CLLD – Cross-Linguistic Linked Data

CLLD at FORGE 2015

posted Monday, September 21, 2015 by Robert Forkel

An abstract describing the CLLD project and how we use GitHub was accepted at FORGE 2015. So last friday I gave a talk at this event, which aimed at bringing together “digital humanities practitioners” and the emerging Humanities Data Centers.

While the conference perpetuated the trend in Digital Humanities in Germany of being somewhat limited to a national scope, which was the target of critique recently, this limitation made some sense for the kind of event. It seems natural for this initial phase in the development of data centers dedicated to Humanities research to pick pilot projects on a local level, where feedback loops can be kept short. Furthermore, funding relevant for Humanities research also seems to be available mostly on national level. Nevertheless, as was noted by some participants, there is a (at least) European context, so further installments of this conference may be well-advised to broaden the scope.

A topic that popped up in several talks was the realization that there is no such thing as “too interesting to fail”, which will automatically keep digital research output from disappearing. While this thought may not be present in many researchers minds yet, considering that the audience of a conference like FORGE 2015 is heavily biased, it still gives hope that future projects will

  • consider things like data management plans in earlier phases of the project,
  • tailor their output to what can be kept alive by data centers or
  • spend some time thinking about exit strategies.

While the digital output created in the Humanities seems to be a lot more heterogeneous than in the Sciences, it also may often have a much bigger appeal to the general public. And as was mentioned several times, usage may be the best way to ensure preservation and accessibility of data. So it was nice to see Museums, Libraries and Faculties for Art History trying to make their data available to the world at large. From my point of view, this also highlights an important aspect of the longterm-accessibility strategy for the CLLD data: We try to make our data as re-usable as possible by exposing it as well as possible on the Web, thus harnessing its power as a Preservation Medium.