f. What Kind of Red Hen Are You? How to get involved.
The Distributed Little Red Hen Lab is a group of cooperative researchers who contribute resources, skills, and time to provide something to the working of the Lab that other members of the cooperative will find useful. New tools arise as the cooperative researchers develop them. Given this model of cooperative work by industrious, self-reliant researchers and their teams, we have named our lab "the Distributed Little Red Hen Lab" and sometimes refer to its members as "Red Hens." This is a reference to the folktale about "The Little Red Hen." These Red Hens often have resources for research, including time, interest, and dedication, but the Red Hen Lab itself for the most part lacks funding or staff to serve members of the Red Hen Lab.
How to get involved
Someone becomes a member of the Red Hen Lab by joining the research team of one of the two co-directors, Francis Steen and Mark Turner. The co-director who approves the participation monitors the research and, where appropriate, participates in it, often in conjunction with other members of the Lab. The authority of the Red Hen Lab to make its holdings and tools available to researchers derives from section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act, according to which we can archive material and loan appropriate selections from that material to bona fide researchers for research we monitor. Most of Red Hen's data are held as an archive of the University of California Los Angeles Library and the Case Western Reserve University Library.
How to propose a project to Red Hen Lab
If you wish to work in Red Hen Lab, study the entire site at http://redhenlab.org. All of the guidance Red Hen has to offer on making an initial proposal is contained in that site. See especially the "Barnyard" and all the "Ideas" pages for Google Summer of Code beginning in 2015. Then send a proposal to email@example.com. Your proposal should be about 1000 words, and include
- A specification of your goal as detailed as you can make it
- A detailed review of existing resources available for accomplishing it
- An analysis of what is missing, that is, the gaps between the present state of the art and the achievement of your goal. Explain your thoughts for how Red Hen could fill those gaps. What data and resources would be needed? Where might they be found? What are your preferred lines of attack for trying to fill those gaps?
- A timeline of steps in the project, how they would be achieved, why you think each step is tractable.
- A list of people and resources in the world that might help you.
Principal Red Hens will try to find the time to look at a detailed, mature, persuasive proposal and respond.
Red Hen should explain that every month, she receives hundreds of email messages from students around the world, stating in a few sentences that they have noticed this or that topic and would like guidance on how to get into it. Red Hen regrets that she lacks the resources to respond to such requests for guidance.
Why is it called the "Distributed Little Red Hen Lab"?
Because we are a cooperative of laboring researchers, all of them Little Red Hens. The Little Red Hen is an industrious, capable, self-reliant character in a folktale. We have named our lab in her honor. The very first Donald Duck cartoon (1934) is an adaptation of this folk tale; there is also a 1956 Russian version.
How can I contribute?
Red Hens provide many different kinds of improvements to the Red Hen Lab, through many different mechanisms. Below, we offer a list of examples of improvements that have been provided or that might be provided. What Kind of Red Hen Are You? If you have an interest in becoming a Red Hen, we encourage you to think broadly about the kinds of improvements you might provide.
Here are some possible contributions to improve the shared resources of Red Hen:
- Television capture. An important way in which you may contribute to the Red Hen Lab is to set up a capture machine in your native state and country, thus adding a new and valuable dimension of new audiovisual programming to the archive. We have a streamlined system for this purpose, and the co-directors can advise, consult, and guide the establishment of capture machines.
- Feature tagging. If your research project is looking for the presence of a particular set of features in the news, such as structure, patterns, gestures, images, or expressions, you can contribute by doing the work of adding tags to news programs. Our web-based tagging interface allows you and any assistants to tag news stories for a broad range of features. If the tagging scheme you need is already present, use it; if it is not, propose a new scheme to us (see example below). We will implement your scheme on the condition that you then populate the scheme with a hundred or so tags, so that others would have an example of how to use the scheme.
- Tasks and datasets. Contribute to Red Hen by solving tasks posted in our Barnyard, or by adding new tasks, as in Speech Gestures in Art, or by contributing new datasets for manual analysis and machine learning, such as Interesting co-speech gestures. When uploading images and documents, please use our File Cabinet and link to your file.
- Natural language analysis. Do you have NLP expertise? We are interested in parts of speech analysis, sentiment analysis, and other features, and can offer a vast dataset of around three billion words to play with. See also Projects for students.
- Multimodal parsing tools. The Red Hen team already includes groups working on image / text parsing. We are particularly interested in contributors familiar with audio parsing. You could develop modules that examine voice, music, and other sounds present in the news recordings.
- Statistical analysis. If you or your team has skills in statistics, could you develop an R script or package that can ingest material from the Red Hen dataset and generate various forms of statistical analysis?
- Visualization tools. Could you design methods of providing visualizations of search engine results or the output of the statistical analysis? Specifically, we are interested in D3 implementations, since our framework already incorporates D3, a powerful and flexible toolkit.
- Tutorials and Educational Resources. Red Hen offers many of these already, all of which can benefit from improvement and continued management and maintenance, and further resources could be added. For example, the Edge Search Engine and the command line both offer utilities for searching for regular expressions, but we have only a simple introduction to this functionality. A full tutorial on what regex expressions work in the Edge Search Engine and from the command line could include an open-ended library of example code.
- Pedagogy and management. New red hens could pick up responsibilities for managing projects. For example, excellent seniors in high school have an interest in doing their senior projects in Red Hen because it offers them something otherwise impossible: actual participation inside a major research program. A new red hen might be tutored by the co-directors in how to run such a program for high school seniors, and run it, on the understanding that the students would provide Red Hen with electronic presentations. A library of such crowd-sourced research could serve as a tool for teaching and as a collection of examples for other high school red hens.
By pooling our expertise and resources, we can achieve much more than each one of us can individually. Building on each others' work, we are in a much stronger position to be productive, generate more publications, and to develop successful grants that sustain our research.
How to contribute annotations
Because Red Hen champions the development of incremental and cumulative progress in the understanding of multimodal communication, a condition for participating in Red Hen and getting access to the datasets is that you contribute your analysis metadata back into the Red Hen dataset. There are multiple avenues for doing this. The Red Hen framework is designed to allow researchers to use their own analytical methods and supports multiple ways of contributing data and tags:
- Perform your analysis in ELAN or Praat and export the results to Red Hen
- How to annotate with ELAN
- Audio analysis with Praat
- Use one of the online tagging interfaces
- How to use the online tagging interface
- How to use the Video Annotation Tool
- Set up or contribute a module to an automated processing pipeline
- Audio processing pipeline
- Text processing pipelines
- Video processing pipelines
Annotations that are integrated into Red Hen are credited to their originators (see Red Hen data format), and make available to the Red Hen community.
Red Hen encourages college and high-school students to do research in Red Hen Lab. See an example of High School Research in the Red Hen Lab. If you are interested in doing a student research project in the Red Hen Lab from a remote location, contact one of the co-directors, Francis Steen or Mark Turner.
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