Why Follow Best Practice?
The E-MELD 'School' site is intended to demonstrate how to follow best practice recommendations and to illustrate the major benefits:
Recommendations of best practice have been developed primarily to ensure that your valuable language documentation is available to future generations. On this site you can find information about the recording targets, archival formats, non-proprietary software, and open standards that will give your digitized data the best chance of surviving into the future.
Search and Discovery
Writing metadata for your resources and submitting it to a general search engine will ensure that the linguistic community is aware of your work. Additionally, relating the linguistic markup of the data to the General Ontology of Linguistic Description (GOLD), will promote its long-term intelligibility and eventually make it available for detailed, cross-language searching. For example, the languages in our "Case Studies" can be searched by phonetic features, such as tone, by semantic field (e.g., plant, animal, etc.), by gloss (in any of the languages used for glossing), and so forth. Try it.
Best practice recommends distinguishing between the archive format of your data and the presentation formats. Through the use of XML markup and XSL stylesheets, for example, a single text file can be presented in many different ways. Our site offers examples of various presentation formats for metadata and lexicons, as well as information on stylesheets.
The more linguists follow best practices in digital language documentation, the more value we will all be able to derive from an ever increasing body of language resources, both now and far into the future. Therefore, we encourage feedback and suggestions from the linguistics community about the best practice proposals. Please join the E-MELD Advisors mailing list to join in with discussion.
BP in a Nutshell
What are Best Practices?
Why Follow BP?
Community Start Page
Linguist Start Page
Archivist Start Page