UK joins CLARIN

UK joins CLARIN

Thanks to an initiative led by the Oxford e-Research Centre, a CLARIN-UK consortium has been formed, and the UK joined the CLARIN European Research Infrastructure Consortium as an Observer in July. The Arts and Humanities Research Council, in cooperation with ESRC, STFC and JISC, made the application on behalf of the UK government, and will work closely with the CLARIN-UK consortium to monitor the benefits to the national community. The goals of CLARIN are to share digital language data, tools and expertise in support of research across the humanities and social sciences.

The CLARIN-UK consortium currently has eleven member research institutions, including centres of expertise in language resources and tools from the British Library, the Universities of  Birmingham, Coventry, Glasgow, Lancaster, Leeds, London (SOAS), Newcastle, Oxford, Sheffield, and Wolverhampton. Martin Wynne of the e-Research Centre is the national co-ordinator. As a director of CLARIN he leads CLARIN-UK, the consortium of UK researchers creating, sharing and using language resources and analysis tools. Martin said: “Joining CLARIN will provide opportunities for us to share our language collections, online interfaces and tools more effectively with researchers across Europe. It will also ensure access for UK researchers to the growing wealth of resources curated by CLARIN, and allow us to participate in a number of exciting new cross-border research initiatives.”

Franciska de Jong, Executive Director of CLARIN ERIC, said: “With the UK entering the CLARIN consortium as a member we welcome one the founding countries for the field of the Digital Humanities.  Having the UK within our network means not only that we will be able to include a huge number of digital resources and tools that have been developed for the English language over the past decades in our infrastructure, but also that CLARIN can benefit from the expertise of a strong network of scholars with roots in both the pioneering stages of the digital turn in the humanities, and the more recent data-driven innovations in the analysis and study of language materials.”

Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of Research at the AHRC, said: “The AHRC’s increased engagement with the CLARIN initiative is an important development, not only for researchers in languages and linguistics in the UK but also for the potential links to the AHRC’s priorities. Our research themes Digital Transformations and Translating Cultures alongside our work supporting arts and humanities researchers’ increased engagement with the use of Big Data, particularly through international collaborations, are closely aligned with the aims of CLARIN. We look forward to the development of these links and networks in the coming years.”

Read more about CLARIN-UK at http://www.clarin.ac.uk/ and about CLARIN's European activities at http://www.clarin.eu/.