« Ethics and the linguist | Blog home | Australian National Corpus Initiative »

business learning training articles new learning business training opportunities finance learning training deposit money learning making training art loan learning training deposits make learning your training home good income learning outcome training issue medicine learning training drugs market learning money training trends self learning roof training repairing market learning training online secure skin learning training tools wedding learning training jewellery newspaper learning for training magazine geo learning training places business learning training design Car learning and training Jips production learning training business ladies learning cosmetics training sector sport learning and training fat burn vat learning insurance training price fitness learning training program furniture learning at training home which learning insurance training firms new learning devoloping training technology healthy learning training nutrition dress learning training up company learning training income insurance learning and training life dream learning training home create learning new training business individual learning loan training form cooking learning training ingredients which learning firms training is good choosing learning most training efficient business comment learning on training goods technology learning training business secret learning of training business company learning training redirects credits learning in training business guide learning for training business cheap learning insurance training tips selling learning training abroad protein learning training diets improve learning your training home security learning training importance

[From our man in Hawai'i and Melbourne - Nick Thieberger]

The Australian government has millions of dollars that it will be spending on what it calls the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) to support new technologies in research in Australia.

"Through NCRIS, the Government is providing $542 million over 2005-2011 to provide researchers with major research facilities, supporting infrastructure and networks necessary for world-class research."

DEST released a paper outlining what it called 'capabilities' which it proposed to fund, and they were ALL in the sciences, including lots of shiny pointy instruments (synchrotron, new telescopes and so on) to do the whizzbang experiments that are so popular and capture the imagination of politicians. While the physical science community has amazing capacity to pull in big research dollars, there are not that many of them, and even fewer who actually want to use each of these very expensive instruments.

On the other hand, the Humanities, Arts and Social Science (HASS) community is huge, and also does the kind of work that, in the main, is immediately relevant to those who fund it (taxpayers). So, in the consultation that followed, the clamour of HASS proponents resulted in a new 'capability' being added to the 'roadmap', but without any funding (yet) associated with it. There will be an 'Innovation White Paper' announcement before the end of 2008, and the current roadmap leads to the White Paper.

All of this is important for us, as it is the bucket from which national infrastructure like a National Data Service may be funded, and where policies on standards for data repositories like PARADISEC will be set. It is where funding will come from for the national computer facility that houses the online version of the PARADISEC collection.

The ARC is also following these developments, and it is likely that they will be increasingly interested in seeing funding applications that understand how to create reusable and interoperable data, safely housed and described in a suitable repository. HASS researchers do not always know that they need digital infrastructure, and don't understand what it could do to change their research practices. A few exemplary projects have taken centre stage, including PARADISEC, Austlit, the Australian Social Sciences Data Archive (ASSDA), iCinema, the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, the Archaeological Computing Laboratory, and AUSTEHC.

A sensible approach by government could be to fund projects like these and to assist them to advocate among their peers. But this is not happening and many exemplary projects risk losing trained staff due to hiatuses in funding. A useful document about developments in what they call 'cyberinfrastructure' in HASS in the USA is the document 'Our Cultural Commonwealth'. It discusses the nature of HASS data as forming part of the public good, and details the distinctive needs and contributions that HASS researchers have for cyberinfrastructure.


Nick - thanks for sharing this with us. It sounds like it could be an exciting new development for Australia.

Note that the US National Science Foundation established an Office of Cyberinfrastructure a few years ago and is already funding projects in this area. Terry Langendoen, a linguist, was Programme Director of this NSF Office until recently.

The UK has some new initiatives in this area as well, including the AHRC Beyond Text Strategic Funding Initiative (I am on the Steering Committee), and other e-Science developments that began in 2001, including the National Centre for e-Social Science. Unfortunately, not much linguistics or language studies is supported by these developments so far.

I heard that the Expert Working Group for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences held a workshop entitled 'HASS Capability Workshop' at ANU recently. I don't know the details but I think it was to discuss e-research in the HASS area. Does anyone have anything to report?

Kazuko, I was at that HASS expert working group meeting meeting on behalf of PARADISEC, which is what prompted me to write the blog entry originally. The Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research was released today (September 4th) and is available here:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Enter the code shown below before pressing post

The Authors

About the Blog

The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.


Papua New Guinea FAQs from Eva Lindstrom Papua New Guinea (New Ireland): Eva Lindstrom's tips for fieldworkers

Australian Languages Answers to some frequently asked questions about Australian languages

Papua Web Information network on Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya)

Hibernating blogs

Indigenous Language SPEAK

Langguj gel Australian linguistics and fieldwork blog

Interesting Blogs

Omniglot Writing systems and languages of the world

LingFormant Linguistics news

Language hat Linguistics news and commentary

Jabal al-Lughat Linguistics news and commentary on a range of languages

Living languages Blog with news items and discussion of endangered languages

OzPapersOnline Notices of recent work on the Indigenous languages of Australia

That Munanga linguist Community linguist blog

Anggarrgoon Claire Bowern's linguistics and fieldwork blog

Savage Minds A group blog on Anthropology

Fully (sic)

Language on the Move Intercultural communication and multilingualism

Talking Alaska: Reflections on the native languages of Alaska

Culture matters: applying anthropology Australian anthropology blog: postgraduates and staff

Long Road ethnography and anthropology blog - including about Australia

matjjin-nehen Blog on Australian linguistics, fieldwork, politics and the environment.

Language Log Group blog on language and linguistics


E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources a worldwide network of organizations, academics, activists, indigenous groups, and others representing indigenous and tribal peoples

Technorati Profile

Technology-enhanced language revitalization Include ILAT (Indigenous Languages and Technology) discussion list.

Endangered languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia

Koryak Net Information on the people of Kamchatka

Linguistic fieldwork preparation: a guide for field linguists syllabi, funding, technology, ethics, readings, bibliography

On-line resources for endangered languages

Papua New Guinea Language Resources Phonologies, grammars, dictionaries, literacy, language maps for many PNG languages

Resource network for linguistic diversity Networking practitioners working to record,retrieve & reintroduce endangered languages


ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text