Specialised Corpus of Civil Engineering Research Articles project

An introduction to SCCERA (Specialized Corpus of Civil Engineering Research Articles)

This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science under Grant No. 25370619.

On this page you can find:

  1. An introduction to SCCERA, which gives details about this specialized corpus and explains, in simple terms, how corpus data can be used to inform the work of civil engineers.
  2. A downloadable copy of SCCERA (8 million-word specialized corpus).
  3. A link to the free text analysis software AntConc is available here: https://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antconc/
  4. A guide to using AntConc (AntConc_Guide.pdf)

A corpus is a large, principled collection of naturally occurring text, stored electronically and used in the descriptive analysis of a language. SCCERA is a specialized corpus of civil engineering research articles, designed to help civil engineers identify key vocabulary or language patterns in their field, and to write up their research in a natural, discipline-specific manner.

SCCERA has been designed to be both balanced and representative of the 11 main sub-divisions of civil engineering at the University of Tokyo: (i) Transportation Research & Infrastructure Planning; (ii) Infrastructure Development & Management; (iii) Coastal Engineering; (iv) River & Environmental Engineering; (v) Hydrology & Water Resources Engineering; (vi) Concrete Engineering; (vii) Geotechnical Engineering; (viii) Mechanics & Structures; (ix) International Projects; (x) Regional Planning & Surveying/Remote Sensing & Spatial Information Science; (xi) Earthquake & Disaster Mitigation Engineering. Its principal characteristics are outlined below:

  • Total size: 8 million words
  • Sourced from 45 international journals considered ‘key’ by members of the Department of Civil Engineering (43 cited in Science Citation Index-Expanded or Social Science Citation Index)
  • 1,100 research articles (most cited/downloaded) published between 1989 and 2014
  • 3,807 contributing authors from 1,598 institutions in 80 countries:

The main goal of SCCERA is to provide a useful academic resource for students, researchers and practitioners from the field of civil engineering. It can be used in two ways:

  • An indirect, ‘corpus-informed’ approach would allow production of language learning materials designed specifically for civil engineers;
  • A more direct approach would involve training students or staff to query the corpus themselves, in order to find answers to specific questions they have connected to their academic writing in English.

Figure 1: Contributing authors to SCCERA by institution country

Introduction to SCCERA

Developing a Specialized Corpus of Civil Engineering Research Articles

Downloadable copy of SCCERA

A downloadable copy of SCCERA (8 million-word specialized corpus).