CLARIAH-DE is the merger of the two research infrastructure networks CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE. Over a period of two years (2019-2021), the project will merge the two established research infrastructures. In this way, researchers from the Humanities and cultural sciences will be able to work with complex digital tools and special data sets in a much easier manner.
Over the last few years, the two partners CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE have created a number of content-related and technological foundations to support the Humanities in many different research fields. With the help of CLARIAH-DE, the two partners’ services regarding technical infrastructures, repositories, research and teaching services will be further aligned, integrated, further developed and jointly maintained in the future. At the same time, CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE will continue to maintain their existing services and repositories. In total, twelve institutions are participating as executive partners in CLARIAH-DE and thirteen additional institutions are included in the operation of infrastructures (additional partners). The project thus reaches a broad spectrum of different research activities at universities, non-university institutions and in the private sector.
CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE
CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE share a common interest in the digital exploration of textual and linguistic sources from the perspective of the Humanities and cultural studies. The two consortia have each specialised in specific research areas for more than a decade. The aim of CLARIN-D is to establish a network of centres closely linked to selected disciplines as the backbone of a research infrastructure - especially for researchers in the Humanities and social sciences. The disciplines cover a wide range of the Humanities, for which language resources play a central role in research. DARIAH-DE supports research in the Humanities and cultural sciences working with digital methods and procedures with a broad research infrastructure, which consists of the four pillars teaching, research, research data and technical components.
Their merger in CLARIAH-DE is an important milestone towards a common space for cooperative digitally supported research in the Humanities, cultural studies and social sciences in Germany and Europe. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and aims to contribute to the further development of national research infrastructures.
Governance and Project Implementation in Work Packages
The implementation and development of CLARIAH-DE is ensured through the interaction of strategic, operational and participatory bodies. Together, they strike a balance between the technical requirements of infrastructure and the research-driven needs of science. The overall coordination lies jointly with the University of Tübingen and the SUB Göttingen. The CLARIAH-DE network is advised by an Advisory Board.
Its members are:
- Anne Bohnenkamp-Renken (Goethe University Frankfurt a. Main)
- Elisabeth Burr (University of Leipzig)
- Andreas Degkwitz (University Library of Humboldt University of Berlin)
- Michaela Geierhos (Paderborn University)
- Peter Leinen (German National Library)
- Jan Christoph Meister (University of Hamburg)
- Maria Selig (University of Regensburg)
- Thomas Stäcker (University Library of the Technical University Darmstadt)
The Work Packages
The substantive work within CLARIAH-DE is divided into six work packages (German: Arbeitspaket, abbreviated to AP), which are carried out by teams of researchers from both partners.
Inevitably, the handling of data as a mutual concern of the two infrastructural projects CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE involves some overlap and complementary developments - and thus offers potential for synergies. Therefore, since 2019, both infrastructures and their processes and standards have been consolidated within CLARIAH-DE. Building on earlier collaborations and coordinated activities, the developments that had hitherto occurred concurrently will become interoperable in the future.
This will be made possible, among other things, by the harmonisation of standards and procedures for the creation, processing and archiving of data and tools within Work Package (WP) 1. The texts of the Digital Library in the TextGrid Repository (TGR) will be transformed into the basic format of the German Text Archive (Basisformat des Deutschen Textarchivs or DTABf). Thus, the annotations of both large text collections will be standardised in terms of format, which means that the collections of the TGR can also be explored using the tools developed within the DTA or by CLARIN-D.
While the DTABf is already established as a pivot format for text collections, especially for full texts of historical printed works, newspapers and manuscripts with a simple structure, CLARIAH-DE is also evaluating it as a standard for editions. We are examining how to connect collections with sufficient heterogeneity to the DARIAH-DE Data Federation Architecture via the Data Modeling Environment.
Task- and Co-Taskleaders
Within the CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE projects, specialised tools and research environments for the organisation and processing of text- and language-based resources and research data were designed, developed and made available. These will now be merged into a sustainable, unified service for the Humanities. The Language Resource Switchboard (LRS) will be used as a web-based bridge to overcome the associated technical and organisational challenges and to achieve interoperability. To this end, the LRS and the existing description format must be extended to classify the tools, e.g. by using TaDiRAH. Furthermore, in order to support the processing of specific language and text resources and collections in LRS, it is necessary to define a cross-project pivot format (DTA basic format) for the bidirectional conversion tools that build on it.
The results are documented in blog articles and step-by-step instructions and made available to interested members of the public.
Task- and Co-Taskleaders
For a research field that is characterised by rapid technical development, a digital research infrastructure must also include the teaching of technical skills and the promotion of "data literacy" necessary for the efficient use of this infrastructure as part of its objective. In CLARIAH-DE, this role is fulfilled by the work package "Skills Training and Promotion of Junior Researchers". To this end, services that have already been developed, tried and tested in CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE can be used. Thus, we are focusing on the consolidation of the activities from the previous projects into a joint service. In addition, we are cataloguing and reflecting on the methods and tools used in the research field, with the aim of identifying and eliminating remaining gaps in the range of courses.
Skills training and the promotion of junior researchers in CLARIAH-DE are based on three pillars: durable teaching materials with interdisciplinary reach; targeted training courses with greater impact on specific disciplinary communities; individual support for junior researchers. Examples include travel grants for conference visits, workshops and summer schools. In this work package, we will develop, consolidate and refine a common programme in this area.
Task and Co-Taskleaders
The technical infrastructure is the basis of a user-friendly research infrastructure with a large number of services for scientific disciplines. It provides memory, basic functions and specific tools enabling uninterrupted, reliable use without time delays. In order to accomplish this across all CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE services in the future, work package 4 deals with the technical integration and coordination of the two research infrastructures.
CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE have very different disciplinary traditions, and have thus developed different technologies, tools, services and processes that can now complement each other. The consolidation, however, is not straightforward, as is the case, in particular, with the merging of the three search and retrieval tools: Generic Search, Federated Content Search and Virtual Language Observatory. Work package 4 will do basic conceptual work here. Consolidation often also requires the harmonisation of standards and interfaces (resource metadata, interchange formats). In other areas, such as Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI), WP4 has already found a solution based on the DARIAH-DE AAI. The work package is complemented by a technology watch that goes beyond CLARIN and DARIAH and tries to incorporate the most important developments in the field into its own plans wherever possible.
The work is based on previous extensive cooperation, for instance in the joint Technical Advisory Board, and preliminary integrative endeavours in recent years.
WP 4 has an immediate benefit for the individual user through the consolidation, integration and optimization of the technical offer. This applies, among other things, to the area of search and retrieval systems, new hosting solutions, the establishment of a joint helpdesk, and the AAI, which makes access to protected resources and services in the network possible in the first place.
The work carried out is the basis for the activities of WP 2 in building seamless services for users or in connection with support for individual communities in the form of instructions and best practices documents. WP 4 thus also fulfils an important function with regard to outreach/dissemination and provides WP 5 with a first common search platform within the new CLARIAH web portal.
The experience gained in the work package is an important prerequisite for the integration of further applications and services in the future. This also applies to ensuring the connectivity to other relevant research and infrastructure projects and thus the sustainable and future-proof operation of the research network.
Task and Co-Taskleaders
One of the great strengths of CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE is their acceptance in the user communities. Work package 5 combines the activities in the area of community engagement and outreach and jointly expands upon them. The website is particularly important as a key access point to all services offered by the distributed research infrastructure. Due to the different structures of both CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE that have evolved over the years, this process of merging the websites will be carried out in several phases.
For the development of a common identity, a corporate identity, social media and physical presence at symposia and conferences play an important role.
Task- and Co-Taskleader
The coordination of CLARIAH-DE requires a governance system that enables the organised and transparent management of the project's activities and development. To this end, work package 6 has developed rules of procedure which describe all the essential committees and define operational procedures. This ensures a close collaboration of the committees. The implementation of the rules of procedure is facilitated by the offices of the two infrastructures CLARIN-D and DARIAH-DE, which coordinate their activities as part of the work package.
Furthermore, the joint helpdesk will be set up, which will accept all first-level support requests regarding the services of CLARIN-D, CLARIAH-DE and DARIAH-DE as of winter 2019. It will forward them to the experts from the other work packages or to further partners, as required.
Another goal of the work package is, moreover, to maintain the connection to the CLARIN and the DARIAH ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) as well as to enable further cooperations in the European research landscape.
Task- and Co-Taskleader
CLARIAH-DE is closely linked to the European development through its two partners. CLARIN-D is part of CLARIN - European Research Infrastructure for Language Resources and Technology and DARIAH-DE is the German partner of the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH-EU). Both are thus each part of a European Research Infrastructure (ERIC).
Project description, work packages, governance, project partners