Lexical Database Archiving Questionnaire

It's true!

I am asking around on different mailing lists to gain some insight into the archiving habits of linguists who use lexical databases. I am specifically interested in databases created by tools like FLEx, ToolBox, Lexus, TshwaneLex, etc.

Background Story

Hugh Paterson III, in cooperation with Jeremy Nordmoe of the SIL Language and Culture Archive, is investigating the trend among lexical database users to archive their work. In their poster presented at ICLDC3, it was claimed that less than 1% of SIL projects archive lexical datasets. Hugh and Jeremy want to know if this is common among all lexical database users or just SIL users of FLEx & ToolBox.

Preliminary Results

Preliminary Responses as of November 26 2013

N=59 (based off unique data sets across the respondents)
The chart above plots total respondents by SIL/Non-SIL distinction. The taller columns indicate total responses. Lower numbers in the chart represent those respondents who indicated that they have archived their content at an institutional repository.

Communities invited to participate
We are open to having more communities participate. So far we have posted notices on the following mailing lists:

Community invited to participateDate Sent
ANU Austronesian Mailing List16. November 2013
Yahoo! Lexicography List 17. November 2013
RNLD list 18. November 2013
SIL-LDL15. November 2013
SIL-Survey15. November 2013
ALGONQUIANA on Linguist List18. November 2013
ENDANGERED-LANGUAGES-L on Linguist List 18. November 2013
FLEx Users Group25. November 2013
Various University of Oregon Linguistic Department lists27. November 2013
SIL-UND FaceBook Page 28. November 2013
ToolBox Users Group28. November 2013
lingtransoft 09. December 2013
SEALANG-L on Linguist List 09. December 2013
TIBETO-BURMAN-LINGUISTICS on Linguist List 09. December 2013
SALON11. December 2013
Wycliffe Nigeria12. December 2013
SIL Lexicography Service Group List13. December 2013


  • ALT
  • It would also be nice to contact archives like TLA, ELAR, AILLA, LACITO, and PARADISEC, to see if they can provide data for the lexical databases they do have. I am sure that such data would also help us understand more holistically the lexical database archiving trends. (Necessary data would be: Tool of database production i.e. FLEx, ToolBox, etc., Date of accession, Researcher/Creator, ISO 639-3 code of content language, Were there derivative published works? Y/N). More on engaging Archives here.

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Take the Questionnaire

It is an open questionnaire; anyone can fill it out. We plan on releasing more specific results (as appropriate) at a later time.

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Questionnaire about Lexical Database Usage
We are asking a few questions about your current Lexical Database use.

In 2012, Hugh Paterson and Jeremy Nordmoe did their initial research on the success of RAMP. During that year only 10 Lexical database projects (4 FLEx, 6 ToolBox) had been submitted to the SIL Archive. (See link to research poster after submitting the questionnaire). We are looking to see if that is a trend among all Lexical Database users or just SIL users of FLEx & ToolBox.
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* Indicates required question
What Lexical Database Solution do you use: *
FLEx, ToolBox, Lexus, TshwaneLex, etc
ISO 639-3 language code of the language you are analyzing/studying in your Lexical Database: *
Three letter code from "ethnologue.com". Only use lowercase a-z. Use "und" if you don't know, but be sure to put your email address and the language name under the optional answers section.
Your answer
I have archived a version of my current Lexical Database at an Institutional Archive *
An archive like SIL's L & CA, or SOAS's ELAR, or MPI's TLA. - It doesn't have to be one of these three.
Optional Questions
The following information would help us in our research but are completely optional.
Email address
Your answer
Your Name
Your answer
SIL Project
Is the FLEx (or other) database used, part of an SIL project?
Clear selection
If you are using FLEx or ToolBox have you produced a Print publication?
Perhaps a dictionary for local use or a more formal publication. Can you tell us about it? Got a citation or a link?
Your answer
Anything we should know?
Keep it short and important - We intend to read these. ;-)
Your answer
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