy show and a live turing test-based scientific experiment (watch the theatre show on YouTube). 

During the CLARIN Students session, moderated by Maciej Maryl, PhD students presented their work in progress . The aim of the session was to share the next generation of researchers supported by or contributing to the CLARIN infrastructure and enable them to receive feedback on their work from CLARIN experts. The session was followed by the CLARIN in the Classroom session moderated by Francesca Frontini. In this session, university lecturers who have used CLARIN resources, tools or services in their courses were invited to present their experience and suggest future steps that could help facilitate and accelerate the further integration of CLARIN into university curricula. (The slides of both sessions can be found in the conference programme).  

In the last part of the conference, during the poster style discussions, participants could virtually visit the individual PhD students that presented at the CLARIN Student session and teachers that presented at the CLARIN in the Classroom session. There was also an oppurtunity to visit the CLARIN Bazaar, which provided an informal setting for conversations with CLARIN people and a space to showcase ongoing work and exchange ideas. The Bazaar was introduced by Toine Pieters. 

Monica Monachini and LianĂ© Van Den Bergh closed the conference by presenting the highlights of day 3 with illustrations by Jolijn Van Eenooghe.


 CLARIN2020 Illustrations Day 3 by Jolijn van Eenooghe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

More Information

For more detailed information about the event visit the CLARIN2020 Annual Conference page, where you can find links to the programme, abstracts, full papers and more.

To follow up on CLARIN2020 activity on Twitter see our 'Twitter Moment' here.

Accepted papers were published in the CLARIN 2020 Book of Abstracts , and the CLARIN2020 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.