corpus.byu.edu

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The BYU corpora are used by more than 130,000 distinct people each month (including more than 11,000 professors), which makes them the most widely-used corpora in existence.

From the point of view of BYU, the important point is that the BYU corpora are used more than almost any other web-based resource at BYU, including Learning Suite, all of the resources from the library, and the entire BYU Independent Study website.

The following data comes from Alexa (owned and operated by Amazon), which gives detailed information on more than 1,000,000 websites worldwide. The page for BYU.EDU at Alexa shows a wealth of information about the websites at BYU, as well as the users of these websites.

Perhaps the most important data comes from the section entitled "Where do visitors go on byu.edu". The following data comes from June 2017, and it shows that (except for cas.byu.edu), the BYU corpora are the mostly widely used resource at BYU (scroll down at http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/byu.edu to see this on the Amazon Alexa site):

Previous data from Winter 2017 (when more students were at BYU) shows the forty or so most visited sites at BYU, and an expanded list shows the top 110 sites. (Continued below)

As can be seen, corpus.byu.edu is near the very top of the list. The only BYU site that has more users is cas.byu.edu (which is used to log users on securely to sites throughout campus). The corpus.byu.edu site is even ahead of other widely-used sites like home.byu.edu (the main landing site for visitors to BYU), my.byu.edu, y.byu.edu, and sa.byu.edu.

Perhaps most interestingly, corpus.byu.edu is used more than many other sites that are more "visible" and well-known (at least to the BYU and LDS community), such as Learning Suite (learningsuite.byu.edu; used for thousands of classes at BYU), the library website (lib.byu.edu), the entire Independent Study site (is.byu.edu), devotional and forum addresses (speeches.byu.edu), the Daily Universe (universe.byu.edu) and the Religious Studies Center (rsc.byu.edu). In fact, the BYU corpora are used more than five times as much as the Daily Universe or the Religious Studies Center websites, and nearly three times as much as the entire Independent Studies website.

As far as other academic units on campus, the most widely-accessed websites are for Computer Science (cs.byu.edu), Engineering and Technology (et.byu.edu), the Marriott School of Business (marriott.byu.edu), and the BYU Law School (law.byu.edu). But the BYU corpora are used more than the websites of all of these academic units ... combined. And the only department in the College of Humanities that appears in the top 110 websites is linguistics.byu.edu -- probably because it is linked to from the corpus.byu.edu homepage. This suggests that the BYU corpora are used far more than the combined total of all of the other (college-level and departmental) websites from the entire College of Humanities.


There are additional data that point to the wide use of the BYU corpora, compared to other resources at BYU. For example, other than honor code and academic calendar, "corpus" is the most common search term for all resources at BYU, followed high on the list by coca and google books (two of the BYU corpora). (See a more complete list, and  a list of all corpus-related search terms for BYU.)

Finally, it is interesting to see how the visitors' country of origin is related to the BYU corpora. The following chart from Alexa shows that after the United States, the three countries with the most visitors to BYU are China, Japan, and India (followed in the top 10 by Germany, South Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan).

The Alexa profiles for other Utah / LDS-related websites like lds.org, mormon.org, byui.edu, or uvu.edu show that there are very few visitors from these countries. Why are they so much more common for byu.edu? It is probably because they are (in large part) coming to BYU to use the BYU corpora, rather than to use or see other resources at BYU.

To the degree that we really believe that "the world is our campus", the BYU corpora are perhaps the best resource for attracting people from throughout the world to BYU -- especially from places like China or India, where BYU and its sponsoring institution have a very limited presence.

 

In summary, the BYU corpora are used more than almost any other website on campus, and the users of these corpora are coming from throughout the world -- including many countries from which very few people visit other websites at BYU.

And whereas many other websites at BYU are created and maintained by large teams of developers (think of the Learning Suite team or the many developers at Independent Study), the BYU corpora are created and maintained by just one person. And this one person takes care of all other aspects of the BYU corpora as well (in addition to the creation and maintenance of the corpora) -- such as user registration, administration of academic licenses (with many of the top universities in the US and worldwide), and help/support (which constitutes hundreds of emails each month) -- and all of this in addition to research and teaching.

Of course it is important to have BYU faculty in the classroom, teaching perhaps a handful of students in a given class. But it is also important to support resources like the BYU corpora, which provide outreach to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world each month -- especially when their only point of contact with BYU is via their visit to BYU to use these corpora.