Corpora for ENGL research

Information on this page is for the staff and students in the Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University only.

The following corpora are available for ENGL PhD, MA and MB students to complete their dissertations and capstone projects.


  1. Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)
    [ License Information ]
  2. Global Web-based English (GloWbE; pronounced “globe”)
    [ License Information ]

  • You must agree with the license of different corpora.
  • For PhD and MA students, they can use the whole corpus for their dissertations.
  • For Capstone students, they may use less than 50,000 words from a corpus.
  • These corpora CANNOT be used for teaching or redistribution.

Please download and complete the request form and send it to your dissertation or FYP supervisor. Your supervisor will then forward your form to RCPCE for the preparation of corpus.

If you have any questions regarding the license and the application procedure, please feel free to contact our Project Associate Dr Amos Yung.

January 2021


An extract of the license of COCA and GloWbE (Source):

Restrictions on use of the corpora

You must agree to these restrictions in order to obtain the data , or else obtain a waiver from us for a particular point listed below.

[ Data ]

1. In no case can substantial amounts of the full-text data (typically, a total of 50,000 words or more) be distributed outside the organization listed on the license agreement. For example, you cannot create a large word list or set of n-grams, and then distribute this to others, and you could not copy 70,000 words from different texts and then place this on a website where users from outside your organization would have access to the data.

2. The data cannot be placed on a network (including the Internet), unless access to the data is limited (via restricted login, password, etc) just to those from the organization listed on the license agreement.

3. In addition to the full-text data itself, #2 also applies to derived frequency, collocates, n-grams, concordance and similar data that is based on the corpus.

4. If portions of the derived data is made available to others, it cannot include substantial portions of the the raw frequency of words (e.g. the word occurs 3,403 times in the corpus) or the rank order (e.g. it is the 304th most common words). (Note: it is acceptable to use the frequency data to place words and phrases in “frequency bands”, e.g. words 1-1000, 1001-3000, 3001-10,000, etc. However, there should not be more than about 20 frequency bands in your application.)

[ License ]

5. Academic licenses: are only valid for one campus. So if you are part of a research group, for example, with members at universities X, Y, and Z, they all need to purchase the data separately.

6. Academic licenses: you can not use the data to create software or products that will be sold to others.

7. Academic licenses: students in your undergraduate classes cannot have access to substantial portions of the data (e.g. 50,000 words or more). Graduate students can have access to the data for work on theses and dissertations. The data is primarily intended for use in research, not teaching. If you need corpus data for undergraduate classes, please use the standard web interface for the corpora.

8. Academic and Commercial licenses: supervisors will make best efforts to ensure that other employees or students who have access to the data are aware of these restrictions.

9. Commercial license: large companies with employees at several different sites (especially different countries) may need to contact us for a special license.

[ General ]

10. Any publications or products that are based on the data should contain a reference to the source of the data: https://www.corpusdata.org.