Ask-An-Expert Demo and Call for Panelists
Presented by:
Sadie Williams and Susan Hooyenga , Eastern Michigan University  
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Ask-An-Expert is a web-based system created as a forum for people who have technical questions regarding the implementation of best practices in the digitization of language documentation. This includes topics such as conversion of legacy data, audio and video equipment for field recording, archival file formats and Unicode fonts for data display. A sample question might be something like, "Is it okay to use my Sony MiniDisc recorder for field work?" We are currently looking for people to join our panel. Included in this handout is general information about what being a panelist entails and a brief description of how Ask-An-Expert works.

Why should you become a panelist?

The linguistics community is greatly in need of people with experience in technical areas of language documentation who are willing, in a pinch, to share their expertise. It should no longer be necessary for each individual to find the best tools through trial and error. As a panelist, you will provide a valuable service to the community by sharing your knowledge, bringing others up to date on the latest advancements and developing more standardized uses of technology.

As a panelist, how many questions will you be expected to answer?

All panelists are sent every question, but there is no obligation to reply to every question. If we are able to recruit enough panel members, it should turn out that all questions would eventually receive answers without any single panel member being inconvenienced. If you volunteer to be a respondent, you can remain part of the Ask-An-Expert group for as long or as short a time as you like. You will not be expected to answer every question forwarded to the account or to give extensive answers to those you do respond to. However, you will be representing the profession and E-MELD, which will present you to questioners as an authority. So we would like you to commit to returning polite, reasonably serious answers to questions, keeping an eye out to see that all questions receive an answer, and alerting a LINGUIST List editor if there are any problems.

Visit the Ask-An-Expert Demonstration:
  • See how questions are submitted by users.
  • See how questions are approved and sent to panelists.
  • See how to search the archived questions and replies.
  • Find out more information on becoming a panelist.

Feel free to contact either Sadie ( or Susan ( if you are interested or if you have questions or comments about the Ask-An-Expert System.

Papers and Handouts
Instructions for Participants
Working Groups
Local Arrangements
E-MELD 2001 E-MELD 2002 E-MELD 2003 E-MELD Homepage