Language Resources and Evaluation

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 299–335 | Cite as

Creating a live, public short message service corpus: the NUS SMS corpus

Original Paper


Short Message Service (SMS) messages are short messages sent from one person to another from their mobile phones. They represent a means of personal communication that is an important communicative artifact in our current digital era. As most existing studies have used private access to SMS corpora, comparative studies using the same raw SMS data have not been possible up to now. We describe our efforts to collect a public SMS corpus to address this problem. We use a battery of methodologies to collect the corpus, paying particular attention to privacy issues to address contributors’ concerns. Our live project collects new SMS message submissions, checks their quality, and adds valid messages. We release the resultant corpus as XML and as SQL dumps, along with monthly corpus statistics. We opportunistically collect as much metadata about the messages and their senders as possible, so as to enable different types of analyses. To date, we have collected more than 71,000 messages, focusing on English and Mandarin Chinese.


SMS corpus Corpus creation English Chinese Crowdsourcing Mechanical turk Zhubajie 



We would like to thank many of our colleagues who have made valuable suggestions on the SMS collection, including Jesse Prabawa Gozali, Ziheng Lin, Jun-Ping Ng, Kazunari Sugiyama, Yee Fan Tan, Aobo Wang and Jin Zhao. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the China-Singapore Institute of Digital Media’s support of this work by the “Co-training NLP systems and Language Learners” grant R 252-002-372-490.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ComputingNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.School of ComputingNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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