Trip Report: Wikifying Resarch

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The following notes have been taken by Robert during a visit the the EVA Leipzig.

Workshop Wikifying Research, 27 June 2007

Brian Fuchs: "Service sharing: a service composition toolkit for collaborative online research"

Only got in for the last minutes of the presentation. The one interesting quote i remember: The problem with long projects (> 3 years?) is that once they are finished the technology is already obsolete.

Martin Haspelmath: "Long-distance collaboration in the creation of cross-linguistic databases"

Martin presented several projects:

  • Glottopedia: focus on terminology (as opposed to survey articles in wikipedia, strategy: if you don't agree on concepts, you might at least agree on terms, target group: community plus newbies to the field, collective authorship, no formal peer review, register to edit
  • WALSWorld Atlas of Language Structures
  • loanword typology project
  • Apics project (atlas of pidgin and creole languages)

Laurent Romary: "Linking open spaces and standards: the case of language codes and language description"

  • wiki vs. standard? no. standards should be minimal principles about data representation.
  • omega wiki -> check out
  • 639.4: no prejudice towards what a language is, standardisation of metadata about languages
  • "wals should have 639.4 compatible data" - whatever this means.
  • read wittenburg's paper on "citation of electronic resources".

Sebastian Nordhoff: "Tracing building blocks of typological hypotheses through the grammar authoring system GALOES"

link analysis back to source data (e.g. sound files).

calces -> check out (potential/interest to link from wals) wiki for langauge data ... (moinmoin, apache, debian) a grammar authoring tool for descriptive linguists.

automatic typological harvesting (extracting info from grammars) deemed impossible. so the next best thing is computer assisted harvesting.

ontologies deemed hard for humans.

once again question of offline work mentioned (field work is important).

-> wals questions/features have numbers/ids? wals b.2 ... -> check -> annodex -> check out

-> check out possibilities for collaboration (e.g. offline functionality maybe using subversion - cause moinmoin data lives in the file system).

-> check out how relation to corpus is established (elan?).

Workshop Towards a Comprehensive Language Catalogue, 28 June 2007

June 28, 2007


A peculiar requirement on liguistic collaboration tools turned up several times: offline capabilities. This is important in linguistics because there's still much field work being done in remote areas of the world. It may be interesting to explore solutions (offline functionality for wikis, using Google Gears, ...).

While wikis are generally deemed a useful tool, they may have to be complemented with special functionality for the academic context. Distributed authentication for example may be useful to be able to use one professional identity across multiple resources. Another potentially interesting tool may be some sort of wiki extractor, which extracts and freezes particular versions of wiki pages to be transferred into a more authoritative context.


In the lunch break on thursday, Michael, Laurent, Christina and I talked about possibilities of Living Reviews-type publications in Linguistics, and whether collaboration with commercial publishers may be an option - possibly via print-on-demand services (cf. this case study).