[open-linguistics] Future home of Open Linguistics [IMPORTANT]

Bettina Klimek klimek at informatik.uni-leipzig.de
Sun Nov 17 21:21:43 UTC 2019

Dear list members,

the list moderators just got notice from the Open Knowledge Foundation 
that they plan to restructure their support services. This includes 
closing out a number of mailing lists (effectively *all* mailing lists 
they currently host, it seems) until Jan 31 2020. If we wish, it is 
possible to continue our exchange via Open Knowledge Forums 

This message comes at a time when we see activity in the mailing list 
dropping. As far as I can tell, this is not because of a loss of 
interest, but rather, because much of the discussion moved over to more 
specialized lists discussing more specific topics. Especially the W3C 
Ontology-Lexica Community Group (https://www.w3.org/community/ontolex/) 
has been the locus of intense discussions in the last years, with one 
novel vocabulary (lexicography module) submitted this year, and two 
novel models (morphology; resp. frequency, attestation and corpus 
information) currently under development. Likewise, the LOD Special 
Interest Group of the ADHO has been revived 
(http://lists.digitalhumanities.org/mailman/listinfo/lod) and serves as 
a vehicle for discussions about LOD and organizing LOD workshops in 
Digital Humanities.

At the same time, activity in our topics is not declining at all, the 
LLOD cloud (http://linguistic-lod.org/) keeps growing, we have seen (and 
organized) numerous designated workshops, conferences and summer schools 
in the last years. The Open Linguistics Working Group (mainly 
represented by this mailing list) still organizes their own workshops on 
Linked Data in Linguistics (and this has been the main topic of the list 
in the last years) and we plan to continue to do so (we just submitted a 
workshop proposal for LREC-2020, Marseille, France, May 2020). At least 
for this purpose, we need to keep the communication going. Personally, I 
am not convinced that an open forum would be an ideal place for 
organizing such events and I would prefer a mailing list.

It would be very regrettable to loose ties with the OKF, and the 
question is where would be a good new home for this community, be it in 
Open Knowledge Forums, in a W3C community group (e.g., Linked Data for 
Language Technology, https://www.w3.org/community/ld4lt/) or in a 
dedicated (new or existing) Special Interest Group in any of the 
well-known organizations (say, ADHO, ACL, ALT, ...). The main problem 
here is that none of these would have an equally broad scope that 
includes the full range from engineering over AI and computational 
lexicography to linguistics and the philologies. On the other hand, 
reorganizing communication would also be a chance and help consolidating 
the discussion and increasing activity in our community, again.

A possible solution might be to create a new Open Linguistics mailing 
list under the umbrella of the linguist list: 
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo. This might be less 
appealing for more technically oriented list members, but the linguist 
list provides hosting for both linguistically-oriented lists (like "The 
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/linguist and more 
technically-oriented lists (like the corpora list, despite its name 
still the most important mailing list for natural language processing), 
so, this might be adequate to the broad scope we have and we want to 

I would be interested in your opinions, also feel free to contact me and 
Bettina directly. I suggest we collect options until November 30, we 
then identify pros and cons of each possibility, do a Doodle and then 
decide in a telco until, say, mid-December.

I guess the future of wiki and website is equally insecure as the future 
of the mailing list, we will look into possibilities for hosting or 
mirrorring these.

Best regards,
Christian Chiarcos and Bettina Klimek

Bettina Klimek
PhD Student
Department of Computer Science, University of Leipzig
Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI)
Goerdelerring 9
04109 Leipzig

Research Group: http://aksw.org/Groups/KILT
Homepage: http://aksw.org/BettinaKlimek
Projects: http://mmoon.org, http://linguistics.okfn.org

More information about the open-linguistics mailing list