The Common Language Resources and Tools Infrastructure (CLARIN) is a major pan-European research infrastructure which is building services to underpin the interoperability, re-use and sustainability of language data and software for research across the humanities and social sciences. One of the key aims of CLARIN is to help researchers who develop useful datasets and software to be able to make them more easily available for others to find, access, use, combine with other resources, and to help to keep them available in the long term.
CLARIN is built on expert centres, and national funding initiatives to support and sustain these centres. The CLARIN European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is the body which co-ordinates these activities and provides the central services to glue them together, and is based at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. European countries opt in to build their national CLARIN infrastructure and to contribute to the costs of running the ERIC. So far, ten counties have joined, with at least three more in the pipleline to join soon. Much more information is available at the CLARIN website.
CLARIN could potentially help us to share our resources more widely more effectively. Plans are underway for the UK to join the CLARIN ERIC as an Observer in 2015. A consortium of universities is being formed to get together to pay the modest annual fee for this. Please get in touch if you'd like to join in - email Martin Wynne.