How to make Political Party and Interest Group Texts Accessible and Usable


In their third deliverable, OPTED Work Package 4 proposes criteria for publishing collections of text from political organizations in a user-friendly way.

After introducing an inventory of texts by political parties and interest groups in their last deliverable (D4.2), WP4 now focuses on the accessibility and usability of these texts (D4.3). In a first step, they identify best practices and propose nine criteria for making text collections easily available for a variety of users.

Four criteria cover the accessibility of text collections and focus on: (1) data storage, (2) easy and free access, (3) way of text retrieval, (4) file type.

The other five criteria focus on different aspects of usability, namely: (1) availability of full texts, (2) whether texts are ready-to-use, (3) corpus type, (4) annotations, and (5) codebook.

In a second step, WP4 shows to what extend existing text collections already fulfil these criteria, where gaps exist and how the OPTED infrastructure will contribute to make texts by political organizations more accessible and better usable. The analysis shows that most existing text collections can be accessed freely and without any major barriers regarding registration procedures. However, many of them are difficult to find as they are heavily spread across multiple platforms. Furthermore, existing text collections are often difficult to retrieve and come in different formats. Hence, there is a need to make text collections on political organizations easier to find and use. OPTED aims to achieve this by providing a searchable database of available text data and by developing tools for storing, sharing and analyzing textual data in a coherent way.