About the Research Client

Introduction

The L’ART Research Client is a freely available open-source app to aid researchers in the collection, storage and transfer of data for research in bilingualism and language attitudes, with a particular focus on bilingual populations who speak a majority language and a regional / minority / minoritized language. The app aims to make research in bilingualism easier, more comparable and reproduceable. For a detailed discussion of the specific methodological choices, see [Breit-Tamburelli-EtAl-2023].

What the L’ART Reserch Client can do

The current version (L’ART Research Client 0.4.1) implements four tools (for a detailed discussion of methodological adaptations, please see Breit et al., 2023).

  • Participant consent: A digital informed consent process, including participant information sheets & consent forms.

  • LSBQe: A digital adaptation of the Language and Social Background Questionnaire, or LSBQ [Anderson-Mak-EtAl-2018], which we term the LSBQe (“e” for electronic).

  • AToL: A digital implementation of the Attitudes towards Languages Questionnaire or AToL [Schoel-Roessel-EtAl-2013].

  • MGT and VGT: A digital tool for measuring language attitudes via the speaker evaluation paradigm. This tool enables users to run several evaluations of audio guises such as the Matched Guise Technique [Lambert-Hodsgon-EtAl-1960] and the Verbal Guise test (e.g., [Markel-EtAl-1967]). Due to its flexibility as either MGT or VGT, we named this tool ‘Audio Guise Test’, or AGT for short.

  • A simple memory game which can be employed as a general distractor in a series of tasks.

The main functionality of the L’ART Research Client resides in its format as a stand-alone app that can run on a large variety of desktop and laptop computers without the need for internet connectivity. This makes it highly usable both in lab environments and in the field, for example when collecting data in remote areas with inconsistent internet access.

The L’ART Research Client has been designed in such a way that it can be easily extended by researchers (or research groups) with just a basic knowledge of Python, JavaScript and HTML needed to implement additional tasks (see the Developer Guide for more info). Translating an existing task for a new language or language pair is even easier and can be done by just editing a simple JSON file in a text editor (see tutorials/translating-tasks).

Reasons to use the Research Client

  • Less work for the researcher: With research tasks pre-implemented, preparation for a new study only involves translation/localisation of the interface where a suitable one is not yet available for the target population. There is also no need to manage forms and manually enter data after collecting responses.

  • Enhanced consistency and comparability within and across studies: The translation/localisation of tasks is the only thing that varies within tasks. The presentation, data types and validation, coding, and output format stay constant across different use instances, whether as part of the same study or across different studies and research teams.

  • Improved transparency and reproducibility: Because the entire source code for the L’ART Research Client is publicly available and version-controlled, it’s easy to reference the specific version and task that was used, which allows other researchers to easily view and reconstruct the tasks exactly as they were administered at the time the research was carried out.

For detailed examples and more concrete illustrations of these advantages, see [Breit-Tamburelli-EtAl-2023].

Citing the Research Client

Breit, F., Tamburelli, M., Gruffydd, I. and Brasca, L. (2023). The L’ART Research Client: A digital toolkit for bilingualism and language attitude research [Software, version 0.4.1]. Bangor University.

Licensing

The L’ART Research Client and all the tools implemented within it are free and open source. The app is dual licensed under the terms of the Affero General Public License (the AGPL) and the European Union Public License (the EUPL). Dual licensing means that you are free to choose under which of the two license’s terms you want to use it.

Both licenses allow you to:

  • Use the app and its functionality freely (as in freedom) and for free (as in free beer) in your work, whether commercial or non-commercial.

  • Modify or otherwise make adaptations to the app and its source code, as long as you yourself make those changes available to others under the same license terms (or the terms of another compatible license where this is expressly permitted by the AGPL or EUPL).

  • Add yourself to the credits/copyright notice when you modify the software, as long as you do not remove, materially change, or misrepresent in any way the copyright and author attribution notes as they appear in the app, its source code, documentation, distributions (e.g. installers), etc.

Naturally, if you intend on modifying and/or improving the Research Client, we would appreciate it if you would share those developments with us so we can incorporate any improvements and enhancements into the official version of the app.

Where possible we would also strongly encourage you to retain the dual licensing model, as we believe this ensures maximal adoptability and reusability across a large variety of potential users in different parts of the world.

Contributors

The L’ART Research Client core developers are Florian Breit (Lead) and Marco Tamburelli.

We would like to thank the following for contributing (in alphabetical order):

  • Chloe Cheung (Documentation)

  • Lissander Brasca (Translation, Documentation)

  • Ianto Gruffydd (User testing, Translation, Documentation)

  • Athanasia Papastergiou (Translation)

Acknowledgements

The L’ART Research Client was developed by the Language Attitudes Research Team (GitHub) in the School of Arts, Culture and Language at Bangor University. Development of the app was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/V016377/1].