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The BC3 Annotation Framework

This framework allows researchers to annotate emails or other conversations by using an online annotations tool. This allows for easy email corpus management and annotation export. There is no need for time consuming data entry as all the annotation is done through a web browser.

The software is written in Ruby on Rails and runs as a webserver using a database such as MySQL.

Download the software here

Installation Steps:

  1. Install Ruby on Rails and it's dependencies: http://rubyonrails.org
    This will include the installation of ruby (>= 1.8.6), gem (>= 1.1.1), and rails (>= 2.1.0). Depending on your platform there are various packages that already have all these included.
  2. Install a database such as MySQL http://www.mysql.com
  3. Change the config/database.yml file as follows:
      adapter: mysql
      database: userstudy_development
      username: <Your mysql username>
      password: <Your mysql password>
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock "This is the default location and might be different on your machine"
      adapter: mysql
      database: test_development
      username: <Your mysql username>
      password: <Your mysql password>
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
      adapter: mysql
      database: production_development
      username: <Your mysql username>
      password: <Your mysql password>
      socket: /tmp/mysql.sock
  4. Create and set up the database
    rake db:create
    rake db:migrate
  5. Start the WEBrick server
  6. Go to with Firefox
    Note: this has only been tested with Firefox (other browsers might have compatibility issues)

Using the software:

The menu at the top is used to navigate the different functions of the framework.
The Emails tag is used to upload and manage emails or conversations.
The Threads tag is used to manage the different email threads.
The Experiments tag is used to start and run annotations.
The Participants tag is used to see your annotators info.
The Add Admin tag is used to create other accounts for researchers.
Use the Log Out tag to leave the interface.

Design of the Software:

Ruby on Rails uses a Model-View-Controller(MVC) approach to separate the different functions of the website. I will describe the project architecture by showing the model names and the fields the each contain.

The BC3 Framework is licensed under the MIT license.