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Centre news vol. 41 - February 2019

Access to CLARIN federated login for South Africa

At the end of 2018, South Africa joined CLARIN ERIC as an observer. Now the South African identity federation SAFIRE has been connected to the Service Provider Federation. That means researchers from South Africa can now use their institutional credentials to access CLARIN services via federated login.

Results of your feedback in the VLO 4.6 beta

About three weeks ago, we sent out a request for trying out two distinct test instances of Virtual Language Observatory. The key difference between these instances was the configured ‘strategy’ for grouping together records within the search results - a feature of the VLO we are introducing with this version with the aim to reduce the number of apparent duplicates within these results. The first instance (which we called ‘A’) grouped together records on basis of a common description (or lack thereof), language and collection. The second instance provided grouping of records that share a title and object language information. We created a brief survey and asked you, CLARIN centre representatives, to compare the two instances and let us know how you felt and which instance you preferred.

This comparison phase has now closed and the two instances are no longer available. We received 16 evaluations from at least 5 different countries (probably more but about half of the responses were anonymous). These responses showed a clear and generally well motivated preference for instance B, and thus for the title-based grouping strategy. Furthermore, the feedback made it clear that improvements could be made towards explaining the ‘duplicate hiding’ functionality in the user interface and documentation. We also received a lot of other useful feedback regarding the functionality and usability of the VLO which we will definitely take into account while further defining the VLO’s development roadmap.

The upcoming version of the VLO will be in beta for another week at the regular location. The version currently available at this location applies the chosen strategy for grouping highly similar records, and has a few improvements in the way such groups are displayed and explained. We plan to move this version to production on 28 February. If you have any additional feedback, we would appreciate receiving it as soon as possible so that we still have the opportunity to make small improvements accordingly. You can send any feedback to

We would like to thank all respondents for investing their time and providing their very constructive feedback, and hope that we can use this input to further improve the overall usability of the VLO!

Data & Service announcements from our centres

From the Centre for Language and Speech Technology:

  • FAME – a search interface that discloses the archive of radio broadcasts from Omrop Fryslân in the period 1955–2000 has been launched. The raw audio and speech recognition results are available for download for researchers upon login.

From Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen:

  • TüNDRA v2 has replaced the old one. As for now TüNDRA has 70 treebanks: 62 dependency treebanks, 8 constituency treebanks. In total they contain 49.454.784 sentences in 41 languages.

  • Also Weblicht has been updated. In this version the input selection/upload process was made more intuitive. From now on Weblicht is using TüNDRA as a default visualisation tool.

CMDI Best Practices guide: updated version available

A new version of the CMDI best practices guide has been prepared by members of the CMDI and metadata curation task forces. The document contains a collection of general best practices regarding modelling and authoring CMDI metadata within CLARIN. It also describes a number of common approaches and problems related to metadata within the CLARIN infrastructure.

Some additional information about the guide is available here.

Maintenance announcements


Start date and time (CET)

End (CET)


VCR deployment

2019-02-25 09:00

2019-02-25 10:00

The Virtual Collection Registry will be unavailable for some time during the maintenance window

VLO deployment

2019-02-28 13:30

2019-02-28 14:30

The Virtual Language Observatory will be unavailable for some time during the maintenance window

More information: see

New FAQs