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Swiss-AL: Linguistic Open Research Data Practices for Applied Sciences

In this project, an interdisciplinary group of researchers and open research data experts will refine the Swiss-AL family of corpora into a linguistic open research data platform in Switzerland.

Switzerland is currently experiencing a change in research culture, with open science becoming a cornerstone for implementing and funding research projects. In 2021, Switzerland thus agreed on a National Open Research Data Strategy. Within this strategy, the ZHAW Digital Discourse Lab receives two-year funding from swissuniversities within the Swiss Open Research Data Grants (CHORD). The project builds on Swiss-AL, a large multilingual text collection of Swiss public communication that allows for the data-based analysis and simulation of social discourses. In the project, an interdisciplinary team of researchers and open research data experts will identify, develop and improve practices used by a heterogeneous research community united in one crucial aspect: their interest in language data. In doing so, the project will address challenges in implementing FAIR data management principles and develop a web platform that integrates these principles when using Swiss-AL.


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The project addresses three central challenges in dealing with language-based open research data:

  1. The use of language data by an interdisciplinary research community whose members use heterogeneous practices in dealing with such data;
  2. the need to make open research data and associated infrastructures flexible and expandable and to ensure their continuous growth; and
  3. current data and copyright protection law.

Furthermore, the project will integrate Swiss-AL as a linguistic infrastructure into the Swiss and European CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure) ecosystem of digital language resources and tools.

Project overview

Project financing: swissuniversities (Swiss Open Research Data Grants, Action Area B of the Swiss National Strategy Open Research Data)

Grant: 1.06 millionen

Project duration: 2 years (01/2023-12/2024)

Project lead: ZHAW Digital Discourse Lab (School of Applied Linguistics)

Swiss-AL family of corpora


In the project, a large number of partners are collaborating with the ZHAW Digital Discourse Lab as a scientific panel whose task is to identify, develop and improve open research data practices in the field of applied linguistics. The following partners are involved in the project:

ZHAW Services Forschungsdaten
ZHAW Fachstelle Datenschutz und IT-Recht
ZHAW School of Social Work
ZHAW Life Sciences und Facility Management
ZHAW Institute of Public Health
ZHAW Institut Konstruktives Entwerfen
ZHAW Center for Regulation and Competition
ZHAW Diagnostics and Counselling
ZHAW Child and Youth Public Health and Research competence network