ACL2003 Resources Information Infrastructure Workshop

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This workshop has been moved to Paris, Aug 28-29, 2003

Towards a Resources Information Infrastructure

Workshop at ACL2003 in Sapporo (Japan)

Organised by ENABLER / ELSNET


The problem addressed by this workshop is the well-known information problem. People are creating, exploring and exploiting language resources all over the world. Those who are working with resources know a lot about their own and other resources, and they are generally prepared to share this knowledge, their expertise and in many cases even their resources with others via publications in journals, presentations at conferences, and via the web.

Unfortunately this information, however public, is not accessible in any systematic way for those who need resources, who want to know what sort of resources exist, how resources should be annotated, which standards to adhere to, which tools to use, etc etc. We will call this problem the 'Resources Information Problem'.

The problem has also a geographical dimension: As work on specific languages is very often concentrated in specific parts of the world, much relevant information has a tendency to stay in one geographical place. This is an obstacle for those who are working on these same languages in different parts of the world, and it makes it harder to port knowledge and expertise gained on one language to other languages.

The above observation are far from novel, and it would be naive to think that the problems will ever go away. At the same time one can observe that there are organisations (associations, agencies, projects, networks, etc) that have access to parts or fragments of this information and that have their own infrastructures that facilitate access to this information by internal or external people.

The purpose of this workshop is to investigate how we can exploit the existing infrastructures to a maximum in order to facilitate world-wide access to information on language resources. The role of the workshop will be to bootstrap this process.


  • First of all we will try to make an initial map of the language resources landscape world-wide. This map will include actors, organisations, repositories, standards, projects, tool libraries, etc etc. All participants will be asked beforehand to submit pointers to such items. They will be collected and published.
  • At the workshop we will invite representatives of a number of organisations that can be seen as key actors in the field, and they will be asked to present ideas about the way their organisation could contribute to solving the Resources Information Problem. These ideas could range from very concrete and immediately implementable proposals to longer term and visionary actions.
  • A round table discussion at the workshop will aim at the creation of convergence, coherence and synergies between the proposed actions. The intended output is a catalogue of actions to facilitate access to resources information that could be implemented (almost) immediately, a skeleton plan for longer term actions, and firm commitment from key players to make these things happen.

Target audience

Representatives of parties that could play a key role in providing access to resources information, such as (but not limited to)

  • Resources distribution agencies, e.g. LDC and ELDA/ELRA
  • Professional organisations, e.g. ACL, ISCA, and their regional branches, e.g. EACL, AACL, JACL, Asian NLP federation
  • Networks and resources infrastructure projects, e.g. ENABLER, ISLE. ELSNET
  • Committees, e.g. ICWLR, COCOSDA
  • National resources or infrastructure projects, e.g. Technolangue, Collate
  • International actions, e.g. OLAC

Invited and submitted papers

We expect to invite some 20 representatives to give their presentations, but in addition we are issuing an open call for papers addressing the resources information problem and possible solutions. These papers will be reviewed in the usual way.

Workshop Format

It will be a two-day workshop, with invited and submitted presentations in the mornings, and topical panels and round table discussion in the afternoons.

Programme Committee

As this workshop is jointly organised by ELSNET and ENABLER (two EU funded projects aimed at providing collaboration infrastructures), we have invited all ca 60 members of the ELSNET and ENABLER Boards to constitute the core programme committee. We may want to invite additional members from Asia and other parts of the world in order to ensure sufficient geographical coverage.

The workshop will be jointly chaired by Steven Krauwer (ELSNET) and Nicoletta Calzolari/Antonio Zampolli (ENABLER)

Historical note

This workshop can be seen as a follow-up of the workshop organised at ACL2000 in Hong Kong, entitled 'Towards infrastructures for global collaboration'. One of the conclusions of this workshop was that the field of language resources would offer good opportunities for collaborative actions, and the first concrete goal was the creation of an international resources federation, a first step towards which is now embodied by the proposal to set up an International Committee for Written Language Resources ICWLR.

The workshop should lead to the definition of concrete actions to be carried out under the auspices of ICWLR, in collaboration with other organisations.

Contact info

Steven Krauwer (steven.krauwer@elsnet.org) ELSNET (http://www.elsnet.org)


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