The LINCD Research initiative began as a “corpus linguistics lab” for the students in the Spring 2013 graduate seminar on Historical Sociolinguistics. The research projects for that course required the use of historical corpus data, which necessitated, in many instances, the use of databases and tools that were not generally available to the students, but could be made available to them through a lab setting. The lab setting also provided an opportunity for the students to consult with one another and with me as they worked on research projects that shared similar questions, problems, and methods.
Of course, the usefulness of a facility that provides student access to tools, resources, and materials, as well as an environment for the exchange of information and ideas in linguistic research, extends beyond individual courses and assignments. Thus the LINCD Research initiative was born of the desire to provide a space (both physical and conceptual) in which students (and their professors) can:
– experiment with digital tools, models, methods, and resources;
– engage in collaborative practices, sharing their discoveries, insights, and materials with each other and with their professors;
– examine and discuss the work of their colleagues, their professors, and the field at large;
i.e., a digitally-enhanced research space where students and professors can come together to explore shared interests across the many domains of linguistic investigation.
The practical side in all of this is also not to be underestimated, as such a space facilitates:
– timely completion of student course- and degree-related research;
– the carrying out of independent student research;
– student participation in faculty research;
– sharing of sometimes complex, sometimes costly resources.
After an “alpha version” pilot phase with an “open lab” concept in the summer of 2013, the Linguistics Incubator for Collaborative Digital Research is entering into its “beta version” in the fall of 2013. The current plan is to establish a range of formats including “open lab” times, dedicated recurring sessions (whether disciplinarily thematic, specific-tool-oriented, presentation-driven, etc.), special ad hoc sessions for one-off events, and focused reading groups.
Check back with us for updates as the Fall 2013 “beta version” progresses.