For many of us it’s unimaginable to try to think of a world without seamless communication. But for 1 in 12 children and for millions of adults, struggling to communicate is still the reality of day-to-day life. Good quality research, using good quality research data, is crucial if we want to work towards improving their situation. We need it to increase our understanding of, for instance, processes in language learning, speech disorders, and mechanisms involved in sign language.
How and where to store
ACE will provide an all-round service for researchers working with data on atypical communication. Experts will provide help and advice on how to create new datasets on atypical communication, and how and where to store these datasets to make sure they are secure. They will maintain a helpdesk and organise workshops to help researchers make the most effective use of their research data. The Language Archive (TLA) offers a safe, secure archive for the datasets that researchers produce. They provide cutting-edge privacy and data protection securities, including strong authentication procedures, layered access to data and persistent identification.
ACE isn’t just for those who want to create their own datasets. Through The Language Archive, researchers will be able to get access to the resources donated by others. For example, via The Language Archive, researchers can access the SLI RU-Kentalis database, which contains the results of language tests performed with 63 Dutch-speaking children with developmental language disorder (find access to the dataset here). A whole range of information can be found here; datasets of how language is used by deaf adults, by bilingual deaf children, or by children with ADHD (see the VALID website for more information).
Data sharing, via archives like The Language Archive, is essential. It means that researchers don’t have to reinvent the wheel (so to speak) for every project; they can re-use the resources provided by others. And it means that every participant who takes part in a study can be sure that a better, more efficient, use is being made of the precious information they provide.
The Knowledge Centre for Atypical Communication Expertise (ACE) is acknowledged by and part of the CLARIN infrastructure.