The European Research Infrastructure Consortium CLARIN has established a network of European data repositories, service centres and centres of expertise focusing on easily accessible digital language resources.
The pan-European infrastructure CLARIN-ERIC (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure—European Research Infrastructure Consortium) aims at providing easy and sustainable access to digital language data and advanced tools to discover, annotate, analyse or combine this data, irrespective of its physical location or its format. The data involved in CLARIN is made up of a wide range of different types of language resources: there are representations of written and spoken language, some are text, others are offered as sound or video files. The target audience of CLARIN-ERIC are scholars in the humanities and social sciences. CLARIN-ERIC has established a networked federation of European data repositories, service centres, and centres of expertise. They are planning to implement simple sign-on access for all members of the academic community in all participating countries. They are working on the interoperability of tools and data across the network, in order to allow researchers to combine distributed and heterogeneous data collections and to perform complex operations on these. This infrastructure is still under construction and will be so for quite some time. However, a number of participating centres have already started to offer services providing data, tools, and expertise. Considerably more centres will be operative in the near future.
The ACDH-CH contributes to a number of CLARIN-related activities. It participates in the activities of the Standing Committee on CLARIN Technical Centres and in the legal issues committee, the committee dealing with access rights, IPR, Service Provider Federation, and ethical issues. An ACDH-CH researcher holds the position of deputy head of CLARIN’s Standards Committee, the committee dealing with standards and strategies with respect to standards inside the CLARIN community.
The ACDH-CH is also functioning as the national coordinator for the Austrian CLARIN activities, striving towards the establishment of a common organizational and technical framework for language resources in Austria. As one of the foremost facilitators and promoters of digital humanities in the country, the ACDH-CH motivates, invites and engages with researchers and scientific institutions to share infrastructures and, hence, use CLARIN for their projects.
On the European level the ACDH-CH cooperates tightly with the central structures of CLARIN. Particular topics of interest are the CLARIN Component Metadata Infrastructure (CMDI) and Federated Content Search (FCS). The FCS Working Group is developing an architecture designed to extend available search facilities beyond the metadata repositories towards the full content of the distributed resources.
After a preparatory phase of several years, CLARIN became operational as an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) in April 2012.