D-SPIN - a German infrastructure for Language Resources and Tools
Duration of the project: 1st April 2008 – 31st March 2011 (36 months)
Funded by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Amount of funding: 1.68 Million Euro
Summary and project aims
It is by now widely accepted that scientific methods and procedures are about to change dramatically, due to increased networking and online accessibility of primary and secondary data as well as tools. Workshops, seminars and conferences not only question whether the innovative dynamics of information technology are going to greatly influence science, but rather what the scientific processes known as eScience are going to look like in the future.
The famous quote by J. Taylor is indisputable eScience is about global collaboration in key areas of science and the next generation of infrastructure that will enable it. Taylor states that the term eScience needs to be based not only on new collaborative forms, but also on a new generation of research infrastructures (“Forschungs-Infrastrukturen” -FI- ), elements of which are already being tested by various initiatives. D-Grid project (www.d-grid.de) has established itself on a national level, and the ESFRI Initiative, with its 35 roadmap projects, is supported by the member states on a European level. CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Tools Infrastructure, www.clarin.eu) is one of these projects and started on January 1st 2008. D-SPIN is the German partner project of CLARIN. The aim of D-SPIN along with CLARIN is to establish a virtual research infrastructure based on available language resources and tools.
- That numerous dedicated centres are created which can offer the required services on a German as well as European or even worldwide level, in order to provide a fully functional infrastructure for researchers in Germany;
- That these centres will work together within a resource-provider-federation and are embedded in the AAI infrastructure (AAI = Authentification and Authorization Infrastructure), founded by the DFN-association. The ultimate goal is therefore to provide access to resources for every researcher from participating projects with just one single user authentication;
- That German resources, data, and tools are gradually made available via state-of-the-art-registries and web services, leading to a sustainable accessibility of German language resources on a professional level in the age of the internet;
- That the regulatory framework is designed in such a way that researchers from DFN AAI institutions are able to unite data resources into virtual collections and implement operations;
- That data formats and interfaces between data resources and language tools are in harmony as well as standardised and therefore become interoperable;
- That simple workflow models and tools can be defined on these interoperable resources, which can be used by non-experts from other scientific fields to handle their questions;
- That various projects are accomplished along with humanists, in order to develop specific solutions and basic services; making visible the potential of this infrastructure ;
- That training sessions are carried out at an early stage for the purpose of inducing researchers, especially those from a younger generation, to actively participate.
D-SPIN in Germany is going to work closely with the ontology based information portal LT-World as well as the projects Text-Grid and DOBES, which work on some of the aforementioned issues. D-SPIN will incorporate the extraordinary knowledge about standardization that is at hand thanks to the associated partners University of Tuebingen, MPI for Psycholinguistics and DFKI (ISO/DIN TC37).
In order to prevent isolated applications, D-SPIN is going to cooperate further with other initiatives on a national level – amongst these being DFN, D-Grid and DARIAH. Worth to mention is the collaboration with the project “Sustainability of Linguistic Data”, which has converted linguistic data from SFBs 441 (Tuebingen), 538 (Hamburg) and 632 (Potsdam) since 2006 into long-term usable and uniformly accessible resources and accordingly provides the respective software.
D-SPIN will keep its independence from the European CLARIN-association, and, by integrating leading German institutions, is going to ensure on the one hand that German interests regarding an optimal supply are realized on a national level and on the other hand that there will be a productive exchange pleasing both sides.
Work packages in the project
The project is subdivided into eight work packages (“Arbeitspakete” AP):
- AP 1: Management
- AP 2: Establishment of the technical infrastructure
- AP 3: Designing resources and applications with regard to users from humanities subjects
- AP 4: Connection with national and European initiatives
- AP 5: Adaption and Integration of resources and tools
- AP 6: Training and education
- AP 7: Copyright and ethical questions regarding the use of language resources, Licence models
- AP 8: Elaboration of an organisational structure for the sustainability on a national level
Prof. Dr. Erhard Hinrichs
Department of Linguistics
University of Tuebingen
Phone: +49 7071 29 74279
Fax: +49 7071 29 52 14