Version 29 (modified by Roland Schäfer, 5 years ago) (diff)


10th Web as Corpus Workshop (WAC-X)

Endorsed by the Special Interest Group of the ACL on Web as Corpus (SIGWAC)

Co-located with ACL 2016
August 12, 2016, Berlin

Contact email: wacx2016 [at]


WAC-X morning session
9:30–9:40 Welcome and Introduction
9:40–10:00 Roland Schäfer and Felix Bildhauer
Automatic Classification by Topic Domain for Meta Data Generation, Web Corpus Evaluation, and Corpus Comparison
10:00–10:30 Adrien Barbaresi
Efficient construction of metadata-enhanced web corpora
WAC-X noon session
11:00–11:30 Andrew Salway, Dag Elgesem, Knut Hofland, Øystein Reigem and Lubos Steskal
Topically-focused Blog Corpora for Multiple Languages
11:30–12:00 Anne Krause
The Challenges and Joys of Analysing Ongoing Language Change in Web-based Corpora: a Case Study
12:00–12:30 Quirin Würschinger, Mohammad Fazleh Elahi, Desislava Zhekova and Hans-Jörg Schmid
Using the Web and Social Media as Corpora for Monitoring the Spread of Neologisms. The case of ’rapefugee’, ’rapeugee’, and ’rapugee’.
EmpiriST session
13:30–13:50 Michael Beißwenger, Sabine Bartsch, Stefan Evert and Kay-Michael Würzner
EmpiriST 2015: A Shared Task on the Automatic Linguistic Annotation of Computer-Mediated Communication and Web Corpora
13:50–14:10 Thomas Proisl and Peter Uhrig
SoMaJo: State-of-the-art tokenization for German web and social media texts
14:10–14:30 Jakob Prange, Andrea Horbach and Stefan Thater
UdS-(retrain|distributional|surface): Improving POS Tagging for OOV Words in German CMC and Web Data
WAC-X and EmpiriST teaser talks
14:30–14:35 Gideon Mendels, Erica Cooper and Julia Hirschberg
Babler - Data Collection from the Web to Support Speech Recognition and Keyword Search
14:35–14:40 Nikola Ljubešić and Darja Fišer
A Global Analysis of Emoji Usage
14:40–14:45 Erika Dalan and Serge Sharoff
Genre classification for a corpus of academic webpages
14:45–14:50 Roland Schäfer
On Bias-free Crawling and Representative Web Corpora
14:55–15:00 Steffen Remus, Gerold Hintz, Chris Biemann, Christian M. Meyer, Darina Benikova, Judith Eckle-Kohler, Margot Mieskes and Thomas Arnold
EmpiriST: AIPHES - Robust Tokenization and POS-Tagging for Different Genres
15:00–15:05 Egon Stemle
bot.zen @ EmpiriST 2015 - A minimally-deep learning PoS-tagger (trained for German CMC and Web data)
15:05–15:10 Tobias Horsmann and Torsten Zesch
LTL-UDE @ EmpiriST 2015: Tokenization and PoS Tagging of Social Media Text
Posters and discussions
15:10–16:30 WAC-X and EmpiriST poster session
16:30–17:30 WAC-X and EmpiriST closing discussion
17:30–18:30 Panel discussion Corpora, open science, and copyright reforms

WAC-X main workshop

The World Wide Web has become increasingly popular as a source of linguistic data, not only within the NLP communities, but also with theoretical linguists facing problems of data sparseness or data diversity. Accordingly, web corpora continue to gain importance, given their size and diversity in terms of genres/text types. The field is still new, though, and a number of issues in web corpus construction need much additional research, both fundamental and applied. These issues range from questions of corpus design (e.g., assessment of corpus composition, sampling strategies and their relation to crawling algorithms, and handling of duplicated material) to more technical aspects (e.g., efficient implementation of individual post-processing steps in document cleaning and linguistic annotation, or large-scale parallelization to achieve web-scale corpus construction). Similarly, the systematic evaluation of web corpora, for example in the form of task-based comparisons to traditional corpora, has only recently shifted into focus. For almost a decade, the ACL SIGWAC (, and especially the highly successful Web as Corpus (WAC) workshops have served as a platform for researchers interested in compilation, processing and application of web-derived corpora. Past workshops were co-located with major conferences on computational linguistics and/or corpus linguistics (such as EACL, NAACL, LREC, WWW, and Corpus Linguistics).

WAC-X will also feature the final workshop of the EmpiriST 2015 shared task "Automatic Linguistic Annotation of Computer-Mediated Communication / Social Media" (see for details) and the panel discussion "Corpora, open science, and copyright reforms" (see for details).


Participants should register for an ACL package that includes WAC-X. The early registration preiod ends 15 July 2016, the late registration period ends 31 July 2016. On-site registration is also possible. At least one author of each paper presented at WAC-X should be registered.


Contact email: wacx2016 [at]

Program committee

The workshop organizers were not part of the program committee.

  • Adrien Barbaresi, ÖAW (AT)
  • Silvia Bernardini, University of Bologna (IT)
  • Douglas Biber, Northern Arizona University (US)
  • Felix Bildhauer, Institut für Deutsche Sprache Mannheim (DE)
  • Katrien Depuydt, INL, Leiden (NL)
  • Jesse de Does, INL, Leiden (NL)
  • Cédrick Fairon, UC Louvain (BE)
  • William H. Fletcher, U.S. Naval Academy (US)
  • Iztok Kosem, Trojina, Institute for Applied Slovene Studies (SI)
  • Simon Krek, Jožef Stefan Institute (SI)
  • Lothar Lemnitzer, BBAW (DE)
  • Nikola Ljubešić, Sveučilišta u Zagrebu (HR)
  • Siva Reddy, University of Edinburgh (UK)
  • Steffen Remus, TU Darmstadt (DE)
  • Pavel Rychly, Masaryk University (CZ)
  • Kevin Scannell, Saint Louis University (US)
  • Serge Sharoff, University of Leeds (UK)
  • Klaus Schulz, LMU München (DE)
  • Kay-Michael Würzner, BBAW (DE)
  • Torsten Zesch, University of Duisburg-Essen (DE)
  • Pierre Zweigenbaum, LIMSI (FR)

Co-located events

EmpiriST 2015 shared task

The EmpiriST 2015 shared task aims to encourage the developers of NLP applications to adapt their tools and resources to the processing of German discourse in genres of computer-mediated communica­tion (CMC), including both dialogical (chat, SMS, social networks, etc.) and monological (web pages, blogs, etc.) texts. Since there has been relatively little work in this area for German so far, the shared task focuses on tokenization and part-of-speech tagging as the core annotation steps required by virtu­ally all NLP applications. While we have a particular interest in robust tools that can be applied to dia­logical CMC and web corpora alike, participants are allowed to use different systems for the two sub­sets or submit results for one subset only. A substantial number of teams from German-speaking countries have already expressed their interest to participate in EmpiriST 2015. Knowledge of German is not essential for participation, though, since there are sufficient amounts of manually annotated training data (at least 10,000 tokens) and key docu­ments are provided in English.

The final workshop of EmpiriST 2015 will be co-located with WAC-X. It will include a detailed pre­sentation of the task and results, a poster session with all participating systems, oral presentations of se­lected systems, and a plenary discussion about the challenges of CMC in general as well as German CMC genres in particular.

Panel discussion "Corpora, open science, and copyright reforms"

As part of the 10th Web as Corpus workshop (WAC-X), a panel discussion will be organized. Web cor­pus designers are probably those who are most affected by issues and uncertainties of copyright legisla­tion and intellectual property rights, especially in the EU. While in some countries, such as the U.S., a Fair Use doctrine allows the use of data for non-commercial research purposes, the situation in Europe is more problematic. For example, German copyright law ("Urheberrecht") requires that any re-use of a work which reaches a certain threshold of creativity be explicitly approved by the author. This poses numerous problems for any corpus creator, but it is completely infeasible for large web corpora con­taining texts written by millions of different authors. Thus, corpora are re-distributed in crippled form as sentence shuffles (e.g. COW and the Leipzig Corpora Collection), and it is not even clear whether there really is a reliable legal exemption for single sentences. In the famous Infopaq case, a Danish court decided that even snippets of 11 words might be protected under EU copyright laws (

This situation is highly unsatisfactory. Large web corpora have been shown to be indispensable for many tasks in computational linguistics, in the documentation of standard and non-standard language, and in empirically oriented theoretical linguistics.

Reports written by legal experts – such as the one recently commissioned by the German Research Council ( – only provide an interpretation of the given legal situation. Only ac­tive lobbying in favor of a reasonable copyright reform will eventually bring about the necessary changes such that researchers can build corpus resources and share them freely for academic purposes. Therefore, the goal of this panel discussion is to bring together corpus creators, active users of web cor­pora, and open science activists in order to share and discuss views on the copyright problem as a politi­cal rather than a legal problem. Ideally, a first draft of a joint declaration might come out of this discussion. With such a declaration, the (web) corpus community could make sure that its voice is heard, especially in the ongoing discussion about reforms of the European copyright legislation.

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