It has been a busy spring for CLARIN in Poland! CLARIN-PL has launched a series of intensive workshops, tailored to the needs of researchers in the humanities and social sciences, and of translators. The workshops will teach the practical use of digital tools for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of texts in natural languages.
The first series of lectures and workshops “CLARIN-PL in research practice: digital language analysis tools for the humanities and translation” took place in April 2015 at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Three days of sessions saw over 40 participants, scientists and students, from such areas as history, sociology, psychology, lexicography, and literary theory. There was considerable interest—three applicants per spot—so we decided to offer more workshops in May 2015 (http://clarin-pl.eu/en/the-second-series-of-clarin-pl-lectures-and-workshops/) and in June 2015. We expect to run another sessions in autumn.
The workshops teach how to use CLARIN-PL tools and resources in specific research projects. (The program and the material from the first workshop series in April are freely available http://clarin-pl.eu/en/materials-from-the-1st-series-of-lectures-and-workshops-clarin-pl-in-research-practice/). The workshops focus on research infrastructure, corpus and dictionary tools, and text analysis tools. Participants gain useful skills such as collecting and annotating corpora, building their own dictionaries, classifying texts semantically or conducting statistical analyses. They also familiarize themselves with tools which may facilitate their work.
We too learn from these workshops. Above all, we get to know our users better: their expectations, research plans and work habits. The participants’ suggestions help streamline our operation. We hear what new functionality may be required of our tools, and how to make those tools more user-friendly and attractive.
People in the Polish humanities are open to new technologies and ready to implement new research methods. It is a challenge and a source of satisfaction for us to meet the needs of those users. The workshop participants’ positive feedback and their deep interest make us confident that we are heading in the right direction.