We are happy to announce that as of 1 October 2018 Darja Fišer (University of Ljubljana and Jožef Stefan Institute) has been reappointed as CLARIN ERIC Director of User Involvement for another two years.
In her first term, which lasted from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2018, Darja Fišer has worked hard to bring CLARIN users and our infrastructure usability and usefulness to centre stage. With a strong support from the National Coordinator's Forum, she has succeeded in appointing National User Involvement Coordinators in all CLARIN member countries who act as promotors of User Involvement activities at the national level but also serve as a vital link to share information and experience related to outreach and uptake of the infrastructure at the international level as well.
Three flagship initiatives have been introduced in Darja's first period as User Involvement Director:
- CLARIN Resource Families: The goal of the initiative is to provide a systematic and comprehensive overview of the state of the infrastructure by focusing on the types of resources that are particularly relevant for a wide range of researchers from digital humanities, social sciences and human language technologies, such as parliamentary corpora, social media corpora, newspaper corpora, etc. Such systematic and user-friendly overviews have proven highly valuable for internal use but also directly useful for the users of the infrastructure. They have also shown CLARIN’s enrichment potential, lead to tangible improvements of metadata and functionalities of the Virtual Language Observatory, inspired development of new resources as well as fostered community building of researchers congregating around specific data types.
- Tour de CLARIN: This initiative aims to periodically highlight prominent User Involvement activities of a particular CLARIN national consortium. The highlights include a presentation of the national consortium and their flagship tools, resources and User Involvement events, as well as an interview with a prominent researchers who have used the consortium’s infrastructure in their research and can share their experience with CLARIN. Tour de CLARIN has helped to increase the visibility of the national consortia, revealed the richness of the CLARIN landscape, and displayed the full range of activities throughout the network.
- Call for (co-)funding User Involvement Events: Each year, we make a budget available for (co-)financing User Involvement events, such as summer schools, tutorials, seminars and master classes, which are organized by representatives of national consortia. 20 such events have been organized so far. They offered a wide range of topics and target diverse research communities which undoubtedly boost CLARIN’s outreach and uptake efforts well beyond the capacities of CLARIN ERIC alone and ensure long-term sustainability of the outreach model. Whenever possible, talks and lectures have been recorded and published on the Videlolectures.NET portal which now offers over 100 videos from CLARIN’s 12 events.
In the coming period, the plan is to extend the existing successful initiatives to provide overviews of the tools available through the CLARIN infrastructure, collect showcases of successful uses of the CLARIN infrastructure in and develop tutorials for CLARIN's key services for researchers in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, and highlight the work of the K-centres.