Newcastle Workshop

Aims and Activities



The group, which has an open membership, has the aim of discussing, assisting and initiating the development of activities that will improve the interoperability and accessibility of language resources in Australia. To achieve these aims, the group will maintain contact with interested groups, organisation and individuals in Australia and internationally. The group will also maintain a web presence and a mailing list to enable wide involvement in its activities.


In the short term and more specifically, the group agreed to work in several areas:

  • AUSTRALIAN INPUT TO ISO. To obtain information about any involvement of Standards Australia in the ISO639 processes, particularly Technical Committee 37 (TC37). As a followup to the meeting, Barwick has contacted Standards Australia and determined that Australia has observer status only on TC37 informing them of the interest of the reference group in contributing to discussions about language codes and other relevant ISO standards. We are still awaiting a response to this letter.
  • AUSTRALIAN PARTICIPATION IN RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES IN THE AREA. To obtain information about moves to have some Australian representative body (such as ANDS) be officially recognised in the EU CLARIN/ERIC structures, and about the possibility for future project possibilities under EU Framework 2020 discussions. Barwick and Walsh will attend a meeting on ISO639 codes to be convened by Drude at the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa to express Australian interest in being included in relevant future discussions and to report on the outcomes of this meeting.
  • PROVIDE A REFERENCE POINT FOR AUSTRALIAN RESEARCHERS TO CONTRIBUTE SCIENTIFIC ADVICE ON LANGUAGE CODES IN AREAS OF THEIR EXPERTISE. To provide scientific input to aspects of the ISO639 process, especially in regard to ISO639 Part 4 (documentation of the ISO639 group of standards) and ISO639 Parts 5 and 6 (4-letter codes for identifying languages, dialects, language families etc.)  There may be an opportunity for an Australian case study to be included in a proposed bilateral Germany-US digital humanities project FROLIC (Framework for the Organization of Language Identification Codes) (proposal to the NEH-DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities program prepared by University of Frankfurt, the University of Eastern Michigan (linguistlist.org), The Language Archive, MPI, September 2012).
  • PROMOTE AWARENESS OF ISO639 DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN RELEVANT AUSTRALIAN ERESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVES. Barwick, Thieberger and Cregan will raise this question in relation to planning for the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) and the HCS-vLAB virtual laboratories being developed with NeCTAR funding in 2013.
  • INVESTIGATE OTHER RELEVANT ISO STANDARDS. At the Brussels meeting, another area flagged for attention was the Data category registry project ISOcat (isocat.org), an implementation of ISO 12620 :2009, also under ISO TC37. The reference group will pursue avenues for promoting better understanding of this initiative by Australian researchers and relevant Australian research infrastructure providers.













Page created by Simon Musgrave. Last updated 2013-02-28.





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