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Introduction

Recognizing the lack of information about existing language resources as one of the major factors hindering the development of the field, FLaReNet has undertaken a number of actions to survey existing resources, inform about them, and enhance their visibility.

The fieldwork carried out by the project has gathered and revealed a set of facts and figures concerning the field of Language Resources and Technologies (LRT) (existing language resources, their production models, current and existing activities in the various countries, the gaps with respect to resources and technologies, a panorama of existing standards and plans for their adoption, etc.).

FLaReNet, in compliance with its commitment to provide a picture of the current state of the LRT field, believes that making all quantitative data available public and open to the community is of utmost importance.

The FLaReNet Databook is not only the collection of all the factual material collected during the activities of the project, but also a set on innovative initiatives and instruments that will remain in place for the continuous collection of such “facts”.

The purpose of the Databook is in fact, on one side, to consolidate the analyses carried out in the project and, at the same time, to set up the proper mechanisms that will enable the provision of a continuous stream of relevant factual material, also after the end of the project.

As such, it is intended both to give a snapshot of the status quo at the time of the issue of the final FLaReNet Blueprint of Actions and Infrastructures (see chapter 1 of the final FLaReNet Book), and – most importantly – to establish new methods and new systems to carry on identification of facts and information, and even collaborative creation or enrichment of new language resources.

Data vary considerably in type, internal organization, intended addressees and fruition mode.

A major distinction can be drawn between community-oriented data – that will have a life beyond the project – and project-oriented data.

Data and information designed and built for the community are immediately usable by external users, even if with different degrees of user-friendliness, since they range from dedicated interfaces (LRE Map of Language Resources and Tools) to structured documents (META-Matrixes and FLaReNet Standards Landscape towards an Interoperability Framework) up to collaborative or wiki-like repositories (LRE Map of Language Resources and Tools, Feedback from Contact Points on National Initiatives in the Area of Language Resources, FLaReNet Repository of Standards, Best Practices and Documentation and LREC Language Library).

Some of these data are already extensively used and have become an important asset for all the community; others have just started and may be the first step towards innovative ways of collaborative resource creation.

Project-oriented data (FLaReNet WP3 Contribution and FLaReNet WP6 Contribution), were used for a project internal purpose only – to prepare the initial surveys – and are relatively unstructured and in raw format.