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Djangology : A Light-weight Web-based Tool for Distributed Collaborative Text Annotation

by Emilia Apostolova, Sean Neilan, Gary An, Noriko Tomuro, Steven Lytinen
LREC ()

Abstract

Manual text annotation is a resource-consuming endeavor necessary for NLP systems when they target new tasks or domains for which there are no existing annotated corpora. Distributing the annotation work across multiple contributors is a natural solution to reduce and manage the effort required. Although there are a few publicly available tools which support distributed collaborative text annotation, most of them have complex user interfaces and require a significant amount of involvement from the annotators/contributors as well as the project developers and administrators. We present a light-weight web application for highly distributed annotation projects - Djangology. The application takes advantage of the recent advances in web framework architecture that allow rapid development and deployment of web applications thus minimizing development time for customization. The application's web-based interface gives project administrators the ability to easily upload data, define project schemas, assign annotators, monitor progress, and review inter-annotator agreement statistics. The intuitive web-based user interface encourages annotator participation as contributors are not burdened by tool manuals, local installation, or configuration. The system has achieved a user response rate of 70% in two annotation projects involving more than 250 medical experts from various geographic locations.

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