Vision and Strategy


All digital language resources and tools from all over Europe and beyond are accessible through a single sign-on online environment for the support of researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

CLARIN Mission
Create and maintain an infrastructure to support the sharing, use and sustainability of language data and tools for research in the humanities and social sciences.

CLARIN Value proposition
CLARIN makes digital language resources available to scholars, researchers, students, and citizen-scientists from all disciplines, especially in the humanities and social sciences, through single sign-on access. CLARIN offers long-term solutions and technology services for deploying, connecting, analysing and sustaining digital language data and tools. CLARIN supports scholars who want to engage in cutting edge data-driven research, contributing to a truly multilingual European Research Area.

For details please see: CLARIN Value proposition, 2017 [pdf] (Please state your requests for a printed version here)

The CLARIN Strategy is derived from the above vision and mission.  The strategic planning for 2018-2020 covers the following four priority areas:


Uptake by researchers: Enhancing the usability of services

CLARIN aims to offer a central entry point for researchers interested in language resources and technologies and stimulate CLARIN-wide uptake activities.

  1. The disciplines for which CLARIN offers data and services include and spread beyond: Linguistics, Language Studies, Language Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Literary Studies, History, Journalism and Media Studies, Ethnography and Anthropology, Migration studies, Political Studies, Sociology and Psychology.
  2. Communities supported by CLARIN: researchers, students, educators, developers, policy makers, citizen-scientists.
  3. Availability and maturity of the infrastructural support varies greatly across languages and domains in (digital) humanities, social sciences, and beyond.
  4. For various research scenarios specific workflows are available.
  1. Looking into user requirements and user experience:

    • Gain further insight into requirements that would enable researchers to integrate the use of CLARIN resources in the emerging multidisciplinary research agendas and methodological frameworks.
    • Create a high-level task-based inventory of datasets and tools that are readily available for online usage.
    • Expand the detailed overviews and access pages to resource families.
  2. CLARIN promotion within current and new user communities:

    • Wider outreach to user communities in the (digital) humanities, social sciences, and beyond through existing international networks, associations and fora.
    • Foster trans-national collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers working on the development and analysis of resources and tools for data types relevant for a wide range of disciplines.
    • Advertise success stories based on use of the infrastructure.
    • Announce improved functionality realized in response to user feedback, and support visibility of researchers that contribute to and/or use the infrastructure, as well of their resources and tools, and the institutions they work at.
  3. Monitoring and evaluation:

    • Monitor the user experience through surveys and focus groups with potential new user communities.
    • Explicit support for scientific reproducibility and results reliability by ensuring the transparency of tool characteristics in the infrastructure, in line with the principles of Open Science.


Technical infrastructure

Over the past years, CLARIN has constructed a sound and stable technical basis to support the sharing of language data and tools across institutional, disciplinary and international borders. Besides enriching and strengthening this infrastructure, the time is now ripe to work towards a next level of interoperability within the CLARIN ecosystem. This requires efforts on the side of the tool and the data providers, which will be closely coordinated with the National Coordinators’ Forum and the Standing Committee for CLARIN Technical Centres.

  1. Adherence to the FAIR principles (findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability) is leading in the design of all data services.
  2. Many tools and workflows have been incorporated into the infrastructure, while there is potential for further integration.
  3. Password-protected data and tools that rely on a local username and password are connected to the CLARIN single-sign on system for user-friendly authentication.
  4. On request CLARIN's Legal and Ethical Issues Committee (CLIC) provides guidance/expertise on the matters of IPR (Intellectual Property Right) issues and licenses, privacy protection, and ethical issues.
  1. Working with CLARIN tools:

    • Aim to describe all relevant datasets and tools with high-quality CMDI metadata to optimize their retrieval via the Virtual Language Observatory.
    • All suitable corpus search engines at the CLARIN centres should be connected to the Federated Content Search service.
    • Clear recommendations are available as to the choice of standards for datasets, as well as clear guidelines for developers on how to make tools CLARIN-compatible.
  2. Workflows and interoperability

    • Develop and support high-quality matching functionality that couples specific data to relevant tools
    • Dedicated support for projects that come with requirements related to multilinguality.
    • Increased usability of web services for non-technical researchers.
  3. Access regulations and repositories

    • Provide at least one CLARIN-compatible depositing service for each member country.
    • Promote depositing of data resulting from publicly funded projects.


Knowledge Sharing Infrastructure

In addition to a technical infrastructure CLARIN is also an ecosystem for the exchange of knowledge and expertise. This Knowledge Sharing Infrastructure is meant to work as ‘glue’ for the various communities engaged with CLARIN, and consists of a set of measures and facilities aimed at securing the continuous transfer of knowledge between diverse parties involved in the construction, operation and use of the infrastructure. An important instrument are the so-called CLARIN knowledge centres (K centre) that bring together expertise in certain domain, topic, data modality, etc. They can be hosted by a single institution/group or arranged as a distributed structure.

  1. The CLARIN website is the channel for the dissemination of high-quality information about the organisation of the infrastructure and the activities undertaken, as well as a platform for the discovery of and access to the available resources and tools.
  2. There is support for training, networking and outreach events, for which grants can be made available:

    • Various types of workshops have yielded strategic connections between tools and software developers on the one hand and users on the other hand.
    • A Videolectures channel offers tutorial materials for some of the resources and tools in the CLARIN infrastructure.
  3. The KSI network (acknowledged K-centres) consist of the following nodes:

  4. Mobility grants can be applied for to enhance the integration within CLARIN at the level of human expertise.
  1. Central website:

    • Take into account the diversity in the communities we serve when envisaging and desinging website functionality in terms user experience. Enlarge the volume of visual formats.
    • Improve the visibility of the resources available to support the promotion of advanced CLARIN tools for human language processing across SSH domain and beyond.
  2. Training and education:

    • Provide dedicated training material (user guides, video tutorials, showcases, exercise materials) for the key components of the CLARIN infrastructure.
    • Develop best practices for enhancing MA and PhD programmes to teach about the digital research methods needed to effectively use the CLARIN tools and resources, and work towards integration of CLARIN-related topics into university curricula.
    •  Extend the use of mobility grants and funding schemes for User Involvement events and workshops to reinforce the connection between the creators of CLARIN tools and data and the various communities of use



Given the stage of maturity that CLARIN has reached, attention for consolidation and sustainability along various axes has become of vital importance. Of course, the reuse of resources available and the uptake of the services offered are vital, and the strategies described above are thus crucial pillars for the sustainability of CLARIN.

  1. In 2018 a revised version of the CLARIN statutes entered into force.
  2. At the end of 2017 CLARIN ERIC had 19 members (18 countries and 1 international organisation), plus 2 observers and 1 third party.
  3. The CLARIN website contains an information page for newcomers and potential new members.

Objectives that would address the needs and gaps

  1. Support for national teams in identifying possibilities for the acquisition of funding for activities at the national level that contribute to the integration of (aspects of) the country’s infrastructure into the CLARIN research infrastructure.
  2. Alliances with organisations that may be beneficial for the acquisition of income on top of the membership fees will be further explored and extended, in particular with the aim to reinforce the link with other research infrastructures in SSH and the emerging European Open Science Cloud.
  3. CLARIN ERIC will develop an 'adoption strategy': a model for shared responsibility for data and services that are considered crucial for the overall CLARIN mission.