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The TAPS Checklist as a tool for grassroots development of digital language resources

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Title: The TAPS Checklist as a tool for grassroots development of digital language resources
Issue Date: 01 Mar 2013
Description: In 2010 Chang presented the T APS Checklist, “intended to help depositors of language materials assess digital language archives based on (1) areas of special concern to linguists and language communities (Target and Access) and (2) recommended best practices for the long-term preservation of digital information (Preservation and Sustainability)” (2010: iv).

In 2009, two volunteers with no webpage creation experience created an online resource for the Coeur d’Alene community and scholars which included a searchable root dictionary, stem list, and affix list along with over 1,200 pages of previously unpublished fieldnotes and typed manuscripts. Additionally, other resources such as links to original publications in various digital archives and information regarding the resources creation and history were included in the website.
n 2011, linguists, community members, and an engineer decided to use the TAPS Checklist to update the 2009 website. The goal was to create online language resources at the grassroots level in line with the best practices outlined in Chang 2010. Although the TAPS Checklist was designed for assessment by depositors, we decided to use it to inform the updating of the 2009 website. To this end, we treated the directory containing the resources accessed via the internet browser interface as an “archive”. The goal has been to develop and maintain this directory as nearly as possible with the checklist outlined in Chang 2010.

This presentation highlights advantages of using the TAPS Checklist as a guide for the development of community-based digital language projects. We argue that using the best practices outlined in Chang 2010 can ensure longevity and accessibility of important digital language resources. Further, following such practices can ensure materials that would not necessarily be appropriate for archives (e.g. interactive digital dictionaries) can be created and maintained in a similar fashion and thus be available for use in the future.

We compare the 2009 website with the current updated site, which we call the Coeur d’Alene Online Language Resource Center (COLRC). We present some necessary changes made to bring it in line with the TAPS Checklist, changes such as the development of the following: metadata grounded in the Dublin Core and extended elements; Mission Statement including the succession plan; disaster plan; backup and storage plan; history of resources and their origin; maintenance plan; among other elements. We believe the COLRC can be an example of how existing online language resources can be updated to conform to best practices.


Chang, Debbie. 2010. TAPS: Checklist for Responsible Archiving of Digital Language Resources. MA thesis Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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