Helena Laaksonen & Taina Jääskeläinen

Two significant developments bring better access to data resources which traditionally have been very difficult to reach.

CLARIN becomes an ERIC

The Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN) facilitates access to digital language resources. Based on a European Commission decision in February 2012, this important initiative will now become a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), with all the administrative advantages and tax exemptions that an international organization is entitled to. It is the second research infrastructure that has been awarded an EU-ERIC status. The University of Utrecht in the Netherlands acts as the coordinator for the infrastructure.

CLARIN aims to enable eHumanities, building a web and centres-based infrastructure which provides users with linguistic data, tools and guidance in an integrated, interoperable and scalable infrastructure. A user can access all the resources from his own desktop via a single sign-on. The participating repositories of data have standardized descriptions as well as processing tools ready to operate on standardized data. All this will be a definite advantage to scientists of the humanities and social sciences.

DwB: Access to highly detailed microdata

Under Data without Boundaries (DwB) project, academic researchers can apply for access to highly detailed or confidential microdata from seven research data centres in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and France. Successful applicants will receive specialist support and reimbursement of costs. Depending on the research centre, access can be either onsite at the center itself or through remote access. Onsite visits can last 1-3 weeks.

The call for applications is continuous. Applications will be evaluated twice a year and the next deadline dates for evaluation are 15 October 2012; 15 April and 15 October in 2013 and 2014.

In general, the DwB project aims at facilitating access to official microdata in Europe. The aim is to produce a comprehensive and easy-to-access research data infrastructure.

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