Access to Red Hen Tools and Data

Red Hen is a research cooperative of peers, or at least aspirational peers, who give each other the benefit of their resources, labor, and achievement so that every member is stronger in virtue of the cooperation. Each Red Hen puts in something, but gets back the benefit of everything that the other hundreds of Red Hens accomplish. Red Hen is not available to the public. Red Hen is in no way a service. Red Hen has no staff. The directors of Red Hen take input and advice from wherever they can get it to establish fundamental principles of the cooperative, but they do not control the specific labor of other Red Hens. Red Hens are highly independent and able to progress on their own initiative. The main reason for the existence of any project in Red Hen is that some impressive Red Hen is willing to take responsibility. Red Hen receives a flood of expressions of interest from students worldwide, but any student who wishes to join Red Hen should consider first whether they are prepared to operate as a Red Hen. Despite our great interest in students, Red Hen unfortunately does not have the time to design with detailed specifications projects for students and then to tutor them in how to complete each of the steps. A student who wishes to join the Red Hen cooperative needs to make a detailed proposal for a tractable, worthy project. Presented with such a proposal, some major dude in Red Hen will review it and respond. If you need data that Red Hen has, let Red Hen know what you need. If you need other data, propose how you would acquire it. If the student performs substantial impressive work, the major Red Hens are likely to be disposed to help the student over a difficult hump when it arises, but otherwise cannot monitor closely.


All research must be supervised by a member of the Red Hen Access Board. In many cases, that supervision is, after the initial period, largely delegated to other senior members of the Red Hen research cooperative.

If you wish to have initial access to the Red Hen Tools and Data, first study (as thoroughly as you can stand) the presentation at of Red Hen operations. Also recommended is Red Hen's public learning platform, Techne. Then prepare and send to two items, as text presented directly in the email message; that is, not as attachments and not as links to documents:

      1. The research proposal, saying in fairly specific detail what research you plan to do, and how access to which existing Red Hen tools and data would assist that research.

      2. The contribution proposal, containing an initial inventory of possible ways in which you could contribute to the Red Hen research cooperative. How can you improve the Red Hen research cooperative for all its cooperative members? For examples, see What Kind of Red Hen Are You? and The Barnyard of Possible Specific Projects. The examples on these pages form a very incomplete list, and we encourage potential new Red Hens to be imaginative about their potential contributions. See below expectations about creating datasets for use by others. Surprise us! In many cases, initial access will be granted well in advance of any actual contribution, and even before it is clear what contribution could be useful; but those who ask for access are expected to carry a sense of responsibility for the future of the Red Hen research cooperative. “Someday—and that day may never come—I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day”— Don Corleone.

The research proposal and the contribution proposal are sometimes interdependent. Indeed, many contribution proposals point out that Red Hen's tools and data provide good help for the proposed research activity but are inadequate for the full job, and will accordingly propose as a contribution to improve the Red Hen tools and data in such a way as to make Red Hen yet better able to conduct such research.

The major Red Hens will muse upon the ways in which your proposals for research and contribution articulate with existing Red Hen research and infrastructure and ways in which they might articulate with developments in progress or similar proposals by other Red Hen supplicants, and send you a response. On the basis of a thoughtful research proposal and contribution proposal, the Red Hen Access Board is typically able to grant initial access to the first level of tools and data so that new researchers can explore possibilities, on the ground that this will help them improve and sharpen their research and contribution proposals.

Financial contributions: Contributions not infrequently come in the form of funding rather than research, labor, etc. The directors of Red Hen deploy such funding to improve and increase the Red Hen network of equipment and operations. Researchers offering to contribute funding should contact to discuss an amount of financial contribution suitable for the level of time, collaboration, and access needed.

Access conditions

  1. Access to Red Hen tools and data is not all-or-none. Red Hen has an increasing number of tools and systems, and different lines of research and contribution benefit from different ranges of access. To the extent that you have thoughts about the kinds of access needed, express those thoughts in your research and contribution proposals. The Red Hen Access Board will consider kinds of access when it considers your proposals.

  2. Red Hen emphasizes that research products and infrastructure products developed with the help of Red Hen absolutely must be open-source and be made available to every other Red Hen, according to the directions of the co-directors. Agreement to that uniform policy is a condition of access to any level of Red Hen. (Naturally, Red Hen understands restrictions of confidentiality and laws about human subjects research, but even there, Red Hen has some fine ideas about how to write an IRB proposal so that some data—appropriately anonymized—can be somewhat more widely shared.) See, for example, the Red Hen github account.

  3. If you access Red Hen data to create a tagged dataset for your research, the default expectation is that you will return to Red Hen a tagged dataset useful to others interested in doing such work. Typically, this dataset will be released as an Open Data Set. In some cases, depending on the content, the dataset will be suitable for release to only other Red Hens, as allowed by the Red Hen Access Board.

    1. There are many kinds of access to Red Hen. Red Hen access often changes as the research & contribution develop. As your contributions and skills progress, Red Hen can provide access to low-level data and advanced search engines, related on-going research and development projects, high-performance computing resources, and collaborative grant opportunities. Red Hen creates advanced multimodal datamining tools by bringing people with very different skills together, deploying the tools on several HPC pipelines, and integrating them with a wide variety of linguistic and communicational research agendas.

    2. Unfortunately, Red Hen lacks the resources—funding, staff, operations—to serve researchers. Rather, active membership in the group is meant to create advantages for the individual that derive from group associations. Red Hen works to design operations so that the benefit to an individual Red Hen researcher is greater than the contribution made by the individual. The Red Hen researcher, in return for an ongoing contribution, receives access to the many contributions from the wide Red Hen cooperative.

  4. Access credentials are to be used by only the single individual to whom they are provided. Sharing access or credentials—including letting someone else use your RSA key pair—is forbidden.

Development director

  1. The senior Red Hens typically contribute from their individual research funding, grants, and awards to the infrastructure of Red Hen. But Red Hen does not have a director for general development of Red Hen funding. Interested?

We look forward to hearing from you!

P.S. On the technical details of entry-level access, see Access to Red Hen: technical details. That page is written for students and postdocs of the Red Hen co-directors, but its technical instructions apply to nearly anyone who has been approved by the co-directors for initial Red Hen access.